We’ve been here before and been left wanting, but it would seem we won’t have to wait long for the Sony WH-1000XM4: signs point to an early August announcement.
Since December 2019 there’s been quite the number of leaks regarding the latest Sony headphones. From premature listings on several retailer websites across the world, a listing on the FCC and a video of the headphones that – either Sony hasn’t noticed or aren’t bothered by – reviews what appears to be the WH-1000XM4 and the app.
The latest comes directly from Sony itself, with Sony Brazil teasing an Instagram story for a pair of headphones with a caption that roughly translates as: the future of audio is here. Sony Japan has also teased a page, with August 7th as the date for a reveal.
It seems that the Sony WH-1000XM4 are almost here. Here’s everything you need to know.
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When will the Sony WH-1000XM4 be released?
The latest rumour points to an August announcement for the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones, with August 7th thought to be the day. Once announced the release will likely roll out across the world into September.
The online community was first tipped off to an announcement via Instagram story from Sony Brazil which teased a pair of headphones. The tagline, roughly translated, was the future of audio is here.
The biggest and clearest sign is a page on Sony Japan’s website. It has a date for Friday the 7th of August, 9am (that would be early morning UK time) and the words “Wait 4 something exciting”. We’ll eat our hats if that’s not a clear reference to the WH-1000XM4.
We had thought that IFA might be the place for an unveiling as Sony tends to announce its headphones there. But it would appear that Sony is not attending the event this year, holding events either online or elsewhere from what we know.
Online leaks in late May and early June, including the Dell Canada website listing a shipping date of June 23rd, 2020, indicated an early summer release for the Sony WH-1000XM4. That date proved to be a false dawn.
Official documents from Sony Belgium/Netherlands confirmed trials to be held during the summer. The document, titled ‘SBNL AUDIO Trial Models Summer’, had the XM4 listed on it. Perhaps with the Sony Japan website teaser, those trials are now completed.
How much will the Sony WH-1000XM4 cost?
The prices all appear to be similar to previous versions, and Quandt’s tweet is corroborated by previous evidence with Best Buy US uploading a product listing with a $349.99 price (subsequently taken down). Dell Canada jumped the gun with an initial price of $449.99 CAD before raising it to $499.99 CAD. Converted into Pound Sterling, that would put the headphones closer to £300.
The headphones have also appeared on Walmart US, Polish retailer X-kom and Czech Republic online retailer elvia pro. All sites indicated the WH-1000XM4’s price is in in line with its predecessors.
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What design and features will the Sony XM4 have?
Taken from the various leaks, the WH-1000XM4’s design appears to be evolution rather revolution.
Everton Favretto first spotted them on an Anatel listing, which is Brazil’s FCC. You could almost mistake them for being another pair of WH-1000XM3. The colour scheme is similar, so are the physical buttons and the profile is the same. Perhaps it’s just our eyes, but the ear cushions do appear to be bigger. From the looks of this video, the headband has a few slight aesthetic changes, and appears to be a bit bendier for improved comfort and fit.
The Anatel listing came with an unfinished instruction manual. The manual indicates the headphones’ specification has been improved.
The headphones can connect to two devices at once with the Multi-point feature. You can switch from one device to another without disconnecting. Edge AI is a new feature co-developed with Sony Music, and allows the DSEE Extreme engine to upscale digital tracks in real time, recognising the instrumentation, genre and aspects of the track and filling in the data lost through compression.
Speak to Chat appears able to detect when you’re speaking and focus in on your voice, reducing ambient sounds for a specific amount of time for added clarity. There’s new Precise Voice Pickup feature, which uses the five built-in microphones to pick up your voice in a clear and precise manner for hands-free calls.
There’s a new Custom button, presumably for setting ANC levels. Battery life appears to be same as previous versions, with up to 30 hours. If used passively (i.e. with cables) with ANC at max levels, there’s a modest improvement from 36 hours to 40. A quick 10 minute charge offering up to five hours of playtime. Bluetooth will be 5.0, and power consumption will be less, down from 8W to 2W.
Keep an eye on August 7th, as signs point to that being the day that Sony reveals the new WH-1000XM4
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