After many, many months of speculation, the wait is over. Sony has officially announced the WH-1000XM4 wireless over-ears
Sony claim that the WH-1000XM4 (£350) are their best noise-cancellers ever (of course they would). But credence is leant to that claim with a number of improvements, some small with others taking place beneath the headphones’ exterior.
With the press announcement on YouTube, read on for everything you need to know about Sony’s 4th gen wireless ANC over-ears.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 will go on sale for approximately £350 (€389 in Ireland) later in August. Expect to see the headphones pop up in retail stores and online over the next few weeks.
The pricing corroborates many pre-release leaks, which all suggested the XM4 would be priced in line with previous generations. You can currently get the WH-1000XM3 for around £250, and expect those headphones to sell out as the XM4 takes prime position in Sony’s noise-cancelling lineup.
In terms of design the WH-1000XM4 is more evolution rather revolution. A case of it ain’t broke, make it subtly better.
That means the XM4 virtually look identical to the previous version and come in black and platinum silver finishes. The surface changes we can spot are the NFC logo being less noticeable and the are where it says ‘WH-1000XM4’ on the headband being more in line with texture and feel of the rest of the headband. Though the headband looks quite similar to our eyes, according to Sony the structure of it has been changed to ease pressure on the head.
The WH-1000XM4 earpads are softer and more pliable than the XM3, with Sony asserting that the earpads relieve and evenly distribute pressure to increase the contact surface for a stable fit and seal. The NC/Ambient button has been renamed the ‘Custom’ button, and inside the earcups you’ll spot a little square which is for wear detection, automatically stopping/starting playback when worn.
Related: Best wireless headphones
The WH-1000XM4 boast a number of new features and improvements, with the onus on boosting the intelligence of 1000XM4.
The DSEE HX of the XM3 has been upgraded to the DSEE Extreme engine. Developed with help from Sony Music Studios Tokyo, the new engine uses Edge-AI to upscale digital tracks in real time, recognising the instrumentation, genre and aspects of the track to restore high range sounds lost through compression.
The headphones make use of a new Bluetooth Audio SoC (System on Chip), which senses and adjusts music and noise at over 700 times per second. The HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 remains intact, using two microphones on each earcup to suppress noise and a new algorithm that applies noise cancelling processor in real time which, if we understand it correctly, should manifest in a more adaptable experience to your surroundings.
Related: Best noise-cancelling headphones
The headphones can connect to two devices at once with the Multi-point feature, so the user can switch from one device to another without disconnecting. While the headphones currently support a number of OS and platforms for this feature, an update is arriving within the week to extend it further.
The new ‘intelligent’ features Speak to Chat learns your voice so it can immediately detect when you’re speaking and pause music without you having to take the headphones off. Music will be resumed a short time after you stop speaking (and the time can be adjusted in the app).
Other smart features include Adaptive Smart Control. Activate the location settings in the Headphones Connect app, and over time the Adaptive Smart Control will learn the locations you regularly visit and tailor the sound to suit the location. You can set up frequently visited locations manually in the app.
The Precise Voice Pickup feature uses the built-in microphones to pick up your voice in a clear and precise manner for hands-free calls. Quick Attention Mode is retained which allows the wearer to hold up their hands to the right earcup to let sounds through. There is no support for aptX or aptX-HD, with Sony seeing more potential in its LDAC codec for Bluetooth high-res audio support. Other codecs include SBC and AAC.
The new Custom button can be tailored to particularly settings, but default use will be for voice assistants and in this case both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are supported. Battery life is the same at 30 hours and with noise cancellation turned off its 38 hours of listening. Quick charging is supported through the USB-C connection, with five hours possible from a ten minute charge.
Bluetooth is 5.0, and Google’s Fast Pair functionality is available for quick connection to Android devices. Like a number of Sony’s recent audio products, the WH-1000XM4 support the 360 Reality Audio that customises immersive audio to your ear size and shape.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 are available later in August for £350/€389 in Ireland.
The post Sony WH-1000XM4 ANC over-ears officially announced appeared first on Trusted Reviews.