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Sony WH-1000XM4 Review

Sony WH-1000XM4 Review

Recently, while going through the best headphones on the market, we came across plenty of reviews on Sony WH-1000XM4.  Most of these Sony WH-1000XM4 reviews were from happy end users. While reading these reviews, we noticed that while some liked a particular feature and their whole review was limited to that, others picked some other areas and elaborated on them.

Therefore, we decided to do a real time test and come up with a detailed Sony WH-1000XM4 review, to bring out all its features and our experience.

Read the full Sony WH-1000XM4 review to know more.

What’s We Received in the Box

  • Carrying case
  • Headphone cable for wired listening; approximately 1.2 m
  • Plug adapter for in-flight use
  • USB cable type C; approximately 20 cm long

Quick Roundup of What We Liked

  • Form Factor – Wireless over-the-ear headphones with built-in mic for calls and Alexa voice control
  • Slimmer headband and ear cups than Sony WH-1000XM3
  • Very basic and simple design
  • Wireless freedom with premium Sound
  • Adaptive sound control
  • Can be self customized using the Sony Connect App
  • Excellent noise cancelation 
  • Multipoint connectivity (can connect with, two Bluetooth devices; we connected them with our laptop and cellphone while testing)
  • Ambient sound control 
  • 360 reality audio (surround sound)
  • Quick recharge for 10 minutes gives 5 hours of additional charge
  • NFS sensor on the left ear cup and the gesture sensitive zone is on the right one
  •  Speak-to-chat, a new feature to add convenience during calls
  • Ideal For travel, office use, long flight, work from home, and listening to music

Areas of Improvement

  • No IPX rating
  • Limited 360 reality audio

Unboxing the Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones with their carry case and cables

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones come in a compact case and carry two cables: one for USB type C connection and the other comprising a 3.5 mm audio jack and a plug for airplane use. The headphones are foldable and if you look at the case, you cannot imagine headphones resting inside it. The case is extremely durable, sleek and portable.

Our headphones were delivered 100% charged out of the box.

Comfort and Design

Comfort and Design of Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones, apart from being compact and foldable, look very simple in design. They are somewhat sleeker than their predecessor, Sony WH-1000XM3 (read the full Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Sony WH-1000XM3 comparison).

Beneath the headphone headband is a soft cushion base, which ensures that the weight of the headphone doesn’t fall on the head. It also ensures that the plastic band doesn’t touch your head with its hardness. In conclusion, the headband is adjustable and very comfortable.

Both the ear cups have cushions on them, ensuring the pressure of the cups are not felt on the ears. The ear cup cushion design allows a hollow in the cups, so your ears don’t feel stuffed as it is reasonably distanced from the main headphone speaker.  Both the cups are adjustable for all head sizes and hair styles so that you customize the headphones to your comfort.  

On appearance, the  design looks simple but you get the real feel of it only when you wear the headphones.  It’s only then you can appreciate the technology gone into the designing.  

Even before we charged the headphones and connected via Bluetooth and all, we tried on the headphones and adjusted them to our comfort. Honestly, we felt like we were wearing a premium crown on our head.

Battery Life

Going a little into basics, it takes about 3 hours to charge the headphones fully and this ensures 30 hours of nonstop battery backup, sufficient enough even for a long trip.  In case you are at the end of the 30 hours backup and want to quickly recharge the headphones for a few more hours, a 10-minute recharge is all you need to increase the backup for another 5 hours. These headphones are one of the best wireless headphones with long battery life.

Two acceleration sensors and a proximity sensor in your headphones detect whether you’re actually wearing the headphones. Based on the readings, they adjust the playback. This helps in saving the battery.  Once you remove your headphones, they automatically pause the music and resume it when you wear them again. Now, isn’t that wonderful?

Noise Cancelation

Whether you’re traveling on a noisy flight or watching a podcast in a crowded restaurant, the WH-1000XM4 headphones deliver excellent noise cancelation performance, by eliminating  the high- and mid-frequency sounds. Thanks to  the Dual Noise Sensor Technology.  

The headphones also comprise two microphones on each ear cup that enables them to capture noise and further send the data further to the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1. Using a unique algorithm, the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 then applies noise-canceling processing in real time, to a range of environments.  

The headphones also comprise a Bluetooth® Audio SoC (System on Chip) that enables them to sense and adjust to musical and noise signals coming from different directions. 

Optimized Noise Canceling

The Sony WH1000XM4 Headphones use two different types of technologies  to maximize the noise-canceling performance. One is the Personal Noise-Canceling Optimizer, which enables you to customize your comfort and the desired level of optimization per your requirements. The second one is Atmospheric-Pressure Optimizing, which is unique because it can judge the atmospheric pressure usually in air travel or ship bottom and adjust it to normal.

Ambient Sound Control 

You can also connect yourSony WH1000XM4 Headphones to the Sony|Headphones Connect app to easily adjust the ambient sound using controls and cancel noise while still allowing the sounds you’d like to hear, such as announcements, alerts, and more, when you’re using these headphones traveling or in a crowded place n.   This Ambient control function provides you with  20 levels or points for reducing the noise level. Isn’t that amazing?

Adaptive Sound Control

The adaptive sound control (in the previous section, we talked about the Ambient Sound Control; don’t get confused between the two as they sound pretty similar)  is also a smart function in the Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones. It senses your actions and location, and adjusts the ambient sound settings accordingly,  for an ideal listening experience.

Over a period , the adaptive sound control feature learns to recognize locations that you frequently visit, such as your home, workplace, gym, running path, workout areas, or even your favorite cafes and restaurants. Therefore, no matter where you go, the auto controls customize the sound per your surroundings..  After using these headphones for almost a month we realized how well this feature works. Trust us, it’s not just a claim.

Wireless Connectivity

Compared to the usual Bluetooth audio the LDAC used in the Sony WH1000XM4 Headphones transmits approximately three times more data (@ of 990 kbps). This  allows you to enjoy high-resolution audio of exceptional quality.  

The sound quality is as good as that of a  pair of wired headphones, which is a major leap in wireless use for sound. If you are watching a video, the lip syncs are perfectly timed.

Sound Quality

Sound Quality of the Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM4 review is incomplete without talking about the sound quality of these headphones. The HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 comprises a built-in analog amplifier.  It enables a signal-to-noise ratio with perfectly s low distortion and excellent sound quality for a device that is wireless and portable.  

These headphones comprise 40 mm headphone drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms. This makes them perfect for heavy bass and acoustics. Not only this but these headphones  can also reproduce a complete range of frequencies up to 40 kHz. 

Supported File Formats

The Sony WH1000XM4 Headphones can restore and upscale all forms of compressed music files, such as Edge-AI (Artificial Intelligence), DSEE Extreme™ (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine),and more, in real time.    They easily recognize different instruments, music arrangements and musical genres.  You can hear every element of each song as vocals or interludes.  

Superior Surround Sound

It all may sound too technical but to realize the worth of these headphones, you can also conduct some of the tests that we conducted.   For instance, we selected some of the creepiest horror movies for their freaky sound effects more than visual horror.   The superior 360-degree surround sound literally gave us goosebumps and we aborted the test midway, nodding, and giving these headphones a 10/10 for sound quality.   

Perfect for an Array of Genres

The pleasant test was music from symphony to rock, soft Rock to acoustic, folk to modern, and more. Overall, it was a superior experience and it made a world of difference. With our eyes closed, we were drawn right in there, in the middle of the orchestra, hearing each musical instrument playing in its place. An experience beyond expression.  The sound was clear. The bass was too perfect.  It’s rare to get this experience on a pair of wireless headphones.

Call Quality and Convenience

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones make the most of multiple smart technologies to provide you with a smooth and seamless hands-free listening experience.  As soon as you make or receive a call, the Speak-to-Chat feature automatically stops the music or sound and allows ambient sound so you can continue your conversation. We found this feature to be quite handy if you want to keep your headphones on or your hands are full.   

Moreover, the Precise Voice Pickup Technology; another smart feature, uses five microphones built into your headphones and advanced audio signal processing to identify and react to your voice. Once your conversation is over, the r music starts playing again, automatically.  Now, isn’t that wonderful?  We recommend the Speak-to Chat feature for everyday use.

Touch Controls

Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones Touch Controls

Despite the auto settings through the app and the auto adjust feature on your smartphone, if you find yourself in a situation  where you want to listen to something going on around you when you’re talking to someone just place your hand over the right housing to instantly turn your music volume down and allow ambient sound to enter.  
You don’t need to remove your headphones or change the app setting and all.  

You can easily change the track, turn the volume up or down, and take or make calls just by tapping or swiping the right panel.  We really found this function very practical and useful because most people always complain about the inconvenient placement of the volume up and down button. Instead of simply lowering the volume, you end up changing tracks. Now that issue is a thing of the past with the Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones. 

Voice Assistants

Using the Google Voice Assist feature, which works on Android version 5.0 and above or iphone /ipod touch,you can enjoy many of the Assist functionalities. All you need to know is install the Google Assist app and use the headphones’ microphone with the necessary settings.  You can sail through the day just by asking your assistant to play your favorite music tracks, connect you with friends, seek information, listen to notifications, set reminders and much more.    

Final Thoughts

After close to a month of the Sony WH-1000XM4 review, the verdict is that they are no doubt the simplest looking yet highly sophisticated headphones on the market now. They’re also one of the best headphones for sleeping. Considering the price tag, it is worth a buy if you are interested in all its unique abilities.  As a music buff,  if we are to give star rating, it could go 5 plus. We highly recommend these headphones for all kinds of users. A once in all sound experience.