Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds take noise cancellation and audio quality to new heights, offering customizable experiences and seamlessly connecting back to any device previously used with them.
App Users Can Customize Touch Sensor Settings Within this app you can customize each touch sensor’s function – tapping to increase or decrease volume, summon voice assistant etc…], as well as optimizing EQ Settings to achieve optimal performance.
The WF-1000XM4 earbuds boast an elegant design, featuring round copper accents on each one. Their shape fits comfortably in most ears without sliding out, and are lightweight for use during long commutes and flights. You can recharge these buds using their compact case that doubles as portable charging. They have over 10 hours of continuous playback.
Our lab testing revealed the Sony earbuds to offer exceptional balance and clarity, with an expansive soundstage that showcases songs. They’re capable of revealing subtleties such as James Brown’s “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing,” reproducing drumming with incredible precision while moving fluidly between tumultuous crescendos to calmer moments while remaining cohesive within their ensemble, such as when James Brown played “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing”.
During calls, these earbuds deliver impressively clear audio and can pick up voice commands easily. While their ambient noise cancellation (ANC) does a decent job of suppressing general chatter noise levels but falls short in reducing low rumble of bus and airplane engines; audio leakage becomes noticeable at higher volumes.
These earbuds feature a button on their right side that you can press to call upon Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa – however this only works while wearing them in your ears. In addition, there is an integrated microphone which supports hands-free calling capabilities via Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa – as well as hands-free calling capability with them at high volume levels and default audio profiles which may seem warmer and muted for us personally; however the companion app provides tools for customizing these features using presets as well as manual modes.
Sony earbuds come packaged in eco-friendly paper packaging and include their case, three sizes of polyurethane foam ear tips, USB cable, and documentation. Their case is 40% smaller than what comes with Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless while offering both wireless charging via Qi and wired charging via a USB-C cable.
Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds are among the company’s latest class-leading offerings, featuring six millimeter drivers and its custom integrated processor V1. This chip mixes music in real time while handling noise cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity – similar to its over-ear counterpart, the WH-1000XM5. They also incorporate Sony’s DSEE Extreme audio engine with Edge AI which upsamples lower bitrate music files into near hi-res quality for improved listening experiences.
The XM4 provide a full-bodied sound that’s rich in detail and musicality, keeping up with fast-paced tracks from Radiohead’s 15 Step to the slow, deliberate rhythms of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good without falling behind or overpowering them. Their bass has plenty of punch without overshadowing midrange or distorting highs; in fact, using their EQ app I was able to add back some high end and reduce harshness present when listening at higher volumes – something which was useful when listening to Britney Spears’ Toxic as a dip in upper highs helped me tune out harsh vocals from her vocals at higher volumes without tripping up its performance.
Instrument separation is outstanding as well. On Olivia Rodrigo’s Good 4 U track, for example, guitar riff and mid-to-high vocals stand out loud and clear while you can also detect drum set snare that is driving the rhythm along. Furthermore, these speakers can handle an impressive array of audio formats including SBC/AAC up to LDAC codec for even higher quality playback if used with compatible devices.
As I tested the XM4s during a noisy commute, its active noise cancellation (ANC) helped reduce ambient background noise while not blocking bus and plane engine roar. At higher listening volumes I experienced some leakage which may affect audio performance.
The Sony XM4’s companion app boasts an interactive graphic EQ with presets and equalizer for customizing its sound to your taste, making them more customizable than some rivals such as Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 Wireless 2018 or Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. Furthermore, their battery performance is improved as is its EQ setup compared to rival models such as Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 Wireless 2018; additionally its simplicity of operation make Sony’s pair the winner over most rivals including Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 Wireless 2018 or Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 models like these two rivals from rival manufacturers like Bose/Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.
Sony WF-1000XM4 noise cancelling earbuds are some of the finest available. Their premium audio quality features an ideal balance between detail and musicality – even on intimate recordings like Leonard Cohen’s “Going Home”, where Lenny grinds his tonsils as he recites every verse; no other pair can deliver such an attentive and balanced performance!
These new earbuds also boast an enhanced active noise cancellation (ANC) system that adapts to your environment, better blocking ambient sounds while still letting through distracting background music. Furthermore, their polyurethane eartip is designed for passive noise isolation and provides better passive sound protection.
Other improvements include faster and more stable Bluetooth connection; a case that supports Qi-compatible pads as well as wired USB charging; as well as being smaller and pocket-friendly than its predecessor model. Touch-sensitive earbuds enable quick volume adjustments via single tap for raising and long press to decrease volumes; additionally Sony offers Quick Attention feature so users can tap left earbud surface to hear ambient sounds such as airport or airplane announcements or public safety alerts.
WF-1000XM4 earbuds take some features first introduced on the WH-1000XM4 over-ears, such as ‘speak to chat”, which allows you to communicate while wearing your earbuds in place. You can also enable an option that reduces music volume temporarily so that ambient sound may enter for brief periods so that you may better perceive your environment, particularly helpful in noisy environments.
Sony earbuds stand out from their rivals in several ways, such as superior noise isolation and battery performance, an intuitive control interface and multi-device pairing capabilities. If you have the budget for it, these Sony headphones may be worth paying extra for; otherwise, the WF-C700N Truly Wireless offer more neutral default sound profiles as well as IP57 water resistance if ANC isn’t necessary or desired.
The earbuds come packaged in minimal gray packaging reminiscent of an egg carton, including a small USB-C charging cable and three pairs of foam ear tips (small and large), in addition to those already applied. However, their indentations for different size ear tips don’t exactly line up with what would make for convenient fitting.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 are among the finest-sounding and longest-lasting true wireless headphones we have tested to date, offering impressive frequency response consistency when sealed properly with their included ear tips. They boast a smooth yet warm sound profile without an overwhelming low bass response – ideal for vocals and lead instruments; plus subtle details like picking or string noise on acoustic instruments can also be reproduced flawlessly.
Comparative to the WH-1000XM3, Sonys offer more stable Bluetooth connectivity and support multiple devices simultaneously, including two smartphones paired with each headset simultaneously for streaming music from one phone while receiving calls on the other. They’re compatible with Apple AirPods Pro, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II and Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 Truly Wireless headphones as well.
These headphones boast an excellent battery life compared to their counterparts from XM3, lasting eight hours with both ANC and Bluetooth active on one charge. Their case can provide 16 more hours of playback – perfect for long days at work or flights!
Just like its sister model, these earbuds support Bluetooth 5.2 technology for Hi-Res audio streaming at 990kbps. However, unlike some competing models they do not perform as effectively due to having an underemphasized treble range that makes sibilants and cymbals appear dull and muffled.
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