Review Of Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones: ‘Old Bottle Of New Wine’ With Many Smart Features

When WH-1000XM3 super noise-canceling headphones were introduced about two years ago, Sony recently rejoined the competition with the introduction of the WH-1000XM4 headset model, which had numerous improvements over its predecessor. Let’s analyze the WH-1000XM4 together to see what those enhancements are like and whether they actually help Sony restore its position.

Review details

  • With several enhancements, Sony unveiled the top active noise-canceling headset Sony WH-1000XM4, ushering in a new generation of headphones.
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  • This article has been translated and provided based on the viewpoint of technology website The Verge because I do not actually own the product.

Sony WH-1000XM4 is packed with many smart features

The Fast Pair feature has been added to the WH-1000XM4 by Sony to help quickly set up and connect your device to an. This also allows you to find lost headphones and receive low battery notifications.

There are not many design changes on the Sony WH-1000XM4 compared to its predecessor. (Source: The Verger)

One bigger improvement that both and Android users will appreciate is the significantly upgraded microphone performance. Precise Voice Pickup technology is also included in the WH-1000XM4, which optimizes audio processing from 5 microphones to capture clearer and more accurate voice in hands-free and Speak mode. to Chat.

Speak to Chat is a new feature that Sony integrated on the WH-1000XM4. If this feature is enabled, the headset will automatically stop playing when you talk and start playback after 30 seconds. If you want the music to play again, just double tap the right ear cup.

design sony wh-1000xm4

You can also increase and decrease the volume by covering your right ear with your hand and use your voice to switch between noise cancellation and Ambient Sound Mode. When used in practice, this sometimes mistakenly recognizes your voice with external sounds, resulting in music playback stopping. To work around this, you can adjust the sensitivity of Speak to Chat in Sony’s Headphones Connect app.

The Speak to Chat feature is quite handy but it is also a double-edged sword, if you listen to music while singing along to the tune it will pause the music and make you ‘low mood’. So this convenience will be good if you are not a person who is constantly in the mood for singing.

An internal sensor helps to automatically stop playing music when the user takes off the headset. (Source: The Verger)

The WH-1000XM4 also has a sensor that pauses the music when you remove the headphones and plays it automatically when you put the device back on. If you actively stop playing music for a few minutes, the 1000XM4 will automatically turn off to save battery.

One of the worthwhile upgrades on the WH-1000XM4 is the ability to connect two devices at once, intelligently switching between both when required. You can manage connections and switch devices on the Sony app, and there’s no need to set up Bluetooth on another secondary device.

Many new features on the WH-1000XM4 are still being perfected by Sony. (Source: The Verger)

The new feature on 1000MX4 does not work smoothly, there are still connection errors when switching between devices. Sony said it will have an update to fix this problem before the product reaches customers at the end of August.

The WH-1000XM4’s noise cancellation modes are also very smart. If you allow it, this headset can learn your surroundings with GPS access and apply your preferred level of noise cancellation or ambient sound transmission depending on the location in which it is used.

Sony WH-1000XM4 inherits the design prototype from the senior

Although the Sony WH-100XM4 has added a bunch of internal upgrades, there isn’t much of a difference between it and its predecessor in terms of design. In fact, if you put them side by side you will hardly distinguish 1000XM3 from 1000XM4.

The buttons and swipe gesture controls remain unchanged from the WH-1000XM3. (Source: The Verger)

Outside the earcups, you’ll find two physical controls for power/pairing and a button to cycle through noise cancellation modes, a 3.5mm AUX connector, and a USB Type C charging port. The outside of the ear cup acts as a capacitive touch panel, which you can use to play, pause, skip, or increase or decrease the music volume.

design wh1000xm4
The Sony WH-1000XM4 disappoints with no water resistance. (Source: Future)

It is a pity that the WH-1000XM4 does not support the waterproof feature as many people expect. Sony also recommends keeping them dry and away from water.

There are not many audio quality upgrades on the Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 uses the same 40mm driver as found on the WH-1000XM3, so in terms of timbre there isn’t much difference between the WH-1000XM4 and its predecessor. The WH-1000XM4 produces a warm and balanced sound that is clear and powerful. The device provides a wide sound range with bass that is also extremely sharp and detailed.

The WH-1000XM4 produces a warm and balanced sound. (Source: The Verger)

The WH-1000XM4 is equipped with Dual Noise Sensing technology, which uses two microphones in each ear cup to collect and analyze sound at over 700 times per second using the QN1 noise canceling processor. This allows for quick adjustment of noise cancellation.

Sony also says it has improved compressed music upscaling (recovering detail from lossy compression formats, bringing clarity to even low-quality files and formats) with the help of AI. , thereby helping to analyze music in real time and identify the instruments, music genres and unique characteristics of each song. You can disable this feature if you feel the sound is not realistic.

wh1000xm4 . sound quality
It is difficult to notice a difference in sound quality between the WH-1000XM4 and its predecessor. (Source: Future)

Realistic 360 sound is also brought to the WH-1000XM4 by Sony. This is a homegrown immersive audio format that puts you in surround sound for a more immersive audio experience. However, up to now, there are quite a few music services that support this format.

Sony doesn’t make any claims about core sound quality improvements on the 1000XM4. If you love the sound of the 1000XM3, there’s not much reason to upgrade to the WH-1000XM4.

Battery capacity is constant, Sony WH-1000XM4 supports fast charging

While the Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn’t increase battery life compared to its predecessors, you’ll get 30 hours of use with noise cancellation on and about 38 hours with noise cancellation off. 30 hours is enough to get you through a long international flight or several days to the office.

battery wh1000xm4
It takes about 3 hours to fully charge the Sony WH-1000XM4. (Source: Future)

Sony also equips the WH-1000XM4 with fast charging technology, you can get about 5 hours of use after 10 minutes of charging and fully charge after about 3 hours. This is a very impressive charging time!


The Sony WH-1000XM4 delivers excellent noise cancellation and good sound quality in a comfortable, lightweight design.

While they don’t look significantly different from their predecessors, some of the new features include: multi-point pairing, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversation awareness, and sensor auto-play/pause built-in, all of which could make the WH-1000XM4 the best headset this year.

However, the Sony WH-1000XM4 still has a little something that makes many people a bit disappointed, because 2 years have passed but there have not been many changes in design and sound quality for this product line.

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