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Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Is It Any Good?

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Rounder, quieter, better? True Wireless Noise Canceling. Headphones

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Introduction

An impractically large charging box and only moderate carrying comfort were the biggest criticisms of the Sony WF-1000XM3 .

The otherwise consistently good true wireless headphones are now getting a successor that wants to leave the old weaknesses behind.

Can the new in-ears do that with the versatile, adjustable noise canceling?

TechMende has pushed the WF-1000XM4 into its ear canal and reveals in this Sony WF-1000XM4 Review why the wireless plugs even make the competition from Apple, Bose & more look old.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Sony listens (Sony WF-1000XM4 Features)

Compared to their predecessors, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are smaller and clunkier.

In numbers: the manufacturer saves 10 percent in size. Sony has also tightened the wearing comfort and the new plugs sit very comfortably in the ear thanks to foam attachments.

This also applies when there is a lot of movement, for example when the user jogs to a driving beat. In addition, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are protected against drops of water and sweat (protection level IPX4).

There is a touch field on each of the outer sides, which can be used to pause the music or adjust the volume. With the help of the free smartphone app Sony Headphones Connect (for Android and iOS) firmly.

The controls on the earphones work well and the control panels implement the commands quickly. If you wish, the in-ears pause playback when you remove them.

In addition, they can be set so that they interrupt the current track and amplify the outside noise as soon as the user speaks.

Sony users are already familiar with this so-called speak-to-chat function from the WH-1000XM4 headphone .

With the small earplugs, however, this extra seems less impolite than with the big brothers. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they want to keep the true wireless headphones in their ears during a conversation.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Smart noise canceling

The noise canceling of the Sony WF-1000XM4 is even smarter than the voice functions.

Inside the plug there are microphones that capture the ambient noise, while the headphones reproduce sound waves running in exactly the opposite direction.

The wave overlay on the user’s ears ensures peace and quiet. Due to the new noise-canceling processor, the Sony in-ears work more effectively than their predecessors – and also than the competition from Apple and Bose.

The noise of drafts, chatting colleagues or children playing effectively make the true wireless headphones quieter.

The real magic happens in connection with the app: You can use it to create various noise-canceling profiles that are geared towards the movement of the user or their GPS location (if activated).

For example, the noise suppression switches off automatically,as soon as the music fan jogs with the headphones. In our Sony WF-1000XM4 test, the motion detection worked very reliably with an offset of a few seconds.

This is what the Sony WF-1000XM4 sound like

Good: The noise canceling has no influence on the sound quality and is free of side effects such as inherent noise.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 always delivered a very clean and balanced sound in the test. We especially like the quite powerful bass.

Artists sing, scream or speak unadulterated from the small 6-millimeter drivers of the in-ears. In terms of sound, too, they line up ahead of the Apple AirPiods Pro and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds .

If desired, the sound can be adapted to the preferences of the user. This is easy to do with the help of sliders in the Sony app.

An all-round blow with the sound

In addition, the new Sony In-Ears offer surround sound playback, which goes by the name of 360 Reality Audio.

With the help of these extras, the user should feel as if he is sitting in the recording studio while recording.

In order for this to work, the music lover takes photos of his listeners using the smartphone and the Sony app, because their anatomy plays an important role in spatial sound perception.

More precisely, the auricles affect how an instrument or a singing voice sounds depending on its position.

However, if the user listens to music through headphones, this influence does not apply. The sound reaches the auditory canals almost unaffected by the outer ears.

It is hardly possible to distinguish whether a sound is coming from the front or from the back.With the help of the photos, the app reconstructs the effects of the sound on the ears and creates a more realistic impression of the room.

However, this also requires special recordings, which are by no means for everyone Music streaming service are available.

You can choose from the hi-res service Tidal, 360 by Deezer as well as the two rather unknown Artist Connection and nugs.net.

These services also only offer a few titles in 360 reality audio format.

For example, from the extensive discography of the band Korn there are only the two well-known albums “Issues” and “Follow the Leader”. The other eleven studio albums are missing.

Sony holds out for a long time

With Sony WF-1000XM4 the company has also stepped up with the battery. The WF-1000XM4 played a full ten hours and 36 minutes with one load of music, even with the noise suppression activated.

It even passed the good KEF Mu3 (nine hours and 18 minutes). Charging is also quick, so that after ten minutes, juice is recharged for two hours and 43 minutes in the charging socket.

The small box can be charged either with the supplied USB-C cable or wirelessly via a wireless charger – great.

An LED on the front shows the charging status. The charging box now fits easily in your pocket and is around 40 percent smaller than the Sony WF-1000XM3.

Thus, Sony has also eliminated the second point of criticism.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Conclusion

Sony has eliminated the disadvantages of its predecessor: The Sony WF-1000XM4 has a handy charging case and sit comfortably on the ears thanks to their compact shape and foam attachments.

The clever noise canceling is not new, but it works very effectively and adapts to every situation.

Music fans can enjoy their favorite tracks undisturbed, which the Sony headphones reproduce precisely and powerfully.

The unadulterated and balanced sound makes the biggest competitors Apple and Bose look old.

The icing on the cake is the surround sound 360 Audio Reality.

But it comes with a bitter aftertaste: The selection of adapted titles is rather small.

 

 

 

85%
Awesome

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

The Sony WF-1000XM4 have a handy charging case and sit comfortably on the ears thanks to their compact shape and foam attachments. The clever noise canceling is not new, but it works very effectively and adapts to every situation.

  • Design
  • Size

The unadulterated and balanced sound makes the biggest competitors Apple and Bose look old. The icing on the cake is the surround sound 360 Audio Reality. But it comes with a bitter aftertaste: The selection of adapted titles is rather small.

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