Review: Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is an almost perfect headset for work, calling and listening to media content. My review is going to be very optimistic, but what can you do if this thing is worth it!

The fourth generation of Sony’s flagship wireless headset doesn’t bring much new to the table compared to the third generation. All the main changes are inside. The main features of the Sony WH-1000XM4 have not changed – the high price, the very comfortable design and the cool noise isolation system.

What’s included

What's included in Sony WH-1000XM4 box
What’s included in Sony WH-1000XM4 box

The headset comes with a hard protective case, a USB Type-C cable for charging, an adapter for wired airplane headset and a cable with mini-jack connectors.

Design and differences from the previous generation

Design scored

86%

Let’s start with the external differences – there are none. The third generation from the fourth generation visually indistinguishable, even the colors remain the same – beige and black. A slight difference can be found only by touch: the edge of the cups became a little rough, not as smooth as in WH-1000XM3, but on this, perhaps, all.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4 are full-size headset made of plastic. The build quality this time around was pleasing, because in the third generation there were numerous backlashes in the test sample. This is not the case here, although it may well be the case in a particular instance. Anyway, I have no complaints to the design and construction of the headset.

Everything is solid, the materials are pleasant both to your hands and to the skin on your head, nothing squeaks or wobbles. As for the design, it is pleasing to the eye and corresponds to the price, especially in the beige version that was tested.

Usability, control

Usability scored

90%

Just like the last generation, there are no questions about usability here. This is very comfortable headset that is pleasant to wear all day. In hot weather, the leatherette ear cushions may float a little, but not much. The headset hardly feels on your head, it doesn’t pinch or squeeze. Here we should thank the multiple degrees of freedom of the cups and the soft filling of the ear cushions.

Control scored

97%

As before, in the fourth generation the touch control of playback remained. It is implemented on the right cup. To switch tracks or change volume you just need to slide your fingers forward/backward or up/down respectively. To pause, just tap on the right cup.

Type-C port for charging
Type-C port for charging

The left one has no touch controls, it has the Type-C port for charging and a 3.5 mm mini-jack for wired connection. Nearby there are two buttons – power and a function key, the action of which can be configured in the headset application from Sony.

The application is worth talking about separately. In it you can adjust the noise cancelling power, optimize the sound of the headset for your ears, and manage additional functions, which will be discussed below.

Sony WH-1000XM4 features are the main thing that sets the headset apart from their predecessor.

In the third generation, when the noise cancelling system was on, if someone approached you, you had the option to cover the right cup with your palm and thus the noise canceller would be turned off and the surrounding sounds would be amplified.

The XM4 still has that option, but now you don’t even have to put your palm up – just talk. The headset can analyze the moments when you are talking and automatically stop playing audio and amplify other sounds.

And for quick connectivity there’s still NFC. By the way, another new feature is the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously. This allows you to switch instantly between your laptop and smartphone when a call comes in on the latter, for example. You’ll need the headsets app to make this function work.

Sound and noise cancellation Sony WH-1000XM4

Sound scored

96%

As far as sound quality is concerned, there is no change. It is a good, balanced sound that is suitable for different tasks.

noise cancellation Sony WH-1000XM4

Of the codecs supports SBC, AAC for owners of Apple devices and LDAC. Support for AptX and AptX-HD is not, which is strange, because previously it was. But, taking into account the sound quality and LDAC support, it can not be called a critical disadvantage.

Noise cancellation scored

99%

Now let’s talk about noise cancellation. It is simply excellent. You can not hear the sound of the train at all, when you’re sitting in the subway car. On the street it would even be dangerous, so you should slightly reduce the power of noise reduction and everything will be fine. But, in the office and transport – the headset has no equal.

I would like to give 10 of 10 for mic quality. This is the rare case when you can talk on the phone with wireless headset even on the street and you will not be interrogated. We have five microphones and an additional noise canceller for voice transmission.

Pros

  • comfortable design
  • noise cancelling system
  • autonomy
  • good sound
  • mic quality

Cons

  • No Apt-X/HD
  • price

Final word by Reyus

Final score

93.6%

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a no-compromise wireless headset with a great noise cancellation system and a bunch of nice features that enhance the user experience. Truth be told, that’s exactly what I’d like to see the third generation do, but that’s the way it is. If you want headset with good sound, more than 30 hours of battery life with noise cancelling enabled, and good speech transmission, the WH-1000XM4 has no competitors. Of course, you will have to pay for this set of features, but these headset is worth their price.

Reyus Mammadli

The Internet and new technology have become part of my life and I can avidly study new trends to keep up with what's new. I can also play games, work with videos, conduct business (and not so much) negotiations, where the headset is actively used. So I have a lot to tell you and a lot to recommend.

Headsets