Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Worth an Upgrade from WF-1000XM3?

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

We all have eagerly waited for one of the best ANC wireless earbuds to be released and in this article, we are gonna look at the Sony wf-1000xm4 noise-canceling earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review
Sony WF-1000XM4 Review

Well, Sony wf-1000xm4 created lots of hype even before releasing as you all know hype can make or break a product. Let’s check out whether the Sony wf-1000xm4 hype breaks the product or makes it?

Design of Sony WF-1000XM4

These are the successors to the popular Sony WF-1000XM3’s and they bring with them some significant improvements that bring them up to the level of Sony’s full-size flagship noise-canceling headphones the Sony Wf-1000xm4.

It is like these are almost very different earbuds for example their internal battery life has been bumped up from the previous 6 hours to 8 hours of charge in the earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4

With noise cancelling in total you are still getting 24 hours of battery with the case but it’s nice to know that you can get a bit more endurance with the new earbuds.

The case is also smaller and this time it supports wireless charging with a Qi compatible charging pad. Earbud is also has a bone conduction sensor which improves microphone quality, a new wind noise reduction mode and ipx4 water resistance.

Speak to chat a feature that automatically sets the earbuds into ambient pass-through mode as soon as you start speaking with somebody in front of you the new integrated processor v1 also promises better noise cancelling, power and Bluetooth connectivity over the qn1w chip of the Sony WF-1000XM3’s.

And also brings with it high-res audio support with Sony’s LDAC audio codec. This is a codec that’s able to handle audio streams of up to 990 kilobits per second compared to the xm3’s AAC audio codec which only supports up to 256 kilobits per second.

If you are an audiophile and you like streaming high resolution music files then you’ll want to have LDAC codec support.

The xm4s also have app support from the same Sony headphones connect app with options that help make these earbuds truly yours.

App letting you customize its noise canceling levels its touch controls and activate some of its enhancement features like adaptive sound control.

A feature that automatically switches its noise cancelling to your preset levels based on your location.

It also has Sony’s latest DSEE Extreme audio upscale that makes your music sound more hi-fi by patching in all the missing bits and pieces of the music file that might have been lost over Bluetooth transmission.

Perhaps the biggest issue most people had with the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds is its fit so the Sony WF-1000XM4 are also redesigned to be more ergonomic and form fitting to your ears instead of supplying separate silicone and foam ear tips.

Sony’s developed a hybrid ear tip that combines the durability and comfort of silicone tips and the noise isolating properties of foam.

Sony promises that this new ear tip design will provide improved bass response and better noise isolation that will further boost the xm4’s noise canceling over the previous model.

we are gonna put them through its paces and find out how they compare to the previous model the xm3’s in terms of sound quality noise canceling, fit, phone call quality and the Bluetooth audio lag.

Sound Quality of Sony WF-1000XM4

In terms of sound quality despite the new design and drivers not much has changed compared to the Sony WF-1000xm3.

I was listening to both earbuds on an iPhone using AAC audio codec and there was not much of a difference in terms of bass extension impact emphasis on the mid-range.

The clarity of high frequencies track separation and sound staging compared to the older model the xm3’s.

There is one difference though the xm4’s sounds cleaner in the lower mid-range and its lower mids are also better separated from the upper bass range.

Vocals sound cleaner and the bass sounds a little tighter as well in the upper bass range.

This is kind of like what Sony did for the full size xm4 headphones compared to the xm3 headphones only that the difference here is a lot smaller.

Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4

It is only when you activate the DSEE upscaling engine on both earbuds when the difference becomes a lot more obvious on the xm4’s.

DSEE Extreme is clearly superior as the sound staging just spreads out and opens up on the xm4s with details in the background shining a lot brighter.

The xm3’s running the HX version of DSEE now this is on an iphone on android you will be able to get a much higher fidelity with the xm4s because they support high-res audio over LDAC which will sound a lot better playing high-res music files than the xm3’s aac audio codec especially if you’re using an android device.

In short with the xm4s you won’t get much improvement over the xm3’s out of the box, only when you’re running the xm4s on DSEE Extreme and if you’re streaming high-res audio over LDAC on android devices.

Call Quality of Sony WF-1000XM4

In terms of phone call quality, the xm4s are indeed an improvement over the xm3’s in one way in terms of background noise cancelling.

Its background noise cancelling was pretty decent it brought down background noise to a very low level but i didn’t really like the way my voice sounded over the xm4s.

I think it sounded a little muffled and there were some bursts of distortion in the recording which was pretty weird this was not what i experienced with the xm3’s.

If sony can combine the background noise cancelling of the xm4s with the clarity and amplification of my voice in the xm3’s the xm4 phone call quality would have been pretty good indeed

But as it stands right now i hope that sony has something in the pipelines to fix the xm4 phone call quality with a software update i mean it has happened before the xm3’s phone call quality.

Sony xm3’s call quality used to be downright terrible but with subsequent software updates it began gradually to get better so I’m gonna hold out for a software update that will improve the xm4 call quality.

ANC in Sony WF-1000XM4

The xm4’s have significantly better ANC than the xm3’s it cancels a bit more low frequency noise but you can’t really tell the difference particularly in the mid range.

The xm4’s are a lot quieter in that region and that has a lot to do with its superior passive noise isolation. I mean the new ear tips and that v1 processor really makes a difference here.

Test the new wind noise reduction mode it says in the app that this will have an impact on battery life keep note on that.

There is definitely a reduction in the wind noise there is in that flapping noise that you hear when the wind is blowing against the earbuds is a lot quieter and the less bothersome indeed.

To be honest though i was expecting a bit more from this mode but hey it still works just not to the degree that i anticipated anyway that is much better than nothing.

Latency of Sony WF-1000XM4

Playing video games and watching videos on both apple and android devices compared to the xm3’s.

So whether you are gaming on an apple or android device there is going to be no difference at all between these earbuds.

In terms of Bluetooth audio lag so you won’t be getting less or more latency with the xm4s over the previous version.

But how about when watching videos on your phone using apps like YouTube or Netflix will the xm4s have the same kind of Bluetooth audio lag well.

Actually because these apps have their own latency correction built in so they will automatically correct for video latency by delaying the video so that it synchronizes better with the audio.


Sony WF-1000XM4 are indeed a huge upgrade over the xm3’s in terms of noise cancelling, sound quality if you turn on DSEE Extreme features like ipx4 water resistance wireless charging speak to chat and high-res audio support over ldac on android devices.

It also comes with a much smaller case and better fit and stability than the xm3’s its call quality can be better but it is still an upgrade in some way over the xm3’s.

overall I feel that Sony has really outdone themselves here and I am really impressed by what they have achieved with the xm4’s and it is definitely a significant upgrade i mean if you are planning on getting the xm3’s I recommend going for the xm4s instead.

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