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Sony WF1000XM4 Truly Wireless Headphones review – Sony has done it again

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  • VERDICT

When Sony release a new pair of headphones or earphones you sit up and take notice. With the Sony WF1000XM4 the company has once again excelled itself with a product that looks great, has a long battery life and provides a stunning audio experience.

Sony’s new WF1000XM4 Truly Wireless headphones continue the company’s legacy of producing stunning audio products with improved quality and premium noise cancellation.

The new wireless headphones have had a complete redesign and are noticeably smaller (actually 10 per cent smaller) than the previous model.

Even the charging case has been reduced in size. It is actually 40 per cent smaller than the previous case.

Naturally the earphones have an IPX4 water resistance rating that can handle splashes and sweat so you don’t need to worry if you’re in the gym or caught in the rain.

On the design side, the Sony WF1000XM4 earphones have been moulded to a shape that matches the ear cavity for a more stable fit.

Sony analysed huge amounts of data in relation to ear shapes from around the world to come up with this improved design.

They are slightly rounder and bulbous than other earphones and may be too big for some users. They were a comfortable fit for us.

The earbud tips also provide not only an improved fit but another layer of noise isolation.

They are made of a unique foam material that is soft and elastic and fills the space between the earbud and the ear canal.

It is this snug fit which isolates outside noise beyond the capabilities of regular silicon and other synthetic materials.

Last year’s earphones compared to the new Sony WF1000XM4

The Sony WF1000XM4 manages to improve its noise cancellation performance while using less power than its predecessor.

Despite their smaller size they can still  fit a 6-millimetre driver unit with a 20 per cent increase in magnet volume which also lends itself to improving the noise cancelling capabilities.

The newly designed Integrated Processor V1 does the heavy lifting to provide better noise cancellation than ever.

This was developed in-house by Sony and brings the noise cancellation performance of Sony’s QN1e chip to an all-new level.

It includes dual noise sensor microphones per ear to analyse ambient noise and apply its highly accurate noise cancellation for an improved listening experience.

Tech Guide has been reviewing the Sony WF1000XM4 earphones for more than a week and we haven’t heard better noise cancellation.

It truly makes the outside world disappear and allows you to concentrate on what you’re listening to.

It can even detect a windy environment and cancel that out as well so you’ll stay totally focused on your content.

Of course one of the most important features is the audio quality and the Sony WF1000XM4 certainly does not disappoint.

The earphones support high resolution audio wireless thanks to LDAC – Sony’s very own audio coding technology which helps transmit three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio.

This is what makes high resolution audio possible and at the same quality to that of having a wired connection.

Despite being small, the 6 millimetre drivers certainly punch above their weight to reproduce a stunning sound while the high compliance diaphragm also produces a surprisingly rich bass output.

The Integrated Processor V1 also comes into play to reduce distortion.

The result is an extremely defined and stand out sound that can be truly showcased when listening to hi-res audio.

For our review we listened to hi-res tracks through Qobuz and the results stopped us in our tracks.

We mean that literally we couldn’t do anything but sit there and enjoy the sound.

The Sony WF1000XM4 not only provides high audio quality but it’s also smart and brings to the table features that were introduced in Sony’s award-winning overhead headphones.

One of these features is Speak to Chat. It allows you to speak to others without the need to remove the ear buds.

As soon as it detects your voice, Speak to Chat automatically pauses the music and lets in the ambient sound so you can conduct a conversation and also hear the other person you’re talking to.

And once you stop speaking speak to chat will resume playing your music automatically.

if you need to hear what’s going on around you, simply place your finger over the left earbud to decrease the volume instantly. This feature is called Quick Attention.

Also on board is Adaptive Sound Control which can sense where you are and what you’re doing and adjust the headphones accordingly.

For example, you might be on public transport or walking through a park and the Adaptive Sound Control can tailor the sound to suit the situation.

A proximity sensor can also instantly pause the headphones when you take one of the earbuds out of your ears.

The music resumes instantly when you put the earbud back.

But it’s not just music that we’re listening to with our earbuds.

The Sony WF1000XM4 can also offer a superior experience while making and receiving hands-free calls thanks to the precise voice pick up technology which combines the microphones and a bone conduction sensor to pick up your voice clearly and accurately.

The beamforming microphones have been calibrated to only pick up sounds from your mouth.

And even if there is a lot of background noise the improved signal-to-noise ratio will still make out every word clearly.

Add to that noise cancellation so you can hear the person at the other end clearly even when in noisy situations.

The touch controls on the outside of the earbuds allow you to toggle through the various modes including noise cancellation, ambient sound and quick attention.

The same controls also allow you to easily navigate your music to skip, pause or play your songs without the need to touch your mobile device.

The Sony WF1000XM4 Truly Wireless headphones are also ideal for watching movies and playing games with the advanced wireless connection syncing what you see on the screen exactly with what you hear thanks to the stable Bluetooth connexion.

Another interesting feature is 360 Reality Audio which worked when combined with an Android smartphone or iPhone with a compatible streaming service.

It offers a different listening experience to immerse you in the music like your artist is playing right in front of you.

This feature can be optimised for individual users through the Sony headphones connect app

The app can also help you find the right fit for your ears.

The app guides you through a few simple measurements to find the ideal size of noise isolation ear tips to ensure maximum comfort and minimum outside noise.

Another strong feature of the earphones is the 8 hours of battery life you can get from a single charge.

And the charging case can offer a further 16 hours which adds up to a full 24 hours of playback.

Even a quick 5 minute charge can give you up to 60 minutes of playback.

The Sony headphones Connect app can also notify you when you’re charging case drops below 30 per cent.

The case can also be charged wirelessly with Qi technology so you don’t even have to use a cable.

Users can easily access Google or Alexa as your preferred Voice Assistant and be able to find information, connect with friends, listen to music, hear notifications and set reminders all with your voice.

The Sony WF1000XM4 will be available in Black or Platinum Silver in July. They will be priced at $449.95

VERDICT

When Sony release a new pair of headphones or earphones you sit up and take notice. With the Sony WF1000XM4 the company has once again excelled itself with a product that looks great, has a long battery life and provides a stunning audio experience.