Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Take My Money

The new Sony WF-1000XM4 is the successor to the 1000XM3 earphones that was launched earlier. To be honest, the older WF-1000XM3 earbuds were just brilliant. However, Sony thought it’s time to make something better and it has come up with the new WF-1000XM4 earbuds. You get a new design and re-engineered audio technology at a price of Rs 19,990. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is available in Black and Silver options and works with Android phones, iPhones and even laptops.

But sadly, Sony has made the job of critics like me difficult as it’s very hard to find faults in the new WF-1000XM4. Along with hardware capabilities, Sony is offering enough software features to provide the ultimate music listening experience. Here’s what I think about the new Sony WF-1000XM4 TWS earbuds.

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Sony WF-1000XM4 Design

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds look quite different and Sony has paid extra attention to make it look premium. The build quality is sturdy and the body feels good to hold. Also, the case is compact and fits well inside trouser pockets. The earbuds are nicely tucked in the case and can be removed easily with one hand. The earbuds are IPX4 water resistant and it can resist splashes and sweat.

At the first glance, you may find the earbuds quite bulky and new foam ear tips may not provide the right fit initially. You will need to spend some time with these earbuds to get used to it. Soon, you will realise that the earbuds are pretty lightweight and comfortable to wear for a longer period of time. Talking about the ear tips, the new foam tips provide a good fit depending on the shape of your ear canal and reduces external noise.

The WF-1000XM4 comes with an Integrated V1 processor to further improve noise cancellation performance of Sony’s QN1e chip. (Image: Debashis Sarkar/News18)

Sony WF-1000XM4 Performance

Apart from providing a comfortable fit, Sony has paid a lot of attention to the performance and audio quality of WF-1000XM4. There’s a new V1 processor inside which provides better noise cancellation along with a new driver unit, noise sensing microphones and finally earbud tips that offer noise isolation. All these ensure that you get to feel the best music quality while the noise is completely eliminated.

Talking about hardware features, the new 6mm driver unit claims to provide improved performance in low frequencies and it helps in noise cancellation. There are two noise sensing microphones in each earbud to offer best noise cancellation and also help you to adjust to ambient sound and minimise wind noise when you are walking or running.

Not just that, there’s an Ambient Sound mode with which you can listen to surrounding sounds and talk to people while listening to music without taking off your earbuds.

Talking about the audio quality, this earbuds supports LDAC codec processing and delivers High-Resolution Wireless Audio offering rich base range For those unaware, LDAC transmits around three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio for better audio quality.

Sony has included a new Noise Isolation Earbud Tips to provide comfort and better fit. (Image: Debashis Sarkar/News18)

Sony is using AI to deliver DSEE Extreme capability that upscales compressed digital music files in real time. This means, the earbuds identify the type of music you are listening to and enhances it.

These earbuds are quite smart and offer several software features through the Headphones Connect app. It can detect whether you are talking, walking or travelling and configure the audio settings accordingly.

You can opt to have Adaptive Sound Control learn to recognise places that you visit often. Like you can create custom audio modes for your office or gym. These earbuds offer good call quality as well and there is support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

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Talking about battery life, you can expect to get around 8 hours of playback time from your earphones. The case has a battery life of around 16 hours. There’s support for wireless charging and you can connect to the USB Type-C port as well. The Sony Headphones Connect app is said to even notify you when your charging case drops below 30%. Sony claims that a 5 minute quick charge gives you up to 60 minutes of play time.

Call quality on these earbuds are great too. You can easily talk while moving around or even running and the caller doesn’t complain of distortion or wind noises. The noise cancellation features along with focus on voice makes it a good companion for long video calls as well.

The new 6mm driver unit claims to provide improved performance in low frequencies and it helps in noise cancellation. 9Image: Debashis Sarkar/News18)

Sony WF-1000XM4 Verdict

The only reason you may not want to buy the Sony WF-1000XM4 is due to the price point of Rs 19,990. Alternatively, if you own an iPhone, you may be inclined to spend this amount of money on an Apple AirPods Pro. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a perfect combination of good hardware and software capabilities delivering great music listening experience, call quality and noise cancellation that helps you to focus.

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