Sony WH-1000XM4 Review

Sony WH-1000XM4 Review

Sony WH-1000XM4 Review

In every regard, the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones are an excellent pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones. That’s why, even though they were released in 2020, they’re still our top pick for the finest headphones of 2021. Thanks to their outstanding noise suppression and cutting-edge codec support, they provide precisely what they promise and then some. The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones have received a few modifications since their introduction in August 2020.

The LDAC codec, which can send a bitrate of up to 990 kbps, is included in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which provides spatial audio on stereo headphones. It doesn’t support aptX or aptX HD anymore, therefore your Hi-Res Audio support may be limited. These are some of the best wireless headphones you can buy from a company with a long history of producing high-quality audio products.


They include the same 40mm drivers as the previous generation, as well as the same Black or Platinum Silver finishes. The ‘hangar’ portion of the headset has been updated (the hinged fork that hangs down and connects to the earcups) The distance between the hangar and the cups has been narrowed, giving the hangar and the cups a more continuous appearance. Although the Sony XM4 headphones are lighter and comfier than the XM3, they lack an IP designation for water and dust resistance. The power button, USB-C charging connector, and 3.5mm headphone jack all return from prior generations, as does the Ambient/NC (noise-canceling) button, which has been renamed ‘Custom’ on this edition.


The Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless noise-canceling headphones have been updated with a slew of new capabilities, including voice activation and multi-point connection for two devices. The noise cancellation is among the best we’ve heard from a pair of wireless headphones, and the headphones can change noise levels or ambient sound passthrough based on where you are using geo-location access. When you remove the headphones, sensors in the earcups detect this and automatically pause the music, resuming playback when you replace them. The headphones now include a new multipoint connection that allows them to connect to two devices at once and switch between them as needed.


The WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headset from Sony is better than ever at filtering out low-level sounds like an air conditioner’s hum or a jet engine’s rumbling. It can also attenuate lower-frequency sounds more effectively than most other headsets, such as the low hum of an automobile engine. The Noise Cancelling Area (ANC) plots from Sony show how much noise is canceled across the 20Hz-20kHz audible spectrum (the limits of human hearing).


In terms of noise-canceling and functionality, Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones have gone head-to-head with the XM3, but how well do they hold up under auditory scrutiny? The response is quite well-written. The new model has more power, punch, and poise than the old one, which makes it sound a touch tubby. From the very first note to the very last, the Sonys make any music you send them seem engaging.


The Sony WH-1000XM4 features Bluetooth 5.0, Bluetooth multipoint, and SBC, AAC, and Sony’s proprietary LDAC audio formats. It will fall back to SBC if you’re using something that isn’t compatible with any of these codecs. I had no range concerns during my testing and was able to stroll across my flat without missing a beat.

Battery life:

Speech detection, a new SoC and algorithm, as well as new sensors, are all included in the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones. They don’t have a longer battery life than their predecessors, but with the new auto-on/off and play/pause features, they can prolong their playback time as far as feasible. Fast-charging implies that with 10 minutes of power, you can receive roughly five hours of charge and a full charge in about three hours.


It’s not uncommon for Bluetooth headphones to have a minor drop-off in frequency response below 150-200Hz, but it’s more pronounced than on the prior model. It’s probably an attempt to avoid the proximity effect, which can make certain recordings sound too bassy.


  • The sound is dynamic and rich in detail.
  • Fantastic timing sense.
  • Lightweight, breathable, and cleve.


  • There is no IP rating. 
  • There is no support for aptX.


The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are a significant upgrade over the XM3 and include a slew of new features that improve the user experience. We do not doubt that these incredible Sony headphones will be difficult to beat. Their musicianship and energy are still as addicting as ever, but there are significant improvements to be heard across the board.

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