Sony WH-1000XM4 Evaluation: Bose-Beating Noise Canceling Headphones | headphones

sony’s top-of-the-line noise canceling headphones have lengthy had a profitable system and the most recent model has a much-anticipated addition – a number of gadget connectivity – to make them best-in-class.

The WH-1000XM4 has an RRP of £350 and upon preliminary inspection little has modified for the fourth model of the 1000X line, together with its design. The high-quality plastic physique is nicely made and light-weight at 254g, however does not really feel as premium as some metallic or carbon fiber rivals that weigh over 300g.

They’re a number of the most light-weight headphones you should buy, matching the king of lengthy relaxation, the Bose QC35 II. The ear cups are nicely padded, with a mild, even strain on the facet of your head, whereas a delicate leather-based headband sits in your dome. It is easy to overlook that you just’re carrying them besides when the headscarf slides ahead once you tilt your head to look down.

In contrast to most rivals, the headphones additionally twist and fold right into a compact measurement for journey and include a pleasant exhausting case for defense. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


  • weight: 254g

  • Driver: 40 mm

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with Multipoint, 3.5mm, USB-C Charging, NFC

  • bluetooth codec: SBC, AAC, LDAC

  • battery life: 30 Hours ANC On

management and connectivity

Sony K-1000xm4
When held for a number of seconds from off the ability button triggers pairing mode. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The XM4 is a daily set of Bluetooth 5.0 headphones, making them suitable with most Bluetooth-sporting telephones, tablets, computer systems, and different gadgets. They help the common SBC and AAC audio codecs utilized by most gadgets. However in addition they help Sony’s high-resolution LDAC Bluetooth audio format that is suitable with many Android gadgets for a number of the highest high quality wi-fi audio.

They’re Sony’s first 1000X set to help the favored multipoint connection characteristic, which implies you’ll be able to have two gadgets related on the identical time, like a telephone for calls and a laptop computer for music. It really works reliably with a wide range of gadgets. Excessive-resolution LDAC audio can’t be used when multipoint is enabled, nonetheless, limiting the connection to the extra customary SBC and AAC.

There are 4 methods to pair the headphones – Google’s quick pairing or with a single faucet with an NFC tag For fast pairing with Android telephones, utilizing the Sony Headphone Join app for Android or iPhone and iPad, and manually pairing the old school means with the push of a button.

The headphones include a typical 3.5mm headphone cable that can be utilized whereas the headphones are on or off. Nevertheless, the microphone can’t be used on a 3.5mm cable.

The left ear cup holds an influence button and a customized motion button, which will be set to manage Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or noise-canceling. The precise ear cup has a contact pad for the remainder of the controls, which works nicely with naked fingers however not with gloves. Double faucet to pause/play, swipe ahead or backward to skip monitor, and swipe up and down for quantity. Out of your telephone, faucet and maintain for Siri or the Google Assistant. Maintain your palm on the touchpad to rapidly swap to ambient listening mode, which is extraordinarily helpful for bulletins and fast conversations.

Sony K-1000xm4
A presence sensor within the left ear cup pauses music once you take the headphones off and resumes once you put them again on. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Headphone Join app for Android and iOS handles varied settings and updates, together with switching related gadgets, noise canceling modes, and sound choices.

The XM4 has 5 mics to choose up your voice and with a slight enchancment over earlier variations, callers are capable of hear what I used to be saying in areas with slightly background noise, however nonetheless class-leading Bose noise The canceling headphones do not examine with the 700.

lively noise cancellation

Sony K-1000xm4
The grey headphones have gold accents across the prime microphone port. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The XM4 has a number of the finest lively noise-canceling know-how obtainable, with a stage of management that tops out, successfully lowering most droning and low-frequency sound in addition to some speech and different sudden noises, which Greatest matches Bose.

Utilizing the app you’ll be able to personalize noise-canceling by noting hair, glasses and different issues that have an effect on the seal of the ear cups, whereas a strain optimizer that may decide for those who’re on the bottom Or assist whereas flying within the air. Bus site visitors.

As well as, there are ambient sound modes, which modify the quantity of background noise you’ll be able to hear at greater than 20 ranges, in addition to “give attention to voice” to permit speech by means of. It does not rival Apple’s model in sounding such as you’re not carrying headphones, however is sweet for wakefulness.

The adaptive sound management within the app can routinely modify the extent of noise-canceling primarily based on how loud it’s in your present environment. The system learns your most popular areas and consciousness ranges, and switches on routinely, resembling most noise-canceling at work however ambient sound stage 10 at dwelling.

nice voice

sony wh-1000xm4 review
The Headphone Join app has a full equalizer and choices for noise-canceling, controls and activating the DSEE Excessive sound enhancer. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

These are a number of the best-sounding Bluetooth headphones you should buy, producing the sort of audio you have found in well-worn tracks, placing them in the identical league because the B&W PX7 and Apple’s AirPods Max. is saved.

They are not impartial, with a default sound that is extra mid-bass heavy than some rivals, however they produce well-controlled, deep and full bass, heat mids, and glowing excessive notes. In contrast to many rivals, you’ve a full equalizer within the app to customise the sound to your liking, in addition to music enhancement methods resembling Sony’s DSEE Excessive Upscale Audio to compensate for misplaced vocals because of compression at the price of battery life. is to be revived.

They do a wonderful job of bringing out the very best of most musical genres, from quick bass traces in high-energy electronica and a uncooked vitality in grunge to jazz and soul, to sensible vocals and beautiful orchestral scores. The preservation of element is prime notch even in tremendous advanced tracks, whereas they sound nice for film soundtracks too, with preserved vocals on prime of highly effective bass.

battery life

sony wh-1000xm4 review
One faucet on NFC Spot is all that’s wanted to pair and join a suitable Android smartphone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The noise-canceling headphones last as long as 30 hours between costs, which is 10 hours longer than many rivals. Flip it off and so they final for 38 hours or 22 hours when ambient sound mode is activated. In addition they do voice calling for twenty-four hours.

The headphones take three hours to completely cost by way of the USB-C port in the best ear cup utilizing the 1.5A energy adapter, which is not included within the field. A ten-minute cost gives as much as 5 hours of playback for those who’re in a rush.


Sony doesn’t present an estimate of the variety of full-charge cycles the battery can final. Batteries from related gadgets can usually last as long as 500 cycles whereas sustaining not less than 80% of their authentic capability. The battery will be changed by a certified service middle, costing £39.46 plus £12 delivery out of guarantee.

Headphones are typically repairable (iFixit teardown), and substitute components can be found, together with earpads, headband, and mainboard. Sony didn’t touch upon its use of recycled supplies and didn’t publish an environmental impression report for the headphones. It publishes the annual Sustainability Report and its roadmap to zero environmental impression by 2050.


  • Google Assistant can learn notifications on Android and iOS, whereas Alexa can also be an possibility, or you need to use your telephone’s voice assistant like Siri on the iPhone.

  • Press the ability button whereas the headphones are on to listen to the battery proportion.

  • They help 360 Actuality audio for some music companies like Tidal and Deezer.

  • The speak-to-chat operate detects once you’re talking loud sufficient and routinely allows ambient sound mode so you’ll be able to have a dialog.


The Sony WH-1000XM4 prices £350 in black or silver.

For comparability, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 have an RRP of £349.95, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II £299.95, the B&W PX7 £349.99, the Apple AirPods Max £549, the Grasp and Dynamic MW65 £449 and the B&O It is Beoplay. The H95 prices £700.


The Sony WF-1000XM4 are a number of the finest noise canceling wi-fi headphones cash should purchase.

They sound nice, have efficient noise-canceling and lengthy battery life. In addition they help multipoint Bluetooth 5 for connecting two gadgets collectively, with LDAC format additionally an immediate ambient sound mode for listening to high-resolution music and bulletins.

They’re additionally a number of the lightest and most comfy headphones you should buy, matching the long-wearing consolation of the Bose QC35 II.

They do not feel and look as strong or premium as some rivals however they fold up for journey and seem sturdy in light-weight plastic. They’re additionally pretty simple to restore and the battery will be changed for a good quantity.

Name high quality is common. Word that in contrast to most rivals, the WF-1000XM4 is usually obtainable at a reduction to its RRP, so it is nicely well worth the buy.

Execs: Nice sound, Glorious noise-canceling, Light-weight consolation, Can join two gadgets directly, Excessive-resolution music help, Lengthy battery life, Good controls, Good ambient modes, 3.5mm headphone socket, Folds up with good case , Repairable, cross-platform companion app.

Shortcoming: Costly, voice mic is hit or miss, do not feel as premium as rivals.

sony wh-1000xm4 review
The XM4 can be found in grey and black as pictured. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Different Opinions

Supply hyperlink