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Sony WH-1000XM4 ANC Headphones Review: A Notch Above In Its Competition
Sony has finally brought the successor to its iconic WH-1000XM3 ANC headphones in India. Called the Sony WH-1000XM4, the latest pair is designed to carry forward the legacy of its predecessor redefining noise cancellation and audio experience. Not just the noise cancellation, the WH-1000XM4 brings several other improvements over its precursor.
- Lightweight and comfortable design
- Good audio and best-in-class noise cancellation
- Touch sensitive earcups and compatbility with Sony Headphone Connect App
- Fast charging over USB Type-C port
- No major change in design from previous-gen model
- No IPX certification
The headset has been announced via an online event. The pair has been announced at Rs. 29,999 and can be purchased online via Amazon. The company has packed the headset with various features for a premium user experience. But, is the new ANC headset worth all the hype? Let's find out in this review:
Sony WH-1000XM4: Design And Wearing Comfort
The Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn't bring any major design overhaul over its precursor. Both have almost identical form factor with minimal changes. You get large-sized earcups on the new pair with a rotatable design that makes them easily portable.
The company ships a hard case with the retail box so that you can carry them around easily. The headphones are feather-light and have got soft cushioning on both earcups as well as the headband. You can wear them for long durations without sweating.
The earcups come with touch-sensitive controls and also have two physical keys. There are a power key and the Ambient sound control key on the left along with the AUX-in port. There is also a sensor which is placed inside the left earcup. Its function is to detect the headphone is being removed or worn for auto music play/pause.
The USB Type-c port is housed on the right earcup. While the buttons are made up of plastic, they are swift to press. The gestures for media controls are similar to the previous generation. You can swipe up and down for audio, while a swipe left and right will change the tracks. Tap on the centre pauses the audio. Sony has kept the design basic yet it feels premium.
Sony WH-1000XM4: Features And Audio Performance
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is equipped with 1.57-inch dome-type neodymium drivers that deliver a frequency response range of 20Hz-20KHz and 105 dB sensitivity. The ANC headphones are equipped with the company's QN1 Noise Cancelling processor which delivers a clean output in all scenarios.
Sony's expertise in the audio tech is evident in the latest pair as well. This model offers nothing but refined audio which will be treated for audiophiles. The sound stage offered by this pair is spacious. You will be able to hear even the tiniest of the beat drop in the background.
While it doesn't have a super heavy bass, it has enough punch to suffice the bass heads. The output overall is balanced and even at the loudest audio levels, there is no muffling or distortion. Well, that's what you expect from premium headphones and Sony hasn't let us down anyhow. You will just love tuning in to your favorite jam.
The balance between the lows, mid, and the high is also on point. None of the aspects overpowers each other. What improves the listening experience here is the superior noise cancelling.
The ANC is definitely improved over the previous generation model. Background noises ate barely audible with the ANC on. Just for reference, you can use the ‘Custom' key on the left earcup for the same. The headphones come with voice-based digital assistant support as well, so you can do some additional tasks with voice commands.
Compatible With Headphones Connect App
The Sony WH-1000XM4 are compatible with the Headphone Connect app that further fine-tunes the settings and use the new features which this pair comes with. The ‘Speak-To-Chat' feature is one of them. If you recall, the previous model (WH-100XM3) has an option where the audio would turn down of place a palm over the earcup so that you can have a conversation without taking the headset off.
The new model is a step up and now you don't can simply start speaking and the headphones will automatically detect and lower down the audio so that you can speak. Apart from this, you can tune the equalizer and also setup 360-degree audio using this app.
Sony WH-1000XM4: Connectivity And Calling Experience
The Sony WH-1000XM4 uses Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. It is compatible with smartphones, tablets, and laptops. I even paired the headset with one of Android smart TVs and had no issues in using. In fact, the viewing experience just becomes immersive.
The headphones have multiple audio codec support which helps in lower energy loss (audio) during transmission. The headphones have a stable connection over a range of 10 meters and there is no lag or hiccup in the audio whatsoever. Besides the wireless connectivity, you can also use an AUX cable for wired connectivity.
Both the earcups have a built-in microphone, so calling experience is also good on these pair. The caller is able to hear our voices clearly and you don't have to shout out to be audible.
Sony WH-1000XM4: Battery Backup
The Sony WH-1000XM4 stores enough power to last more than a day on a single charge. The company hasn't specified the battery specifics; however, the pair lasts over 20 hours with ANC on and with the volume being played at around 60- 70 percent.
The headphones come with Quick Charge support and with a plugin of approx 10 minutes you get a back up of around five hours. This is quite useful while travelling. You won't have any complaints regarding the backup.
Sony WH-1000XM4: Worth The Hype?
Sony is the preferred name when it comes it premium audio products in India. The company's WH-1000XM series has been well-received by the audience. The latest offering might not have all the new looks, but the features and audio have improved over the last version.
The pair gives a refined listing experience, a superior noise cancelling, and is one of the best-sounding pairs in its segment. It wouldn't be wrong to say the Sony WH-1000XM4 leads in its class with audio and ANC.