Getting a decent pair of wireless earphones is a tough choice to make in today’s tech-saturated climate. You have the big guys like Bose and Apple and the little guys like Soundcore and Honor doing similar things to grab a piece of the market share. So how do you stand out?
Enter the Sony WF – 1000XM4. A worthy successor. Sony went hard on the anvil with this pair to improve on the WF-1000XM3 which was already an ANC force to reckon with. They might have been bulky to carry around as part of your EDC, but they did not compromise on quality even one bit. So logically, the next step is to make it better, obviously.
With the WF-1000XM4, those bulky frustrations have been considerably reduced. They’re definitely smaller than before and have a smaller charging case too with better battery life. They fit your ears way more discreetly and have been sonically turbocharged to blast your ears with beautiful sound.
Sony WF-1000XM4 – Design
In 2019, Sony knew that the current earphones were big and bulky and made it look like you were carrying a Coke can in your pocket (mild exaggeration). So they went back to their boffins and said these are great, but can you make them 40% smaller?
Not only did they make the buds smaller, but they also made the carrying case proportionately smaller as well and environmentally friendly to boot thanks to a new recycled material made from a special blend of paper.
Design wise, the buds come with an all-new design, more rounded and with a shape that sits more comfortably in your ear. The matte work on the buds makes them feel more premium and they’re also IPX4 rated, meaning they are now sweat and water resistant, adding a new workout buddy.
The new tips are a welcome change as well and are made from a new material the kids are calling polyurethane. They help bring the whole package together in your ear and sit nice and snug as a bug.
Sony WF-1000XM4 – Features
As for features, we obviously expected an improvement over the predecessor, and these delivered as promised. Sony fused these earbuds with its latest Integrated Processor V1 and DSEE Extreme audio processor to boost power in both sound and its ANC capabilities. The result is mind-blowingly ear pleasing, bringing the earbuds within close range in terms of performance with their over-ear sibling.
As of now the ANC is the best I’ve tested and easily beats the Bose and the Apple counterparts. If you need even more in-depth customization, the Sony Headphones App helps. You can do a sound leakage test, tweak audio settings, play with Sony’s upscaling and goodies like the AI-powered EQ, and of course control the ANC.
The buds themselves are touch sensitive and have controls on each side. Varied gestures on either side control the ANC, handle calls, toggle the smartphone voice assistant of choice and assist in playback. There’s also the Speak-to-Chat feature, which automatically turns on transparency mode when you start speaking, but this can be turned on or off depending on user preference.
Battery life is greatly improved even though the size has reduced. You now get up to eight hours of play from the earbuds, and the case can gives you an additional 16 hours of charge.
Sony WF-1000XM4 – Sound
If there’s one thing I can depend on when it comes to Sony, its their quality of audio playback. As usual this new entry continues to amaze me. The level of display on the quality of bass and clarity on lower frequencies is phenomenal.
Bass heavy audio from Massive Attack or James Blake wowed me with nice cushy and slabby bass. Simon and Garfunkel serenade you with ease and crystal clear sound as if they were right there. They’re great for handling any kind of music you send their way thanks to their expansive sound profiles.
Sony WF-1000XM4 – Endgame
If you’re looking for some insanely good noise cancellation earphones with exceptional and competition beating sound, you just need to go and pick up a pair of the Sony. Combined with its new smaller size and improved battery life, they have definitely set the bar when it comes to present day wearables.
They’re ideal for shutting out the world when you need to and leave you satisfied with each listen. Ignorance is bliss and ANC earphones of this level only help you reach that kind of Nirvana.