After months of waiting the all-new Sony WH-1000XM4 is available for purchase. These noise-cancelling headphones are the successor to the highly regarded WH-1000XM3 and cost the same at $350. Let’s take a closer looks and see how they stack up to their predecessor and the rest of the competition. Also while you are here check out the reviews of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and the Cowin E7 Pro Active Noise Cancelling Headphones.
Design and Comfort
Even though these are “all-new” headphones, they look almost identical to its predecessor. Sony did make some improvements though, they modified the design so the headphones would be more comfortable. The earpads are 10% bigger and the headband is slightly reshaped with a slimmer head cushion. These changes reduce the pressure on the wearer’s head. The cans are also light in weight and don’t clench your years. You probably don’t want to take these to the gym, but they’re hard to beat for listening to music, watching movies, or gaming.
So the WH-1000XM3 were considered maybe the best over-the-ear noise-cancelling heaphones for the price. Maybe even better than the Bose that were the early king. Known for its noise-cancelling ability, the changes made with the WH-1000XM4 make what was arguably the best even better. The WH-1000XM4 has an updated QN1 processor that is capable of doing a better job blocking out midrange and high-frequencies. It blocks out the lower frequencies as well as its predecessor, but is significantly better at blocking out human voices. To get the best noise-cancelling performance, two technologies are incorporated, the Personal Noise-Canceling Optimizer, and the Atmospheric Pressure Optimizer. The personal optimizer analyzes sonic characteristics caused by the size of your head, your hair, or if you wear glasses, and tailors the sound just to you. The atmospheric optimizer gives you the best sound for air travel.
So what about the sound quality? Well that’s improved too. The WH-1000XM4 has a new Bluetooth chip that works with the QN1 processor to adjust the noise-cancelling settings according to your surroundings, making the music you’re listening to sounds its best. Using Sony’s LDAC audio-coding technology, three times more data is transmitted than conventional Bluetooth at rates up to 990 kbps. This technology produces high quality audio that gets as close as possible to a wired connection.
These headphones also let you enjoy streamed music created for 360 Reality Audio which is a new music experience that uses Sony’s object-based spatial audio technology. With 360 Reality Audio, individual sounds such as vocals, drums, piano, guitar, bass and even the live audience can be placed in a 360 spherical sound field for a totally immersive experience.
Also on the XM4 is a new Precise Voice Pickup technology that optimally controls five microphones and performs advanced audio signal processing to pick up the voice more clearly. There is also a new “Speak-to-Chat” feature that automatically pauses the music as soon as you start talking, and just like the WH-1000XM3 you can pause the music by covering the right earcup with your hand.
In the left earcup there is a new proximity sensor that will play and pause the music when you take the headphones off or put them back on. This sensor is not in the right earcup meaning you can lift the earcup and the music will continue to play while you are in a conversation.
The battery life of the WH-1000XM4 is an impressive 30 hours. With the optional AC adapter you can get 5 hours of charge after just 10 minutes.
Overall, the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones have the same features that were on the WH-1000XM3. It works with the same Headphones Connect app to modify settings and adjust settings for EQ or noise-cancelling. It also has Ambient Sound Control that lets you adjust the volume of background noise with an option to allow only voices to be heard.
The power button on the side of the headphones is the same and so is the capacitive touch earcup controls.
These headphones can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at once and when you receive a call, these headphones know which device is ringing and connects to it automatically. A touch of a button allows you to easily switch your headphones to either of the two devices.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Cancelling Headphones are everything the WH-1000XM3s were and more. Already at the top of their class, these new headphones only solidify that position.
They are priced the same as the XM3 at $350 but that’s not cheap. If you’re willing to splurge for over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones, it would be hard to find a pair better than these. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks for reading.
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