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Sony WH-1000XM4 overview: Must you spend $350 for a pair of headphones?

The Sony WH-1000XM4 retains dropping under the important $350 mark! In the event you’re itching to get your fingers on a pair, we have put these over-ear headphones with ANC to the take a look at. Spoiler alert: If you wish to get monetary savings over the following few months, you won’t wish to learn on.


  • Superb sound
  • Excessive carrying consolation
  • Superb ANC
  • LDAC and AAC on board
  • Surprisingly clever
  • Good battery life (as much as 30 hours)


  • Has fairly a unfastened match
  • Sadly now not presents aptX HD (obtainable within the earlier mannequin)
  • Sony’s app might do a lot better
  • Fewer improvements in comparison with the WH-1000XM3

A quick have a look at the Sony WH-1000XM4

“What would you wish to pay with? EC card or credit score? Effectively, have enjoyable with it!”

You probably have the required change and are in search of high-quality over-ear headphones with ANC, you possibly can confidently check out the Sony WH-1000XM4. It’s because the headphones provide a powerful general sound expertise, which is delivered by a number of parts.

In a nutshell, I am referring to the very excessive sound high quality, the diploma of customization by the headphones through Sony’s app, and the efficient ANC that places you comfortable when required. Due to LDAC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, in addition to Sony’s very personal optimization often called DSEE Excessive, the headphones map the standard of your audio supply very properly.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 case open
The headphones fold up for straightforward storage / © NextPit

When you get a battery lifetime of as much as 30 hours and a particularly comfy carrying expertise, I do miss the AptX HD help that’s obtainable on its predecessor. As well as, the grip might be fairly unfastened when worn even on the smallest setting. With out revealing an excessive amount of of my private life: Headbanging is just not possible with this pair!

Nonetheless, the top of my temporary abstract must have all the things to do with the value: In June 2021, you may need to fork out lower than $350 for Sony’s over-ear headphones. It would sound fairly excessive, however it’s in no way an unjustified value level for my part.

Design & consolation: Comfy however a bit unfastened

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is just this: a pair of over-the-ear headphones.
Which means the ear cups will fully enclose your ears. Tipping the scales at slightly below 250 grams, it comes with a journey bag. To maintain it as compact as doable, the Sony headphones might be folded, therefore the case measures a mere 22 x 16 x 6 centimeters.

What I favored:

  • No feeling of strain even when worn for a very long time.
  • It seems to be cool for my part.
  • Excessive-quality workmanship.
  • Good and compact carrying case.

What I disliked:

  • Much less safe match doesn’t permit headbanging.
  • A lot of it’s created from plastic.

Throughout all 4 shade variants, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is apparent and unobtrusive. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is available in white, black, silver, or “midnight blue” – hardly anybody will method you on the road due to your flashy headphones. As an alternative, you possibly can benefit from the consolation of carrying it in peace.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 headphones
The Sony WH-100XM4 hardly differs from its predecessors. / © NextPit

As a result of the ear cups include an internal diameter of 6.5 x 4 centimeters giant, they’re giant sufficient to suit my ears. This doesn’t end in any disagreeable emotions of strain and as a heavy consumer, even carrying them for 8 hours a day was hardly a painful or uncomfortable affair. Quite the opposite, the headphones might have even been somewhat bit firmer on the pinnacle.

It’s because Sony’s softie program ensures a reasonably unfastened match on the pinnacle. A pal who tried the headphones commented that she could not dance whereas carrying them, regardless of the nice audio high quality. If she meant headbanging by that, then I wholly agree together with her.

Even by shaking my head somewhat vigorously, the headphones will start to slide over my ears. In contrast to the Apple AirPods Max, this is not essentially as a result of weight because it is not excessively heavy at 255 grams.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 Benjamin Test
Helps you to sink away in dreamland: The efficient ANC offers quite a lot of peace and quiet / © NextPit

Curiously sufficient, Sony’s consideration to element continues to develop after 4 generations. On the left ear cup, for instance, there’s somewhat knob that permits you to examine whether or not the headphones are sitting the best approach up, even with out trying. Since I feel it provides to the “magnificence” of headphones, and I additionally wish to formally nominate Sony’s pc voice because the “World’s sexiest pc voice”. Maintain whispering in my ear, Sony WH-1000XM4, please!

TL;DR: Stylish and cozy. Nonetheless, I do not all the time just like the unfastened match when I’m away from the desk. Alternatively, I used to be in a position to put on the Sony WH-1000XM4 for as much as eight hours throughout my overview with out feeling any extreme strain. Sony’s expertise within the headphone sport exhibits right here.

Sound: All-rounder with none bass fetish

Sony included 40 millimeter neodymium drivers with an aluminum-coated liquid crystal polymer diaphragm within the WH-1000XM4. These are the exact same supplies that Sony makes use of within the €2,200 MDR-Z1R. The 
frequency vary is a excessive 4 to 40,000 hertz with wired use. With Bluetooth 5.0, it drops to twenty to 40,000 hertz regardless of the presence of LDAC. Along with LDAC, AAC, and Sony’s AI optimization often called DSEE Excessive are additionally a part of the bundle.

What I favored:

  • Balanced sound.
  • Very clear decision of devices.
  • Tremendous loud on demand.
  • Will also be used with a flat battery through 3.5-millimeter audio cable.
  • 360-degree sound is definitely spectacular.

What I dislike:

  • Sony has dropped AptX HD help.
  • Comes with “solely” Bluetooth 5.0.

After I’ve already supplied you with a little bit of tech porn, I might like to have Sony’s attractive pc voice whisper the frequency ranges into my ear once more. The next is about my private impressions as I feel the Sony WH-1000XM4 sounded excellent for many genres.

My listening habits vary from thumping steel à la Dying and Gojira to shallow jazz, quivering hip-hop, and generally not possible electro beats. Sony’s 40-millimetre drivers all the time come off very properly no matter what I throw at it. In the case of equalizers, the “Enthusiastic” setting within the Sony app turned out to be my favourite.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 power
The WH-1000XM4 permits you to use the headphones passively or actively. Cool! / © NextPit

Right here, the main focus is a bit on the highs, leading to quite a lot of readability between devices and sounds. Nonetheless, I would not suggest the WH-1000XM4 for bass fanatics. On Mr. Oizo’s bass-heavy “Bear Biscuit,” for instance, there’s nearly a little bit of an absence of thump to provide the beat the best influence.

With pop music now having a particular bias in the direction of bass (#BillieEilish), I can properly think about bass lovers being somewhat disenchanted with the headphones. Personally, although, I actually admire the pliability of the WH-1000XM4 and was somewhat disillusioned when my very personal Soundcore Life Q30 abruptly needed to therapeutic massage my eardrums with each track.

360-degree sound and lack of aptX HD

There are two attention-grabbing options regarding the Sony WH-1000XM4’s sound. First, with the best music streaming subscription, you may profit from Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio characteristic, which I managed to get pleasure from once I reviewed the Sony WF-1000XM4. In doing so, Sony simulates a encompass setup on stereo headphones in a fairly spectacular method.

Sony App 02 NextPit
To activate 360-degree sound, you must take an image of your ear / © Sony / Screenshot: NextPit

Tidal, for instance, sadly solely presents about twenty 360-degree tracks, which put a smile on my face the primary time I listened to them. In an effort to get pleasure from that, you additionally need to subscribe to a month-to-month subscription Tidal Hello-Fi at $20/month. Ultimately, the characteristic is extra one thing you possibly can impress your folks with than anything. I personally by no means actually felt the necessity for it in on a regular basis life.

In comparison with its predecessor, I discovered it a disgrace that Sony has dropped help for Qualcomm’s aptX HD Bluetooth codec. aptX HD is a regular that shouldn’t be underestimated, the place it delivers low latencies along with excessive bit charges. aptX HD is mostly thought of the perfect compromise between compatibility and low-quality loss.  Whereas it’s comprehensible that Sony needs to construct by itself codec, it’s nonetheless a disgrace all the identical.

TL;DR: For my part, the sound high quality is the principle cause to decide on the Sony WH-1000XM4. That is primarily as a result of pretty impartial sound traits, that are appropriate for all types of genres. As soon as once more, I wish to emphasize the comfort that comes from the truth that the headphones might be operated through a cable even when the battery runs out.

Noise cancellation: Efficient and intelligent

If you’re disturbed by ambient noise, you possibly can activate lively noise cancellation with the WH-1000XM4.
The headphones use anti-noise to reduce surrounding noise. With options like Adaptive Sound Management or Fast Consideration mode, you possibly can simply and cleverly swap between ANC and Transparency modes.

What I Preferred:

  • Superb noise cancellation.
  • Intelligent options in controlling the ANC.

What I disliked:

  • Slight under-pressure really feel when ANC is activated.

Sony’s over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones have made a reputation for themselves, not due to their good noise cancellation, however as a result of the Japanese producer itself brags on its homepage that they’re the {industry} chief within the noise-canceling wi-fi headphone market, with the outcomes primarily based on its personal analysis. Effectively, now how about that?

The headphones counteract noise that tries to enter your ear out of your environment utilizing frequencies which might be of the other polarity. The so-called anti-noise will then roughly filter out incoming noise.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 1
Microphones for ambient noise decide up noise, which is then countered by anti-noise / © NextPit

As regular, it is principally constant noise in low frequencies that’s nearly fully eliminated by the headphones once I examined it. On a wet day, I might barely hear the fairly noisy avenue exterior my condo once I put the headphones on by the open window. Sudden noises like honking vehicles, then again, nonetheless come via fairly clearly.

However all of that’s fairly regular and general, the ANC of the WH-1000XM4 is subjectively probably the greatest. For my part, although, filtering out noise is way from what a noise-canceling characteristic ought to obtain. And that is the place the WH-1000XM4s decide up some further factors.

Intelligent noise cancellation management

Turning up the ANC at full blast is not advisable in each scenario. In the event you’re strolling across the metropolis, you possibly can simply miss an ambulance with lively music playback and ANC enabled. Sony presents “Ambient Sound Management” for such instances.

The app measures the actions of your smartphone and detects whether or not you’re shifting, standing round, or sitting on a chair. Relying in your preferences, the headphones will then embrace ambient noise to the ANC mechanically. By the best way, the transparency mode might be managed manually within the app with as much as 20 ranges.

As well as, you may also swap to ambient noise everytime you wish to start a dialog. In the event you’re approached on the road, you possibly can merely place a hand on the best earcup and it’ll reduce via the noise and decrease the music quantity.

When you get used to it, you will not wish to miss these wonderful options. That is particularly so in case you disable the annoying Ambient Sound Management notification within the Sony app.

TL;DR: Sony claims to supply industry-leading noise-cancelling – and I can not argue a lot with that. The noise cancellation may be very efficient and Sony controls it with actually attention-grabbing options all by itself.

Ease-of-use and extra options

On the best facet of the Sony WH-1000XM4 you’ll discover a contact enter discipline.
As well as, the headphones can detect everytime you put on them in your head, with a couple of further options and particulars bundled in that I might like to clarify additional.

What I favored:

  • Intuitive contact operation.
  • Sensible customized button.
  • Good put on detection.

What I disliked:

  • Contact parts get wonky within the rain.

I do not wish to dwell too lengthy on the operation and ease-of-use of the Sony WH-1000XM4 in on a regular basis life. It is fairly sensible that you could fluctuate the amount or advance a observe just by utilizing swiping motions on the best earpiece. There’s additionally an influence swap on the left facet and a customized button that you could assign a selected characteristic to.

For instance, you possibly can activate Siri or Google Assistant, with which the headphones are suitable with. The connection to your Android smartphone can be very easy because of Google’s “Quick Pair” characteristic. You register the headphones in your account and the connection may even be made obtainable on different units. Alternatively, you may also activate such pairing by inserting your smartphone down because of NFC.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 4
Along with the 2 buttons, there may be additionally a contact management floor on the best ear cup / © NextPit

As well as, there the power to carry out multi-pairing of as much as two units concurrently, between which the WH-1000XM4 will then swap mechanically. It’s also possible to do that manually through the app.

Talking of the app: Right here, I’ve to provide Sony the finger as soon as once more. The applying seems to be fairly old school and takes away a little bit of the premium feeling that the producer’s audio merchandise exude attributable to its value vary. An replace to the consumer interface with a brand new design is actually wanted right here.

Sony Headphones App NextPit COM
The Sony app seems to be a bit old school for my part / © Sony / Screenshot: NextPit

Final however not least, the damage detection is price mentioning, which works through a distance sensor in the best earpiece. That is actually useful if you put the headphones apart for a second. Nonetheless, in case you cling them round your neck, playback is not going to pause. It’s because the folding mechanism rotates in the direction of your shoulders and never upwards in the direction of the sky.

TL;DR: Sony has additionally give you one thing good in terms of its controls. Though that is restricted to put on recognition and a customized characteristic button, these are nonetheless optimistic mentions. The app is, for my part, a weak level when it comes Sony’s audio merchandise as it’s lengthy overdue for an replace.

Battery: As much as 38 hours playback is feasible

The battery life on the Sony WH-1000XM4 was listed as as much as 38 hours with ANC deactivated by Sony.
With ANC enabled, the runtime drops to 30 hours. I contemplate this data lifelike after two weeks of use. A fast-charging characteristic can be on board and it will get you 5 hours of further music enjoyment with simply 10 minutes of charging.

What I favored:

  • Lengthy battery life.
  • Fast-charging.

What I disliked:

In the case of battery life, I do not assume there’s a lot to criticize. You need to use the headphones for as much as 30 hours and a quick-charging characteristic can be on board. Earlier than I repeat myself any additional, properly carried out, Sony!

What else it’s best to know in regards to the Sony WH-1000XM4

Lastly, there are some things I might wish to let you know in regards to the WH-1000XM4. Complete paragraphs will not be needed for this, I feel!

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 case
The Sony WH-1000XM4 comes with a sensible transport case / © NextPit
  • The decision high quality is great because of Sony’s Exact Voice Pickup expertise – these whom I conversed with did not notice that I used to be utilizing headphones.
  • Along with the headphones, an airplane adapter, an audio jack cable (1.2 meters), and a USB-C cable (round 20 centimeters) are additionally included within the journey case.
  • Sony will throw in three months of a premium music streaming service of your option to strive with every buy.

Technical specs

Specs at a look

Options Sony WH-1000XM4
Measurement 22 x 16 x 6 centimeters (case)
Weight approx. 255 grams
Driver 40 neodymium driver with aluminium-coated liquid crystal polymer diaphragm
Frequency response Max. 4 – 40,000 Hz (wired, lively)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
ANC Sure
Bluetooth codecs SCB, AAC, LDAC
Battery life As much as 38 hours (ANC off) | As much as 30 hours (ANC on)
Fast Charging Sure
Options DSEE Excessive, 360-degree sound, Google Assistant, Siri, put on recognition, hands-free calling
Value $350

Remaining verdict

With the slight value drop that the Sony WH-1000XM4 has skilled because it was launched, the over-the-ear headphones have grow to be much more engaging! It’s because you find yourself with an excellent pair of headphones that ship quite a few trendy applied sciences. In on a regular basis life, you’ll rapidly get used to options comparable to Ambient Noise Management and Fast Consideration mode, and one way or the other it will be very troublesome to dwell with out them after that.

NextPit Sony WH 1000XM4 inside
The wear and tear detection works through a small sensor within the left ear cup / © NextPit

All of those locations Sony on an excellent basis with excessive carrying consolation, excellent sound supply, and extremely efficient ANC. In the case of the negatives, nonetheless, I must level fingers on the lacking aptX codec, help which was nonetheless obtainable within the WH-1000XM3. Additionally, the maintain on my ears was not all the time optimum – the Sony headphones are typically journey and residential headphones than for sporting actions.


Due to this fact, I wish to present some different fashions so that you can contemplate with their opinions which may enable you in making a purchase order determination:

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