Sony has announced the fourth generation of its headphone series with noise canceling. It is the Sony WH-1000XM4, which comes on the market for a suggested retail price of 380 euros.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 succeeds the Sony WH-1000XM3 launched in 2018 with a number of new intelligent capabilities. For example, Sony adds improved noise canceling, smart sensors and Bluetooth 5.0 to the headphones. We will discuss all improvements with you. The suggested retail price of 380 euros has remained the same, and that also applies to the appearance of the headphones.
Real-time noise canceling
Sony first comes out with its improved noise canceling. The Sony WH-1000XM4 is equipped with leading noise canceling thanks to the HD Noise Canceling QN1 processor that is also in the predecessor. We know from experience that this chip is very good at suppressing sounds such as those of the wind, trains moving, street noise and voices. This processor also has a new algorithm that applies noise canceling in real-time.
Noise cancellation on location
In addition, the headphone can automatically adjust ambient sound based on user preferences and location. This is done via Adaptive Sound Control. You could then turn on the noise cancellation at work, while the feature is turned off at home. Sony uses the Google Maps API for this, so you can set the noise reduction and EQ per location.
Sony also indicates that the headphone optimizes noise canceling while listening to music at the airport, but still allows broadcast messages to pass through. Over time, Adaptive Sound Control recognizes the locations where you often are. Such as a workshop, gym or favorite cafe, and adapts the sound to the situation.
The locations and preferred settings can be adjusted via the Sony Headphones Connect app. The ambient sound settings are then automatically updated when the user arrives at a different location.
Restore real-time audio
Sony’s Edge AI technology allows to recover audio that was lost during compression. This technology analyzes music in real-time and recognizes instruments, music genres and individual elements of an audio track. Treble tones lost in compression are restored. The sound quality when switching from wired to wireless listening can be improved by this technique.
New on the headphones is the Speak-to-Chat function. The headphones automatically recognize your voice through this function. Then when you start talking, the music stops and background noise is allowed. This is useful if you want to order a cup of coffee while listening to music or ask someone for directions at the station. This way you can easily make short calls without having to take off the headphones.
Another new function for the WH-1000XM4 is the so-called ‘wearing detection’. Thanks to various sensors, the headphones will automatically pause your music as soon as you take them off. The WH-1000XM4 will immediately resume playback when it is set up. This helps to save battery and enjoy music and noise canceling for longer.
By placing your right hand on the ear cup, you can mute volume and allow background noise, to say something briefly or to listen to a call on the station. Removing your hand will increase the volume again.
Multiple devices at the same time
The WH-1000XM4 headphones can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at the same time. Then when a call comes in, the headset will recognize the device and connect automatically. For example, you can switch between devices with a touch on the headphone’s touch pad.
On the WH-1000XM3 you first have to disconnect from your laptop, for example, if you want to answer a call on your phone.
The WH-1000MX4 can also display 360 Reality Audio and is equipped with NFC and Bluetooth 5.0. There is also support for Google’s Fast Pair and the Google Assistant. The headphones have a battery life of 30 hours with Bluetooth and noise canceling enabled.
Buy Sony WH-1000XM3
The Sony WH-1000XM4 will be available in the Benelux from next week for 380 euros.