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Sony WF-1000XM4

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Sony WF-1000XM4
Colour
Connection and design
Designin-ear
Connection typewireless
ConnectionBluetooth v 5.2
Range10 m
Specs
Frequency range20 – 40000 Hz / only LDAC /
Speaker size6 mm
Emitter typedynamic
Microphone specs
Microphonebuilt into the body
Microphone noise cancelingENC
Bone conduction sensor
Features
Autopause
Noise cancellationANC
Transparent mode
Codec supportAAC
LDAC
Power supply
Power sourcebattery
Charging time1.5 h
Operating time (music)8 h
Operating time (talk)5.5 h / 6 ч без ANC /
Operating time (no noise canceling)12 h
Operating time (with case)36 h
Fast charge5 minutes for 1 hour of work
Wireless charger
Charging portUSB C
General
Touch control
WaterproofIPX4
Weight7 g
In boxpolyurethane tips
charging case
Added to E-Catalogjune 2021
Support for Google Assistant voice assistant. With the Quick Attention mode, you can lower the volume, pause or resume playback (depending on the setting) by touching the touch panel.

Top-end in-ear wireless headphones with long autonomy, built-in microphone, bone conduction technology for enhanced voice capture, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and support for high-quality LDAC audio codec. Positioned as a premium product of 2021, aimed at demanding mobile users who use headphones often and for a long time in places with an unfavorable acoustic background (in transport, on busy city streets, in a noisy shopping center, etc.).

The perfect sound quality of the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones is provided by advanced dynamic drivers that reproduce an extended frequency range (from 20 Hz to 40 kHz, only with the LDAC codec). The Bluetooth 5.2 wireless interface guarantees fast connection and complete stability of connections with gadgets (including with several devices at once using Multipoint technology). Also worth mentioning are the optimized ergonomics and a secure fit in the ear canal during active movements, including gym sessions. Convenient touch control allows you to easily and quickly switch to acoustic transparency mode. Built-in rechargeable batteries provide incredible autonomy for such a compact form factor, providing up to 12 hours of music listening time without ANC and up to 8 hours with noise cancellation.

Information in model description is for reference purposes.
Before buying always check characteristics and configuration of product with online store manager
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Sony WF-1000XM4 BM -True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds, Black, Premium

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Video reviews

In 2019, Sony launched the WF-1000XM3 wireless headphones, which almost immediately became the "gold standard" for the quality of active noise cancellation in the TWS format. The updated version of the WF-1000XM4, released this year, has become more interesting in every sense, however, and almost twice as expensive. The price of the headphones is premium — $ 350, let's see how it is justified.

Design Features

Headphones and case are made of matte plastic and are offered in two colours: black and silver (for some reason, more like ivory). The surface is pleasant to the touch and almost does not collect fingerprints. Not everyone will like the design, but you definitely can’t refuse originality. The case is still quite massive, but not as huge as the XM3. The headphones themselves are also rather big, and in addition heavy, 7.3 g each, and it is felt in the ear.

If the previous model was equipped with both silicone and foam nozzles, then the XM4 has only the latter, and this is a minus. Foam nozzles are not convenient for all users, they can fall out, create a feeling of discomfort during prolonged use, etc. Fortunately, the mount is standard and you can choose more suitable ones. In this case, the wearing sensor will be very useful, which will help you find the correct position of the earpiece in your ear.

The XM4s are IPX4 sweat and splash resistant, but for the price they could have been more ruggedized.

Connection and setup

The model supports Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair for quick pairing with Android and Win 10 devices and automatic account linking. But there is no support for Multipoint. Communication stability can be very different and depends on the codec used (SBC, AAC and LDAC can be selected) and the selected priority mode. There are two of them: “Sound Quality Priority” and “Stable Connection Priority”. That is, if you observe interruptions or out of sync with the video, you should choose the second option or the "easier" codec.

This and other useful settings are offered in the Headphones Connect app. With it, you can select noise reduction and transparency profiles. For example, almost completely eliminate wind noise, or vice versa, enhance the audibility and quality of external sounds. By the way, ANC works very well, no complaints.

For calls, the Speak-to-Chat mode, which uses a bone conduction sensor, will be useful. It automatically stops music playback when there is an incoming call and turns on the transparency mode for a more comfortable conversation. When the call ends, playback resumes. The same thing happens if you take the headphones out of your ears or put them back in, in which case the proximity sensor is triggered.

Sound and speech quality

The sound in the WF-1000XM4 caused mixed emotions. Very pleased with the low-frequency range. The bass sounds quite neutral, but at the same time is clear and with good attack, which is usually a rarity for TWS. The middle is a little off. But in general, it is served well, sometimes even pleasant in its own way, if you do not try to concentrate on the nuances. But the high ones sound indistinct, the sound of hi-hats and cymbals is muffled and “smeared”. This is where DSEE Extreme technology can come in handy. It noticeably improves the transmission of high frequencies in compressed digital audio, but in general, the high-frequency register leaves much to be desired.

An interesting solution is 360 Reality Audio technology. When it is applied, the sound really acquires volume, but it is still far from full-fledged sensations. In addition, you need special content that can only be found on streaming services so far.

Not particularly impressed with the quality of voice communication. Surprisingly, it is "slightly below average." The interlocutors complain about the unnaturalness and illegibility of the voice. Moreover, in a noisy environment, the situation deteriorates significantly.

battery life

The duration of the headset is highly dependent on the codecs and modes used. For example, on a standard SBC with noise canceling and DSEE turned off, you can achieve 12 hours of battery life, but with LDAC and ANC, the headphones will work for only 3.5 hours. Anyway, 12 hours in economy mode is very cool. For a TWS headset, the result is just fantastic. In addition, fast charging is supported. In just 5 minutes, the headphones can be charged for 1 hour of work. The case charges in 1.5 hours, both by wire and by air, and its battery capacity is enough for two full charges of the headphones.

findings

Of course, the Sony WF-1000XM4 has already received a lot of accolades, so ours may look a bit strange against their background. Nevertheless, let's be honest, the model turned out to be very ambiguous. With obvious pluses, there were no less minuses — the lack of a multipoint, a controversial sound, not always a reliable fit, “unfinished” technologies. At the same time, the price of the headphones is quite high, and the potential buyer has a lot of more profitable alternatives.