Stock for the highly sought after Sony WH1000XM4 in silver has just landed in NZ, and it sure is an outstanding set of noise-cancelling headphones, some of the best you can get right now, as a matter of fact.
They come from a strong legacy, with the best parts of the previous-gen XM3 design that was released back in 2018, still being in play. The new XM4 2020 version is a super lightweight set of headphones, made from durable plastic with what could be described as a simplistically futuristic, silver matte finish.
It's awesome and they still manage to feel solid, which is a mighty achievement because they only weigh around 250grams, and it's hard not to associate weight with durability - welcome the future I guess! The headband is pleather, rather soft and squishy, matching the silver colour of the frame and earpieces.
Sony XM4 vs XM3 - what are the improvements?
Subtle. Sony has improved the headband design on their new WH1000-XM4 headphones, softening the top curve so that the headphones can evenly distribute the weight over the top and sides, this makes them better suited for longer use while working on a computer for example.
The ear cups are a little different too, a little larger, softer, and more comfortable. Colour is shade more to the white side.
Hardware and software wise it's a longer story, the Sony WH1000-XM4 features industry-leading noise-cancelling tech, some of the best available today, along with exceptional sound quality and a range of smart features for an unrivalled, unique, listening experience.
With two microphones on each earcup, dual noise sensor technology captures ambient noise and passes the data to the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1. Using a new algorithm, the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 then applies noise cancelling processing in real-time to a range of acoustic environments. Working together with a new Bluetooth Audio System on Chip (SoC), it senses and adjusts to music and noise signals, as well as acoustic characteristics between the driver unit and ears, at over 700 times per second.
With two modes to use depending on the situation, the tech is easy to use. Atmospheric Pressure Optimising is designed specifically for air travel, and the Personal Noise Cancelling Optimiser is for everyday use. You can even adjust the ambient sounds you'll hear with the Sony Connect APP. Cancel noise while still allowing through essential sounds, like transport announcements, good for listening while you wait.
So, with the background sound gone, it's just you and the music.
Or book, or podcast, whatever you want to listen to is going to sound great. Music is a great example though as it can make use of the exceptional quality the wireless headset provides. The LDAC transmits approximately three times more data (at the maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps) than conventional Bluetooth audio, allowing you to enjoy content at a similar quality level to that with a dedicated wired connection. Powerful 40mm drivers, with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms, make the headphones perfect for handling heavy beats and can reproduce a full range of frequencies up to 40kHz.
And with all this wonderful sound and silence technology, Sony WH1000-XM4 still gives us up to 30 hours of battery life!
Sony WH-1000XM4 Smart Features
By using an array of smart technologies, you can create a seamless, hands-free listening experience. For example, simply start speaking to automatically pause your music in Speak-to-Chat, or enjoy adaptive playback thanks to the proximity sensor and two acceleration sensors that detect whether your headphones are being worn or not.
As soon as you speak to someone, Speak-to-Chat can automatically pause the music and let in ambient sound so you can conduct a conversation – handy for quick things, so you can just keep your headphones on, perfect for the office.
If you want to quickly hear voices or sounds around you simply place your hand over the housing to instantly turn your music volume down and let ambient sound in.
Working via Bluetooth, the headphones can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at the same time. This means I could stay connected to my PC, while still being connected to my phone, enjoyed the voice command functionality of either, further improving the use cases for this specific set of headphones - nicely done Sony!
Looking for the best in wireless noise-cancelling smart headphones? The Sony WH1000-XM4 are a great choice, my only words on wisdom would be to grab a longer USB Type C cable along with them, the one that comes in the box is pretty short!
Check out all the latest Sony Headphones today!