How can you top what are undoubtedly the best true wireless earphones available today?
The WF-1000XM4 is the product of Sony going back to the drawing board.
And creating a whole new pair that looks nothing like its predecessors.
Is that a bold step? Definitely. Crazy?
Yes, most likely.
Over the last few years, Sony’s WF-1000X wireless earbuds have been a dominant force in the category.
However, Sony’s engineers went to town on the WF-1000XM4 with an entirely new design, a new charging case.
And a new audio processor instead of just the occasional tweak here and there.
They even had time to create a brand-new ear tip material, which is now making its debut on a set of Sony earbuds.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Fortunately for Sony, not much does.
The WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds are among the most feature-rich, and user-friendly.
And acoustically superior pairs we’ve tested.
What About The Pricing?
The Sonys are, unsurprisingly, at the top of the market.
They debuted in 2021 for £250, $280, or AU$450, but are now more frequently seen for around £200, $230, or AU$350.
For the most recent Sony WF-1000XM4 discounts, check here.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
And, of course, the Apple AirPods Pro are just a few other five-star wireless noise-cancelling earbud competitors they are up against.
What About The Build Quality?
The WF-1000XM4 surprises you right away when you first meet it.
Sony has opted for recycled packaging made from a specific blend of paper instead of the traditional glossy box.
This results in a plastic-free, more compact box that is 34% smaller than the WF-1000XM3’s.
Although it doesn’t exactly give off the impression that you’ve just purchased a set of high-end noise-cancelling headphones, this is wonderful news for the environment.
A compact, black charging case greets you when you unwrap the WF-1000XM4 from its box.
It is significantly smaller (40%) than the charging case that came with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
And smaller than the case that came with their predecessors.
With the use of a suitable Qi charging pad, the case enables wireless charging for the first time on the WF-1000X line in addition to USB-C charging.
With compatible smartphones, you may even use their power source and share their battery.
What About The Comfort?
The WF-1000XM4’s brand-new earphone design is seen when you flip open the magnetic shell.
Sony has decided on a rounder body that fits more inside the ear opening based on a combination of XM3 consumer feedback and ear research.
The headphones have a luxury feel thanks to each earbud’s matte finish.
And the subtle accents surrounding the microphone and sensor holes lend a modest pop of colour.
In terms of colour, the XM4 is available in black or silver.
You’ll be happy to know that the XM4 has an IPX4 rating, which makes them resistant to “splashing from any angle”
– A significant improvement over the previous generation.
What About The Features?
Each earpiece’s round outer surface includes a touchpad, and you may customise its functionality using the Headphones Connect app.
Through the typical combination of taps, presses, and long holds, they can control volume.
And playback or switch between noise-cancelling and ambient sound modes
— And the headphones are quick to react to these activities.
With no trouble, you can change sound modes, and adjust the volume.
And activate and deactivate features like Quick Attention.
(Which lowers the loudness of what you’re listening to so you can quickly hold a conversation without taking the earbuds out of your ears).
The Speak-to-Chat feature first appeared in the Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones.
Which the Sony WF-1000XM4 borrows (and which has also carried over to their new successor, the WH-1000XM5).
This function, which is activated when you begin speaking, enables you to converse with someone while wearing the earbuds.
Although it only activates a fraction of a second after you begin speaking, it nonetheless functions nicely.
What About Sound Quality?
We should mention how the WF-1000XM4 headphones handle bass before discussing their remarkable musicality and expressive dynamics.
Low frequencies provide amazing clarity and bass quality.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, which are competitors, seem crowded in comparison due to the incredible level of detail on display.
One of our favourite bass-heavy test tracks, Massive Attack’s “Angel,” is played via the earphones.
And we’re taken away by how confidently they handle the music.
That throbbing bassline’s every component is expertly placed and oozing with texture.
The WF-1000XM4 especially impresses with its note clarity.
Which enables it to convey subtleties in the bass notes that other headphones find difficult to discern.
What About The Final Verdict?
The Sony WF-1000XM4 has captured our attention.
It must have been really difficult to get these wireless earphones just perfect with all the design modifications.
And new capabilities they contain. Sony, though, has nailed it.
The headphones offer a pleasurable user experience and a battery life that leads the industry.
Some of the greatest noise cancellations we’ve heard in this price range.
And just excellent sound quality.
Simply said, this sets a new standard for high-end genuine wireless earbuds.