Sony’s fourth generation of flagship wireless earbuds doesn’t add much to the third… All major changes inside. The main characteristics of the Sony WH-1000XM4 have not changed – a high price, a very convenient design and a cool noise isolation system. But now, these are almost ideal wireless earbuds for enjoying music in any setting.
The set comes with a hard protective case, a USB Type-C cable for charging, an adapter for wired headphones on an airplane, and a cable with mini-jack connectors. It allows you to listen to music when the headphones are already discharged.
Design and differences from the previous generation
Let’s start right away with external differences – there are none. The third generation cannot be visually distinguished from the fourth, even the colors have remained the same – beige and black. A slight difference can only be found by touch: the edging of the bowls has become slightly rough, not as smooth as in the WH-1000XM3, but that’s about it.
Sony WH-1000XM4 is a full-size headphone made of plastic. The build quality was good this time around, as in the third generation there were numerous backlashes in the test sample. Here, however, this is not, although it may well be the case in a specific instance. One way or another, I have no complaints about the design and construction of the headphones. Everything is monolithic, the materials are pleasant to both hands and the skin on the head, nothing creaks and does not stagger. As for the design, it is pleasing to the eye and corresponds to the price, especially in the beige version that was tested.
Ease of use, control
As in the previous generation, there are no questions about convenience. These are very comfortable headphones that are pleasant to wear all day long. In hot weather, leatherette ear pads may float slightly, but not much. Headphones are almost not felt on the head, they do not press or press. Here it is worth saying thanks to the many degrees of freedom of the cups and the soft filler of the ear cushions.
As before, in the fourth generation, touch control of playback remained. It is implemented on the right cup. To switch tracks or change the volume, you just need to slide your fingers in forward / backward or up / down, respectively. To pause, just tap on the right cup.
The left one is devoid of touch control, there is a Type-C port for charging, a 3.5 mm mini-jack for wired connection. Nearby there are two buttons – the power button and a function key that can be configured in Sony’s Headphones app.
The application should be discussed separately. In it, you can adjust the strength of noise canceling, optimize the sound of the headphones to your ears, control additional functions, which will be discussed below.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 chips are the main thing that sets the headphones apart from their predecessor. Sony has added a number of innovations, for example, when the headphones are removed from the head, music playback will automatically stop, and when put on, it will resume. For this, a proximity sensor is provided, it is located inside the left bowl.
In the third generation. with the noise reduction system turned on, if someone approached you, then you had the option to cover the right bowl with your palm and thus the noise reduction was turned off. and the surrounding sounds were amplified.
In the XM4, this feature remains, but now you don’t even have to bring your hand up – you just need to speak. The headphones are able to analyze the moments when you speak and automatically stop playing music and amplify other sounds.
And for quick connections, there is still NFC. By the way, another innovation is the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously. This allows you to instantly switch between a laptop and a smartphone when a call comes to the latter, for example. You need the Headphones app for this feature to work.
Sound and noise reduction Sony WH-1000XM4
As for the sound quality, there are no changes here. It’s a good, balanced sound that suits a variety of genres. Sometimes there are not enough tall ones. But, rarely, and only in some compositions. And so the sound is wonderful.
With good, rich bass, ample stage width. Supports SBC, AAC for Apple device owners and LDAC codecs. There is no support for AptX and AptX-HD, which is strange, because it was previously. But, given the sound quality and LDAC support, this cannot be called a critical drawback.
Now let’s talk about soundproofing. She’s just beautiful. In the Kiev metro, even with the music turned off, I hardly heard the movement of the train. On the street it will even be dangerous, so you should slightly reduce the strength of noise reduction and everything will be fine. But, in the office and in transport – the headphones have no equal.
I would also like to praise the quality of speech transmission. This is the rare case when you can talk on the phone using wireless headphones even on the street and you will not be asked again. For this it is worth saying thanks to 5 microphones and an additional noise reduction device for speech transmission.
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