Sony WF-1000XM4 overview: The one true AirPods killer


There’s not often a second to relaxation in your laurels within the wi-fi earbud recreation, lest you be caught by Apple. Valuable few units of premium earbuds can go toe-to-toe with the AirPods and are available out on the opposite facet. This time, we simply might need the one pair to rule all of them: Sony’s WF-1000XM4. Let’s discover out what makes them so particular in our Sony WF-1000XM4 overview.

This Sony WF-1000XM4 overview comes from the audio specialists at our sister web site SoundGuys. Try their in-depth tackle the Sony WF-1000XM4.

Who can purchase the Sony WF-1000XM4?

  • Health junkies with cash to burn will be capable to afford these, and sweat resistance means they’ll benefit from them.
  • Rich wi-fi fanatics can splash the money as properly, they usually might by no means take them again off once more.
  • Anybody searching for essentially the most superior earbuds round should a minimum of take into account the WF-1000XM4 for his or her distinctive high quality.

See additionally: Headphone shopping for information: A newbie’s information to all issues headphones

What’s it like to make use of the Sony WF-1000XM4?

You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a higher pair of true wi-fi earphones than the Sony WF-1000XM4, and the person expertise is nearly as good because it will get. The sound high quality, attenuation, and contact controls are all top-notch.

Sony opted for some recycled paper packaging on the WF-1000XM4, which is good to see. Inside that packaging, you’ll discover a charging case, three sizes of froth ear ideas, a USB-C charging cable, and the earbuds themselves. When you might stroll via all the documentation, the setup course of could be very easy, however it’s possible you’ll need to begin by downloading the Headphones Join app from the Play Retailer.

Like every good companion app, it comes with loads of software program goodies. You possibly can handle your controls, choose your most well-liked digital assistant, regulate your EQ, and lots extra.

When you get round to really utilizing your Sony WF-1000XM4, you’ll discover that they’re a lot smaller than the Sony WF-1000XM3. In consequence, they match significantly better in your ears. The capacitive contact controls make playback a breeze, and we will’t overlook concerning the helpful IPX4 score for sweat resistance.

Sony’s new V1 processor is much extra energy-efficient than in earlier generations, so noise-cancelling and premium playback gained’t drain your juice as rapidly anymore. You can even faucet into Qi wi-fi charging with the newly upgraded case — which additionally occurs to be a lot smaller than the earlier WF-1000XM3 case. Should you’d desire to remain wired, you possibly can flip to your trusty USB-C cable to get the job accomplished.

Take your time with the froth ideas

sony wf 1000xm4 review ear tip

We’re large followers of snug foam ear ideas, however they take a bit of little bit of warming up. You’ll get an awesome seal when you nail down your dimension, however you’ll need to squeeze the ideas for a number of seconds till you possibly can comfortably place them in your ears. After getting the earbuds in, maintain them regular till the froth can increase to suit your ear canal good.

Now you possibly can verify your match with the take a look at in Sony’s Headphones Join app. If it comes again and tells you that your seal is sweet, you then’re off to the races. If not, it is perhaps time to strive bigger or smaller ideas.

How do you management the earbuds?

When you get the Sony WF-1000XM4 in your ears, it’s time to get snug with the contact controls. To maintain life straightforward, we’ve put collectively a fast desk to get you began:

Proper Earbud Left Earbud
One faucet

Proper Earbud:

Play / Pause

Left Earbud:

Mute / ANC / Ambient sound

Two faucets

Proper Earbud:

Skip ahead / Reply name

Left Earbud:


Three faucets

Proper Earbud:

Skip backward

Left Earbud:


Lengthy press

Proper Earbud:

Activate good assistant

Left Earbud:


As you possibly can see, the best earbud is the star of the present. Should you desire to make use of your left earbud, you possibly can remap a few of the controls within the Headphones Join app. You can even take away one earbud out of your ear if you wish to rapidly pause music playback. To allow passthrough audio and listen to the skin world, a easy long-press will do.

See additionally: The most effective Sony headphones you should buy

How do you pair the Sony WF-1000XM4?

You gained’t discover a pairing button at house in your charging case, so the method might sound intimidating at first. Fortunately, you solely need to undergo the pairing steps the primary time you add a tool.

Take away your earbuds from the case and put them in your ears to get began. Then, maintain your fingers on each buds for about six seconds to activate pairing mode. It is best to hear a robotic voice declare that your Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones are in pairing mode. Now, choose your earbuds from the Bluetooth menu in your cellphone.

sony wf 1000xm4 review sony wf 1000xm3 size comparison scaled 1

After you’ve paired the primary time, the method is way simpler. Merely pop your earbuds out of the case and they’ll mechanically connect with a remembered machine — often your cellphone.

Not like most earphones in the marketplace in the present day, Sony packed its WF-1000XM4 with Bluetooth 5.2 capabilities. It’s way more thrilling than it sounds, since you ought to get higher battery life general offered that your cellphone helps Bluetooth 5.2 as properly. We don’t know for certain but, nevertheless it’s potential that the Sony WF-1000XM4 will assist all the necessary 5.2 codecs (which can properly embrace the anticipated LC3 codec). We’ll be sure you replace this if we get affirmation from Sony. Proper now, we do know that the earphones assist the SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs.

See additionally: Bluetooth Codecs 101: Every part that you must know

Are the Sony WF-1000XM4 waterproof?

sony wf 1000xm4 review hero

An IPX4 score means moisture like sweat and rain should not harm your earphones.

Though the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones aren’t waterproof, they do carry an IPX4 score in opposition to moisture. Basically, meaning you should utilize them to exercise and sweat as a lot as you please, however don’t take the earphones for a swim. An excessive amount of water will spell doom, and that’s not what you need if you happen to’re spending fairly this a lot.

How do the Sony WF-1000XM4 sound?

sony wf 1000xm4 frequency response chart

Chris Thomas / Android Authority

Our sister web site SoundGuys was capable of measure the brand new Sony WF-1000XM4 within the lab, and located the default sound has boosted bass and quieted treble.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 sound excellent, as needs to be anticipated at this worth level, however there are some quirks. Within the chart above, the pink line signifies the SoundGuys home curve, which it posits as the perfect frequency response, whereas the cyan line represents the Sony WF-1000XM4 response. You possibly can see how this deviates from our sister web site’s curve fairly a bit, significantly because it applies to treble notes.

Finally, which means it is perhaps more durable to listen to high-frequency sounds just like the detailed clang of repeated cymbal hits, a consequence of the amplified bass notes. Whereas this may occasionally not enchantment to audio purists, it’s a comparatively widespread consumer-oriented trait.

Sony’s default profile does really sound fairly good for older recordings that are inclined to underemphasize bass. Mentioning older tunes, the Sony WF-1000XM4 additionally packs Sony’s newest digital sound enhancement engine, often called DSEE Excessive. It basically upsamples your music, bringing older, lossy tracks nearer according to trendy expectations. Even if you happen to can’t take pleasure in the advantages of DSEE Excessive on increased bitrate tracks, you’ll be glad to know that Sony’s buds assist proprietary 360 Actuality Audio which helps to convey spatial audio to your favourite songs.

Learn how to EQ the Sony WF-1000XM4 frequency response

Total, we discovered that the sound profile is simple sufficient to repair with some easy changes to de-emphasize the mids and bass within the Headphones Join app. You possibly can merely open the equalizer part of the app and tinker to your coronary heart’s content material. These of you dead-set in opposition to tinkering may discover that you simply miss particulars right here and there relating to excessive notes.

How properly do the Sony WF-1000XM4 cancel noise?

sony wf 1000xm4 anc isoation chart

You might need guessed this from how a lot we discuss concerning the significance of a great seal, however the Sony WF-1000XM4 get high marks within the noise-cancelling division. Sony’s energetic noise-cancelling (ANC) is a few of the greatest within the enterprise, and the froth ear ideas make it simpler to suit nearly any ear. That good match contributes to the general isolation, which may help to dam out appears like conversations at work or in your commute.

Earlier than you even get round to cranking your ANC, the froth ideas have already began to do their job in opposition to informal sounds. Offered you get a great seal, the froth ought to lower avenue noise all the way down to one-quarter or half as loud as it could usually sound. When you do activate your ANC, it’s best to see most droning sounds round 50Hz or above drop to roughly one-sixteenth or one quarter as loud. It’s spectacular general, however maintain your expectations tempered: it might’t outcompete with the Sony WH-1000XM4.

See additionally: The most effective noise-cancelling true wi-fi earbuds

Should you’re undecided about completely blocking the skin world, you possibly can simply toggle your ANC with the left earbud. Maintain tapping till you hear a robotic voice announce “ambient sound” in your ear. Now it’s best to be capable to hear the setting a bit higher. You can even take a look at the “converse to talk” function, which acknowledges while you begin a dialog and mechanically allows audio passthrough.

Is the battery life any good?

sony wf 1000xm4 review case pairing

There’s no want for any reservations within the battery division, because the Sony WF-1000XM4 can handle nearly eight hours on a single cost. When you add in about two additional prices from the included case, you’re proper round 24 hours of whole playback. Should you solely hear whilst you commute, this needs to be greater than adequate to final you a whole week. It’s not one of the best battery life we’ve ever examined, however Sony did cram rather a lot right into a small package deal.

The USB-C/wi-fi charging case can quick cost the earbuds: simply 5 minutes within the case yields 60 minutes of playback. This can be a nice function for intercontinental flyers.

How does the Sony WF-1000XM4 microphone stack up?

Just like the battery life, Sony’s microphone is sweet however not glorious. We seen that it suffers a bit if you happen to’re utilizing the AAC codec. It really works properly for calls, although, and Sony added a helpful function that may differentiate between speech and background noise. It could possibly then enhance your audio whilst you’re in a name, even if you happen to don’t discover the change your self. In reality, that’s the entire level: Sony made its buds smarter with out making you are worried concerning the adjustments.

Try our pattern under to hear for your self:

Sony WF-1000XM4 overview: The decision

sony wf 1000xm4 review in case top

Should you can afford it, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are actually top-of-the-line pairs of wi-fi earbuds you should buy. These ‘buds have the audio chops we’ve come to anticipate from Sony, and the {hardware} will final a great very long time. You’ll need it to final so long as potential, too, because the $279 worth level is bound to eat up a great chunk of your headphone funds. Sure, it’s some huge cash, however one of the best issues in life typically come at a worth.

If you need one of the best true wi-fi earphones, the Sony WF-1000XM4 need to be within the dialogue.

You is perhaps anticipating Sony’s WF-1000XM4 to exchange the earlier WF-1000XM3, however you’ll be flawed. As an alternative, the older earbuds are actually extra inexpensive at $229. The newer WF-1000XM4 is a greater set of earphones throughout, however the older earbuds are tried and true and your pockets will thanks.

Learn on SoundGuysApple AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4

Now for the true query: must you seize the Sony WF-1000XM4 over a pair of Apple’s AirPods? Nicely, they price a stable $30 greater than the AirPods Professional, so it’s actually a tricky selection for Apple customers. The Sony earbuds cancel noise higher, they match higher, they usually provide a steadier connection than the AirPods Professional. Nonetheless, you gained’t need to tinker along with your AirPods to get the best sound profile. Apple customers might profit from the sleek integrations as properly because of the H1 chip, however the WF-1000XM4 nonetheless pack sufficient additional punch to justify the price distinction.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds in black against a white background.

Sony WF-1000XM4

Noise-cancelling earbuds with loads of software program options to set themselves aside.

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