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Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Unrivaled Sound Quality and Noise Canceling

The kings have returned. Which is to say, Sony has finally renewed its line of high-end headphones. The new ones Sony WF-1000XM4 hit the market with everything to win for those who are probably the best Bluetooth headsets we’ve tested.

Sound quality, noise cancellation and remarkable autonomy are the hallmarks of some headphones that changed their design and corrected practically all the flaws of their predecessors. In this article I tell you my opinion about them after two weeks of use.

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Strengths of Sony WF-1000XM4

  • Sound quality above the competition
  • Quality noise cancellation for size
  • Good autonomy in a compact body
  • App with a lot of customization

Weaknesses of Sony WF-1000XM4

  • Lack of multipoint Bluetooth

First impressions

As soon as we take these headphones out of the box, we see that Sony has improved one of the biggest flaws from its predecessors: the design. The carrying case has been reduced a lot and is already “standing”.

As for the design of the earphones, it became more discreet and friendlier to small ears. They have sponge pads, which makes them more comfortable, and certainly helps better passive noise cancellation. The colors and discreet profile make them very pleasant to look at.

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Top sound quality

No matter how pompous features these headphones may have, like the Audio 360, what matters is the sound quality in everyday use. And I can tell you that they are the product of this category with the best sound quality for listening to music I’ve tried.

If you like deep bass, they’re just right there. But Sony has not forgotten the mids and trebles, providing a nice distinction of instruments. Something you can see in very few competitors. And if something isn’t to your liking, the in-app equalizer will make it happen.

Call quality still has room for progression

Those who use these headphones on a daily basis will definitely end up making calls with them. I can tell you that the other person will hear you with some clarity, with the possibility of activating a feature in the app to make your voice more pronounced.

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However, for a headset that cost €280 in Portugal, this still not one of your strengths. There are improvements over the previous generation, but there is still room for progression for Sony at this point.

Unparalleled noise cancellation

First of all, it’s good to keep something in mind when it comes to noise cancellation in headphones: size doesn’t work wonders. You’ll never have the isolation experience you get with headphones like the fantastic Sony WH-1000XM4.

But for some headphones, the noise cancellation of this model is quality and the best I’ve ever tested. You can customize it in the app, and you should choose your pillows well between the three sizes, as this will also influence this feature.

An important word for the transparency mode that turns on against noise cancellation. This one lets you hear your surroundings better, and you don’t notice the “robotization” in the audio of some competitors.

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As I told you above, the comfort in these headphones has improved a lot compared to their predecessors. But this is probably the most subjective part, as a lot of people prefer another type of headset profile.

All-day quality autonomy

Sony promises 8 hours of battery life with noise canceling on, or 12 hours with it off. In my experience, these easily lasted a day’s work without going under load.

Once needed, they take around an hour and a half to charge on your USB-C port. It is worth mentioning that also can be charged wirelessly, on any Qi universal charger. Something that the predecessors didn’t have either.

It’s important to bear in mind that they support LDAC high definition audio, and have DSEE Extreme that promises to improve the quality of compressed digital files in real time.

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Speak-to-chat it’s a nice addition, but it can get in the way

Another interesting detail is the Speak-to-Chat feature, which you can activate in the app and the transparency mode activates so that you can easily talk to someone without taking your earphones off. I ended up disabling this mode as it is easily activated if you cough.

Another detail to bear in mind is that they have compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can easily configure your favorite virtual assistant in the app and start using it.

Many of us watch movies or series on tablet, smartphone or computer. Regardless of the device, I didn’t notice any kind of drag, being a quality experience.

IPX4 certification makes them great for sports

They are IPX4 certified, which protects them from splashing and sweating. But as always, you can’t be too careful. Touch controls can be fully customized in the app to activate what you like the most. I used them during a race, and I didn’t have the feeling that they were going to fall off, which is another positive point.

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A word also for the box in which they are sold, which claims to be sustainable. And within this the space was evenly distributed with the pads, the earphones, the charging case and a USB-A to USB-C cable.

Multipoint Bluetooth should be mandatory at this price.

The big defect to point out is the lack of multipoint connection. This means that whenever you want to change devices, they don’t do it smartly. You don’t need to unpair the previous one, but you must always connect it in the Bluetooth settings of the device you are going to switch to.

If audio quality is the priority, they are the right choice.

For €280, the Sony WF-1000MX4 they are the right earphones for those who care about the most important thing: audio quality above the competition. This is the great scroll of these Sony’s, and if it’s your priority, they’re the right choice.

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It’s good to mention the above-average noise cancellation, and the battery that doesn’t disappoint even in all-day use. They look good on any ear, and you can customize all their details in the app available for Android e iOS.

Know more about Sony WF-1000XM4 pricing and shipping on Amazon Spain

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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