Sony WH 1000XM4: The New King of Noise Cancelling!
The long-awaited successor of the Mark 3 in the line of premium headphones offered by Sony is the Sony WH 1000XM4. Although they look and feel quite the same as their market predecessor, there are a couple of bells and whistles that make it even better in terms of sound and quality. So, let’s jump right in!
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Design & Price Point
On the outside, very little has changed for The Sony WH 1000XM4 from its predecessors. It still comes in the same black and silver colour options and costs 350$ in the US Market as a launch price.
The base of The Sony WH 1000XM4 is quite full yet punchy and well-defined. The finishing is a bit matte and rubbery. They have a nice open-ness to them with a relatively wide sound stage. While they don’t actually blow away their competitors from Bose or Sennheiser, they do sound really dynamic. They also provide a kind of warmth to your ears, so you don’t suffer from listening fatigue over an extended time of usage.
Ear & Headband Padding
Most of the upgrades are designed to make the headphones fit more comfortably – the earpads, now featuring kind of a MemoryFoam technology, are slightly wider on the inside of the oval. The padding is also a touch softer with a bit of it shaved off from the headband. All these subtle changes tend to reduce the pressure on top of your head and around your ears making them more comfortable to use during longer sessions.
Button Placement & Function
There are no changes to the buttons in terms of placement. The previous NC/Ambient button is now labelled CUSTOM and you can program that button with a user-preferred function through the app. Also, if youkeep it pressed for a few seconds, calibration mode is enabled allowing it to scan your head shape or whether you are wearing glasses. It then uses those readings to optimize your overall listening experience.
HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 with Bluetooth Audio System on chip
Everything that a music lover would want in a premium set of headphones is there in the Sony WH 1000XM4. That means rock-solid bass that does not pound your head, very tuned fill, big open mid-range, very revealing sparkly treble that never gets harsh or super excessive on your years. All in all, it provides extremely well balanced robust sound that everybody will simply love.
There is a new Bluetooth Audio System on a chip that has more processing power. The makers claim to have tweaked its algorithms for active noise cancellation in the newer version of QN1 chip which was also found in previous models. Overall digital signal processing became slightly improved and both the sound as well as ambient noise reduction got a touch better.
Dual Noise Sensor Technology
If you’re using the Sony WH 1000XM4 on something as noiseless as an aeroplane, you won’t see much of its jaw-dropping noise cancellation in action. The improvements in the technology lay in higher frequency suppression. When you have people talking behind you or when you are walking and cars are passing by, the headphones are going to block those sounds more effectively. To break it down, it blocks more of the world out while indulging you in an immersive audio experience.
The call quality is crystal clear as it leverages 5 built-in microphones to cancel much of the noise as possible from around you for the person on the other end of your call as it does for you. If you are outside walking around with buses going by, the people on the other end are not going to hear the buses any louder than you would. So, that makes the Sony WH 1000XM4 an excellent choice for people regularly getting on business calls to speak to clients in a professional environment.
40mm HD Hybrid Drivers
The Sony WH 1000XM4 boasts that these subtle improvements do a much better job of converting streaming music from services like Spotify to pseudo-high resolution by adding in missing details from the compressed audio. Even though the hardware and drivers are practically the same, the music does sound a bit finer in terms of quality.
The updated version of the DSEE, now termed as DSEE Extreme, uses artificial intelligence to upscale your audio experience in real-time. If you’re listening to lossy music, the Sony WH 1000XM4 will get rid of some of the sibilance that you get in.
Inside the left earcup, there is a proximity sensor that detects when you have the headphones on and automatically pauses the audio when you take them off. If you don’t put them back on for 15 minutes, it’s automatically turned off.
Speak to Chat
This signature feature is essentially a hands-free quick attention mode. You can simply start talking when someone comes up to you or when you want to reply to a little chat. The audio automatically pauses, and your headphones go into the ambient mode. The audio then resumes after 30 seconds or you can touch the earcup to manually resume it when you want to.
Battery Life & Fast Charge
The battery life reigns at almost 30 hours with wireless and noise-cancelling on. Thanks to Rapid Charging technology, you can also get 5 hours’ worth of juice by only 10 minutes of charging via USB-C.
Multi-point Bluetooth Pairing with NFC Features
The biggest improvement is this unique feature allowing you to connect the Sony WH 1000XM4 to two devices at the same time while being able to switch back and forth between them. It’s important for people who like to simultaneously pair with their phones and computers. And best of all, it just takes a simple tap on the NFC pad to do so.
If you already have the Mark 3, the Sony WH 1000XM4 can definitely be a quality upgrade for you but not one that’s essential. If you are just happy with a slight fine-tuning over the previous model, these wireless 4th generation headphones from Sony are highly recommended and the best one money can buy!
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