Sony WH-1000XM4 review – The Best Wireless Headphones

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The Sony WH-1000XM4 is finally here. Their predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, stole the crown from Bose back when they were first released back in 2018—and we’ve been waiting for a successor since then. Now Sony has released the new and improved headset that adds multipoint connectivity at the expense of aptX. But is it enough to compete in a crowded field of noise-canceling headphones? Let’s find out in this article “Sony WH-1000XM4 review ” with Bestechz! Sony WH-1000XM4 is one of the best wireless headphones in the world!


Sony WH-1000XM4 review – The Best Wireless Headphones

What’s in the box?

Your first clue that Sony has decided not to make big gambles on its proven formula comes when you open the box. Inside, you’ll find the exact same hard-shell carrying case as the WH-1000XM3 — right down to the elastic mesh pocket on the back panel and the copper-toned zipper pull.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Open up the case and the theme continues. The XM4 are arranged in the exact same semi-folded layout and accompanied by the same three accessories: A very short USB-C charging cable, an analog cable for headphone jacks, and an airplane travel adapter.

Who is the Sony WH-1000XM4 for?


  • Everyone. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy owning these. If you have the cash to splurge on a top-tier pair of headphones these are a no-brainer.
  • People who want the best active noise cancelling. The WH-1000XM3 were already a great pair of active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones, and now the WH-1000XM4 are even better.
  • Commuters and jet-setters will appreciate the battery life, noise canceling, sound quality, and not needing to choose between them.


Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony hasn’t exactly gone back to the drawing board for the WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones (if it ain’t broke etc…), but you will notice a few subtle differences here and there. The first one relates to the plastics used around the earcups and sliders. Things feel slightly more textured compared with the smooth surfaces of the XM3s; in our opinion, this helps give the impression that they are slightly sturdier. They still don’t, perhaps, look as premium or stylish as a pair of B&W PX7 or Bose Noise Cancelling 700s, but they certainly give the impression that they’re built to last.

The WH-1000XM4s use the same 40mm drivers found in the previous model and the finishes are the same too: Black or Platinum Silver.

There have been changes to the ‘hangar’ section of the headphone (the hinged fork that hangs down and connects to the earcups). The gap between the hangar and the cups has been shrunk, creating a more seamless appearance, and the space where they connect to the earcups has been reduced to reduce the potential for any sound leakage. Speaking of earcups, the WH-1000XM4s are a thinner design, while the pads used are softer and actually 10 per cent larger than those used on the XM3s. The head cushion is also slightly slimmer. Overall, the XM4s are lighter by one whole gram, too (254g vs 255g).

All these factors combine to produce a very comfortable fit. There’s just enough pressure to grip your ears and get a solid seal around them without the headphones feeling too loose. Because the grip isn’t as vice-like as some rivals, though, and the fact the headphones still don’t have an IP rating (for water and dust resistance), we wouldn’t recommend using them during exercise.

The power button, a USB-C charging port and 3.5mm headphone socket have all carried over from the XM3s. So too has the Ambient/NC (noise-cancelling) button, though it’s been renamed ‘Custom’ on the XM4s. The name might be different, but it carries out all the same duties as before, such as switching between noise-cancelling and Ambient Sound modes and running the NC Optimiser.

And you’ll need to run Sony’s NC Optimiser before you use the headphones for the first time. If you’re not familiar with this software, it’s basically an auto-calibration program that is activated via a long press of that Custom button. They optimise the noise-cancelling based on different factors such as the shape of your face and whether or not you wear glasses. If you’re a frequent flyer they can even take into account changes in air pressure.

Battery life

Battery life and charging remain unchanged on the XM4 — something of a surprise given the huge power improvements Sony made with its true wireless WF-SP800N over a similar time period.

Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4 review – The Best Wireless Headphones

You get 30 hours of life with noise-canceling turned on, and 38 hours when it’s off, which is still very good as far as wireless headphones go — considerably better than the XM4’s main competitor, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, which die after just 20 hours.

Ten minutes of plug time gets you an additional five hours.

What also remains is the inability to use the XM4’s powered features like ANC or wireless audio while you’re charging — though the analog cable will still work for non-powered audio.