Earlier this year the Sony WH-1000XM4 leaked, which got us excited as the older edition is praised by many as one of the best Bluetooth headphones available.
Finally, Soný’s latest noise cancelling headphones have launched, but how do they improve over the WH-1000XM3 and do they take the #1 spot?
If you’re familiar with the previous version, the Sony WH-1000XM4 looks similar but with a few improvements made. They are available in both black or silver and use hard plastic.
The headband is made of pleather. The pads are definitely softer and larger before, which is something those with large ears / heads will appreciate. They feel more durable this time around.
Like most noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones, there’s a power (and pairing) button on the left cup and touch-sensitive controls on the right. Overall the design of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is minimal, but we think it looks great and prefer headphones that aren’t flashy.
Performance & Battery
Sony uses the same 40mm drivers in the WH-1000XM4 as its predecessor, which means that the sound quality will be similar. However, they’ve implemented new technologies to take things a step further. In a busy office these did a fantastic job at cancelling at noisy, external sounds.
We tried and tested them with several music genres (electronic music, metal, hip-hop) and these headphones excelled. However, they performed very similar to the previous model. In calls, they performed average, however that’s not our main use for them.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 also has great battery life. I used it at 3 or 4 hour intervals without an issue. In total, it clocked about 30 hours (with ANC), which is 4 or 5 days of work. They are really easy to charge too (with the included USB-C cable) – 5 to 10 minutes in the shower gives you about 5 hours of battery!
There’s very little not to like about Soný’s latest noise cancelling headphones. I used the previous model day-to-day, and the successor will definitely be filling its shoes. If you’re looking for a pair of new noise cancelling headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a great choice. The only other option we can recommend in this price range is the Bose NC 700, but Sony is our our personal pick.
It it worth the upgrade if you own the WH-1000XM3? If they are not in perfect condition, and you want a better version of headphones you already love, then it’s definitely worth the investment. Plus, you can still sell your old cans or gift them to a loved one.