Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

by Alex Chang
Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones have been highly anticipated by audiophiles and tech enthusiasts alike. With the success of its predecessor, the WF-1000XM3, the bar has been set high for these new earbuds. Sony has promised improvements in noise cancellation, sound quality, and design, making the WF-1000XM4 a top contender in the wireless earbud market. In this review, we will take a deep dive into the features, performance, and overall experience of the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones.

Sony WF-1000XM4 product information:

Short video review

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Exceptional Sound Quality and Advanced Noise Cancellation
Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Exceptional Sound Quality and Advanced Noise Cancellation

History

Sony Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate founded in 1946, is well-known for producing a wide range of electronic devices, including audio equipment, gaming consoles, and cameras. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is one of the company’s true wireless earbuds models, offering an impressive blend of sound quality, active noise cancellation, and design. Here’s a brief history of the origin and creation of these headphones:

  1. Sony’s Audio Legacy: Sony has a rich history in the audio industry, with the introduction of the Walkman in 1979 revolutionizing the way people listened to music on-the-go. Over the years, Sony has continued to innovate and develop various audio products, including headphones, speakers, and home theater systems.
  2. Entry into Wireless Earbuds: As wireless earbuds started gaining popularity, Sony entered the market by developing its own line of wireless earbuds to cater to the growing demand. The company focused on creating products with great sound quality, comfort, and innovative features.
  3. The Sony WF-1000X Series: In 2017, Sony introduced the WF-1000X, the first model in its true wireless earbuds series. These earbuds featured active noise cancellation (ANC) and were designed to provide a great listening experience without the hassle of wires. The WF-1000X was followed by the WF-SP700N, a sports-focused model with IPX4 water resistance.
  4. Sony WF-1000XM3: In July 2019, Sony released the WF-1000XM3, building upon the success of the previous models. These earbuds featured improved ANC performance, better sound quality, and a more comfortable design. They also included a new QN1e noise-canceling chip and offered up to 24 hours of battery life with the charging case. The WF-1000XM3 received widespread acclaim for its exceptional noise-canceling capabilities and audio quality, establishing Sony as a strong contender in the true wireless earbuds market.
  5. Sony WF-1000XM4: In June 2021, Sony unveiled the WF-1000XM4, the latest model in the 1000X series. The WF-1000XM4 featured a more compact design, improved ANC performance, and better battery life compared to its predecessor. The earbuds incorporated a new V1 integrated processor, LDAC support for high-resolution audio, and DSEE Extreme upscaling technology. They also included a new bone conduction sensor for clearer voice pickup during calls, IPX4 water resistance, and support for 360 Reality Audio. The WF-1000XM4 quickly gained praise for its outstanding sound quality and noise cancellation, further solidifying Sony’s position in the premium true wireless earbuds market.
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The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a testament to the company’s dedication to innovation and quality in the audio market. By building on the success of previous models and incorporating advanced features like industry-leading ANC, Sony has created true wireless earbuds that offer a superb listening experience, setting a high standard for competitors in the market.

Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4

Specification

SpecificationDetails
Year of manufacture2021
CompanySony
Official websitehttps://www.sony.com/
Fit TypeIn-ear
Item Dimensions1.18 x 0.98 x 0.83 inches (earbuds)
Item Weight0.3 ounces (earbuds)
Special FeaturesActive noise cancellation, 360 Reality Audio, Speak-to-Chat, Adaptive Sound Control, customizable touch controls, wearing detection, voice assistant
Driver size6mm
Frequency response20Hz – 20,000Hz
Impedance16 ohms (at 1kHz)
Bluetooth version5.2
Bluetooth rangeUp to 30ft
ANC modesFull ANC, Ambient Sound, Off
Audio codecLDAC, AAC, SBC
Battery lifeUp to 8 hours (with ANC on), up to 12 hours (with ANC off)
Charging timeApprox. 1.5 hours (earbuds), approx. 3.5 hours (charging case)
Quick charging5 minutes for 60 minutes of playback
ControlsTouch controls on earbuds
Price$279.99 USD

What is included in the delivery set?

The delivery set of the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones includes the following items:

  1. Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds (left and right)
  2. Charging case
  3. USB Type-C cable for charging
  4. Ear tips (in sizes SS, S, M, L, and LL)
  5. User manual
  6. Warranty card

Note that the exact contents may vary depending on the region and retailer.

What about design, materials, assembly?

The Sony WF 1000XM4 headphones feature a sleek and modern design with a compact and lightweight profile. The earbuds are made of high-quality plastic material with a matte finish that provides a comfortable and secure fit. The earbuds feature a slightly elongated design with an angled nozzle that fits comfortably in the ear canal.

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The charging case is also made of high-quality plastic material and features a matte finish that matches the earbuds. It has a smooth opening and closing mechanism and a compact size that makes it easy to carry in a pocket or bag. The case also features a USB Type-C port for charging and an LED light that indicates the battery level of the case and earbuds.

The assembly of the Sony WF 1000XM4 earbuds appears to be well-made and sturdy. The earbuds and charging case fit together snugly and securely, and the buttons and touch controls on the earbuds feel responsive and intuitive. Overall, the design, materials, and assembly of the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones are of high quality and contribute to a premium look and feel.

What about ergonomics and usability Sony WF-1000XM4?

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones have been designed with ergonomics and usability in mind. The earbuds come with multiple sizes of ear tips to ensure a comfortable and secure fit for different ear sizes and shapes. The earbuds also have a slightly angled design that fits comfortably in the ear canal, reducing fatigue and ensuring a stable fit even during long listening sessions.

In terms of usability, the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones offer a variety of controls that are intuitive and easy to use. The earbuds feature touch controls that can be customized through the Sony Headphones Connect app, allowing users to adjust the controls to suit their preferences. The earbuds also feature a wearing detection sensor that automatically pauses the music when the earbuds are removed, and resumes playback when they are put back in.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones also feature a variety of advanced features that contribute to their usability. The earbuds feature active noise cancellation that can be adjusted to three different modes (Full ANC, Ambient Sound, and Off), allowing users to choose the level of noise cancellation that is best for their environment. The headphones also feature Speak-to-Chat, a feature that automatically pauses the music and allows ambient sound in when the user speaks, making it easy to have a conversation without having to remove the earbuds.

Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones offer excellent ergonomics and usability, with a comfortable and secure fit and a variety of intuitive controls and advanced features.

What about connection, control and software?

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones feature Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, providing a stable and reliable connection with compatible devices. The headphones also support a variety of audio codecs, including LDAC, AAC, and SBC, allowing for high-quality audio streaming.

The earbuds can be controlled using touch controls on the earbud surface, which can be customized through the Sony Headphones Connect app. The touch controls allow users to perform various functions, including adjusting volume, skipping tracks, answering calls, and activating voice assistant.

The Sony Headphones Connect app also provides additional control options and customization features, allowing users to adjust the noise cancellation level, activate the Speak-to-Chat feature, and adjust the equalizer settings to suit their preferences.

In addition, the app provides access to firmware updates, ensuring that the headphones are always up to date with the latest features and improvements.

Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones provide a seamless and intuitive connection and control experience, with stable Bluetooth connectivity, customizable touch controls, and a feature-rich app that provides additional control and customization options.

How’s the sound quality?

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones deliver exceptional sound quality, with a balanced and detailed sound signature that provides a premium listening experience.

The headphones feature 6mm drivers that deliver a wide frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, allowing for accurate and detailed reproduction of audio across the entire frequency spectrum.

The headphones also feature advanced noise cancellation technology that effectively blocks out external noise, allowing users to focus on their music without any distractions. The noise cancellation can be adjusted to three different modes, providing users with the flexibility to choose the level of noise cancellation that is best suited for their environment.

Additionally, the headphones feature support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, a spatial audio technology that provides a more immersive and realistic listening experience. This technology uses advanced audio processing to create a 3D audio space, placing each sound element in a specific location around the listener.

Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones deliver outstanding sound quality, with a detailed and balanced sound signature and advanced noise cancellation and spatial audio technologies that enhance the listening experience.

What about the energy efficiency and battery life?

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones are designed to be energy-efficient, with a variety of features that help to extend battery life.

The earbuds themselves have a battery life of up to 8 hours with noise cancellation turned on, and up to 12 hours with noise cancellation turned off. The charging case provides an additional 16 hours of battery life, for a total of up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge.

The headphones also feature quick charging, with 5 minutes of charging providing up to 60 minutes of playback time.

The headphones use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which helps to conserve battery life by reducing power consumption when the headphones are not in use. The headphones also feature a proximity sensor that automatically powers off the earbuds when they are not in use, further conserving battery life.

Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones provide excellent energy efficiency and battery life, with a long-lasting battery and a variety of features that help to conserve power and extend battery life.

Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4

Comparison & Review:

What are similar headphones in features and cost?

Here are 5 similar headphones to the Sony WF-1000XM4 in terms of features and cost:

  1. Apple AirPods Pro – These wireless earbuds from Apple feature active noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, and a wireless charging case. They have a battery life of up to 4.5 hours with noise cancellation turned on and up to 24 hours with the charging case. They are priced at $249 USD.
  2. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – These earbuds from Bose feature active noise cancellation, a comfortable and secure fit, and customizable touch controls. They have a battery life of up to 6 hours with noise cancellation turned on and up to 18 hours with the charging case. They are priced at $279 USD.
  3. Jabra Elite 85t – These earbuds from Jabra feature active noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, and a comfortable and secure fit. They have a battery life of up to 5.5 hours with noise cancellation turned on and up to 25 hours with the charging case. They are priced at $229 USD.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro – These wireless earbuds from Samsung feature active noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, and a wireless charging case. They have a battery life of up to 5 hours with noise cancellation turned on and up to 18 hours with the charging case. They are priced at $199 USD.
  5. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 – These earbuds from Sennheiser feature active noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, and a comfortable and secure fit. They have a battery life of up to 7 hours with noise cancellation turned on and up to 28 hours with the charging case. They are priced at $299 USD.

Compare with similar items

SpecificationSony WF-1000XM4Bose QuietComfort EarbudsJabra Elite 85t
Year of manufacture202120202020
CompanySonyBoseJabra
Official websitehttps://www.sony.com/https://www.bose.com/https://www.jabra.com/
Fit TypeIn-earIn-earIn-ear
Item Dimensions1.18 x 0.98 x 0.83 inches (earbuds)1.54 x 1.02 x 0.87 inches (earbuds)0.94 x 0.76 x 0.98 inches (earbuds)
Item Weight0.3 ounces (earbuds)0.3 ounces (earbuds)0.25 ounces (earbuds)
Special FeaturesActive noise cancellation, 360 Reality Audio, Speak-to-Chat, Adaptive Sound Control, customizable touch controls, wearing detection, voice assistantActive noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, StayHear Max tips, wireless charging caseActive noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, HearThrough mode, MySound personalization, wireless charging case
Driver size6mmN/A12mm
Frequency response20Hz – 20,000Hz20Hz – 20,000Hz20Hz – 20,000Hz
Impedance16 ohms (at 1kHz)N/AN/A
Bluetooth version5.25.15.1
Bluetooth rangeUp to 30ftN/AN/A
ANC modesFull ANC, Ambient Sound, OffFull ANC, Transparency mode, OffANC, HearThrough mode, Off
Audio codecLDAC, AAC, SBCSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Battery lifeUp to 8 hours (with ANC on), up to 12 hours (with ANC off)Up to 6 hours (with ANC on), up to 18 hours (with charging case)Up to 5.5 hours (with ANC on), up to 25 hours (with charging case)
Charging timeApprox. 1.5 hours (earbuds), approx. 3.5 hours (charging case)2 hours (earbuds), 3 hours (charging case)1 hour and 40 minutes (earbuds), 3 hours (charging case)
Quick charging5 minutes for 60 minutes of playback15 minutes for 2 hours of playback15 minutes for 1 hour of playback
ControlsTouch controls on earbudsTouch controls on earbudsTouch controls on earbuds
Price$279.99 USD$279 USD$229 USD

How do Sony WF-1000XM4 users describe their experience with these headphones? 

Users of the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones generally report a very positive experience with these earbuds. Here are some common themes that have emerged in user reviews:

  1. Sound quality: Many users praise the sound quality of the Sony WF-1000XM4, describing it as clear, detailed, and well-balanced across the entire frequency range. Users also appreciate the active noise cancellation technology, which effectively blocks out external noise and enhances the listening experience.
  2. Comfort and fit: Several users report that the earbuds are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, with a secure fit that stays in place during exercise and other physical activity. Users appreciate the multiple sizes of ear tips that come with the earbuds, which allow for a customized fit that suits their individual needs.
  3. Battery life: Many users report that the battery life of the Sony WF-1000XM4 is impressive, with enough charge to last for several hours of listening time. Users also appreciate the quick charging feature, which allows them to get a quick boost of power when they need it.
  4. App and controls: Users generally report that the Sony Headphones Connect app is easy to use and provides a variety of useful features, including noise cancellation adjustment, touch control customization, and firmware updates. Users also appreciate the touch controls on the earbuds, which allow them to perform various functions without having to pull out their phone.

Overall, users of the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones seem to be highly satisfied with their experience, praising the sound quality, comfort, battery life, and app/controls.

Pros and cons of headphones Sony WF-1000XM4

ProsCons
Exceptional sound qualityExpensive
Advanced noise cancellation technologyNot water-resistant
Comfortable and secure fitNo wireless charging
Long battery life with quick chargingNo support for multi-device pairing
Touch controls and voice assistant supportLimited app functionality
Spatial audio support with 360 Reality AudioCan be tricky to fit into charging case
Modern and sleek designLimited color options
Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4

Conclusions

The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones are a premium pair of truly wireless earbuds that deliver exceptional sound quality, advanced noise cancellation, and a variety of intuitive features and controls. They feature a sleek and modern design, a comfortable and secure fit, and a long-lasting battery life with quick charging capabilities. The headphones also offer support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, a spatial audio technology that provides a more immersive listening experience. Users have generally reported a highly positive experience with these earbuds, praising the sound quality, comfort, battery life, and app/controls.

Our Review

Sony WF-1000XM4 Basic questions, basic answers:

  • Is the Sony WF-1000XM4 worth it?

    Yes 🙂

  • Can I shower with my Sony WF-1000XM4?

    No, it is not recommended to shower with the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones or expose them to water or moisture. The headphones are not waterproof or water-resistant and can be damaged if they come into contact with water. It is best to keep the headphones dry and avoid using them in environments where they may be exposed to water or moisture.

  • Are Sony WF-1000XM4 good for running?

    The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones are a great choice for running due to their secure and comfortable fit, as well as their advanced noise cancellation technology. The earbuds come with multiple sizes of ear tips to ensure a snug and secure fit, and they are lightweight and ergonomic, making them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
    Additionally, the headphones feature advanced noise cancellation technology that effectively blocks out external noise, allowing runners to focus on their music without any distractions. This can be especially helpful in noisy environments or busy outdoor areas.
    Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones are a great choice for runners who want a secure and comfortable fit, as well as advanced noise cancellation technology to enhance their workout experience.

Last Updated on November 20, 2023

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3 comments

MusicMan92 April 14, 2023 - 4:30 am

I’ve been using the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones for a few weeks now and they’re easily the best earbuds I’ve ever owned. The sound quality is amazing and the noise cancellation technology really makes a difference.

Reply
TechJunkie007 June 7, 2023 - 3:19 am

As a tech enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest gadgets. These headphones definitely do not disappoint – they’re sleek, comfortable, and offer amazing sound quality.

Reply
TravelBug85 September 13, 2023 - 4:29 am

I’ve used these headphones on several long-haul flights and they’re a game-changer. The noise cancellation technology really blocks out the airplane noise and the battery life is long enough to last for the entire flight.

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