Sony’s intelligent industry-leading noise canceling headphones with premium sound elevate your listening experience with the ability to personalize and control everything you hear. Get up to 30 hours of battery life with quick charging capabilities, enjoy an enhanced Smart Listening feature set, and carry conversations hands-free with speak-to-chat.
Active Noise Cancelation
Industry-leading noise-canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10-minute charge for 5 hours of playback)
Premium sound quality by DSEE Extreme technology
Touch sensor controls to pause, play, skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls
As soon as you speak to someone, Speak-to-Chat automatically stops the music and lets in ambient sound so you can conduct a conversation.
Multipoint Bluetooth connection
For total convenience, the WH-1000XM4 headphones can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at the same time.
Adaptive Sound Control
Smart funtion that automatically detects what you’re up to – for example, walking, waiting, or traveling – then adjusts ambient sound settings to best suit the situation.
Clear hands-free calling
Superior call quality with precise voice pickup
A proximity sensor in the earcups can detect whether or not you’re wearing your headphones, pausing your content when you remove your headphones from your head and resuming playback when you put them back on.
Updated design relieves pressure for long-lasting comfort
Co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo, DSEE Extreme (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) upscales compressed digital music files in real time.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are somewhat large, but the ear-cups are well padded and are very comfortable to wear for hours on end. The headband portion also has plenty of padding so that the headphones rest comfortably on the top of your head.
The ear-cups do a good job of creating a loose seal around your ears, so much so that I definitely get the "ear sweats" which is common with many over-the-ear headphones.
The headphones come a hard travel case with a soft fabric exterior. Storing the headphones requires completely retracting the headband (I would prefer if you could leave it at the size that fits my head). A helpful diagram is included inside the case that shows you how to fold the headphones so they fit properly.
The sound quality on the Sony WH-1000XM4 is incredible and is definitely up there with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones. Highs and mids come through crystal clear and the bass is plentiful. The Sony WH-1000XM4 also has something called "Edge-AI" where it tries to enhance compressed music (such as a low quality Pandora stream). It's hard to gauge it's effectiveness as I couldn't find a way to turn the feature on and off, but it is likely another contributing factor to the awesome sound quality.
Call quality also appears to work very well on the WH-1000XM4. The microphones seem to pick up my voice well while filtering out some of the background sounds around me (but it still picks up some things like typing on a keyboard).
The noise cancellation feature is also top-notch. It not only filters out general "hums" such as an air conditioner running, but it also does a good job of filtering out people talking and even other music sources near you. It does have it limits: it won't completely filter out a blaring stereo next to you or completely eliminate the sound of your riding mower. However, it does a good enough job that you can listen to your music or podcast at a comfortable listening level without needing to crank up the volume to overcome the outside world.
The level of noise cancellation can also be adjust in the Sony Headphones app and there are a lot of cool features associated with it that I'll detail in the next section.
- Speak-to-Chat: This is probably my favorite feature of these headphones. It seems like whenever I'm at work, I no sooner put on my headphones than someone walks up with a question. With the WH-1000XM4, as soon as I start talking, the headphones react, turning off the noise cancellation feature, lowering the volume of my music, and relaying the voice of the person talking to me. After 30 seconds (this is adjustable in the app) when I finished speaking, the noise cancellation turns backs on and the volume of music is brought back up. You can also double-tap the right ear-cup when you're finished speaking to resume your music.
- Quick listen: If you need to catch an announcement, for example, you can cup your hand over the right ear-cup's touch sensor to turn off the noise cancellation feature temporarily.
- Adaptive Sound Control: Another cool feature that lowers the Active Noise Cancellation feature whenever the headphones detect that you've started walking. This lets in some of the outside sounds by lowering the level of noise cancellation so you're more aware of what is happening around you. If you frequently move, it can get a bit annoying as the headphones will play a short tone whenever the mode changes.
- Touch controls: The touch controls on the right ear-cup are intuitive: swiping your finger up and down on the ear-cup adjusts the volume and swiping left and right changes the track. Double-tapping the center pauses and plays your music.
- Wearing detection: A sensor in the left ear-cup can detect when you remove the headphones, automatically pausing your music. Music resumes when you put the headphones back on.
- Dual pairing: With many of us working from home, this feature is great as it allows you to pair the headphones with your phone and your computer at the same time. Therefore, I can listen to music from my phone, but automatically switch over to my computer to listen to a webinar. It looks like there are a few kinks to work out with this feature as I found that it did not always switch automatically, or would sometimes take awhile to change from one source to the next.
- Background firmware updates: I had a pair of truly wireless Sony headphones that required me to babysit them for a good 30-40 minutes while the firmware update file transferred and then installed, however they were unusable while that happened. A launch-day firmware update was available for the WH-1000XM4 and it seemed to transfer from my phone to the headphones in the background while I was listening to music. I received a notification when it was ready to install, and after a quick reboot, the headphones were updated. This was a much better experience!
## Battery Life
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones can last up to 30 hours when using Bluetooth with the noise cancellation feature enabled. The headphones are recharged with a USB-C cable (yay, no Micro USB!) and if you're in a hurry, a 10 minute charge can net you up to 5 hours of listening time.
Overall, the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are a solid alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones and offer some some great features (such as speak-to-chat) not found on the QuietComfort headphones. Long battery life, wearing detection and dual Bluetooth connections round out an impressive feature set on a pair of headphones with awesome noise cancellation and sound quality.
Hi TechnicallyWell, we appreciate your in-depth review of the headphones. It’s great to hear your such a fan of the new WH-1000XM4 headphones. Intelligent and intuitive, the WH-1000XM4 headphones offer further improvements to our industry-leading noise cancelation, exceptional sound quality, and smart listening that adjusts to your behavior and your location. Using the Sony Headphones Connect app, Ambient Sound Control lets you adjust the volume of background sound and gives you the option to allow voices alone to be heard. Meanwhile, the Equalizer lets you customize sound levels to suit your music. Thanks for choosing Sony. ~Ralph
Features, Listening to music, Noise cancellation
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Outstanding Audio and Noise Cancelling
Features, Listening to music, Noise cancellation
The Sony WH-1000XM4’s (XM4’s from now on) are a pair of much awaited and longed for headphones and I am here to report that Sony has impressed me yet again. Let’s start with inside the box where we have a hard carrying case, the headphones, a usb type C cable, an airplane adapter, a 3.5mm cable along with the usual paperwork.
The Headphone is designed like any other typical headphone but I must point out that both the earcup cushions and the headband cushion are extremely comfortable and this lead to me being able to use the XM4’s for hours without much complaint. The clamping pressure from the headphone is virtually unnoticeable and this is significant because I have a big head so the headphone probably stretches more for me than it does for the average person. The right headphone has the touch capacitive controls as well as the usb charging port and the NFC mechanism for pairing, while the left headphone has the power button and the custom button (which you are allowed to change to trigger voice assistant or toggle ambient control the audio-jack port. Also a first for me on a headphone, Sony has followed their true wireless earphones and placed a proximity sensor in the left earcup that senses when yo-u have the headphone on and pauses/resumes your media based on removing or putting the headphones on. I must also point out that the hardcase is well designed with a net storage on the outside of the case. Also inside the case all the cables have a suitable storage spot and there are paper cut outs that instruct you how to carefully position the headphones to be placed in the case.
So, how do they sound?? Fantastic! All music comes through sounding great without even having to change and tweak the equalizer settings through the Headphone app. The music comes through full and clear and for those concerned about bass, you have comfortable thumps and punches that are not overwhelming and can be modified in the app. The same goes for Noise cancelling level which can also be controlled through the app. The XM4’s Sony created has the best noise cancelling headphone I have ever used. At full strength it is able to suppress so much background noise it can actually surprise you. If people are in a room with you and having a conversation( not too far from you), you won’t be able to hear anything they are saying even with the music off. The effect is most obvious in noisy areas like a street or around heavy machinery where the feature shines.
What else do I like? Sony has finally created a XM headphone that has multipoint pairing. This means that XM4’s can simultaneously pair to two bluetooth devices. The way I utilize this is to pair the XM4’s to both my laptop and my cellphone so that if I am listening to audio on my laptop and a call comes in, the headphone switches the audio automatically to my cell phone and allows me to answer the call. What’s also amazing is that once the call ends it automatically switches back to my laptop audio.
On the topic of a phone call, I can say that phone conversations I’ve had went very well. The persons on the other end of the line could hear me clearly and loudly while we conversed, even when I was in a noisy background. It seems the combination of the five mics as well as Sony’s software works superbly well to suppress background noise while highlighting my voice. Another stand out feature I absolutely appreciate is Speak to Chat feature. Basically what this does is that while you have the headphones all, if you would like to speak to someone , you can just speak and the headphones pick up that you are talking, lowers your volume and allows the ambient noise to flood the headphones. This is great if you don't want to keep taking off and putting on your headphones every time to talk to someone. Note that this feature can be turned on and off in the app and you can also change the length of the timeout with the smallest being 15 seconds.
Finally, battery life. Sony reports 30 hours of use with noise cancelling on so I guess you can squeeze a few more hours out of it with noise cancelling off. I’ve been using it continuously between my laptop and phone for the last few days and I have yet to charge it. From the app the battery level says 40% remaining and I can attest to using it for about 15 to 20 hours so I have no doubt about Sony’s claim.
The XM4’s are a definite two thumbs up for me. Superior sound and noise cancelling, feature rich app and more than a literal day of battery and multi-device pairing, it doesn’t get much better than this.
I ordered these on a pre-black friday sale weeks before the main sales were announced on best buy. I had extensively researched the headphones (and previous generation XM3) for about 10 months prior to pulling the trigger, comparing them to literally everything else in its tranche and also more expensive models. This included audio-technica, bose, sennheiser, bowers & wilson, and bang & olufsen to name a few. I recommend these headphones over the others for several reasons:
1. Sound quality. The sound out of the box was not to my liking, but the beauty of the Sony app is that you can craft the EQ how you want. I was able to find a custom setting that enhances nearly all of the music I listen to. I'm very happy with the high quality sound across the board. Do not buy a NC headphone without the ability to tweak the EQ. Sound quality is a relative matter and you may be unhappy with the out-of-the-box sound if you opt for a cheaper model.
2. Noise canceling. Top-notch with a ton of features allowing for levels of ambient sound to your liking. Adaptive sound control is a huge plus
3. Functionality. Ability to connect to 2 devices simultaneously. Of course more would be great but at least 2 is crucial (which is why I would buy XM4 over XM3). I usually connect to my ipad and iphone and can seamlessly move between both.
4. Comfort. I previously owned a pair of Sennheisers which were very uncomfortable. I would give these XM4's 9/10 in terms of comfort. I will admit that it took me a few weeks to get used to the pressure but in finding the sweet spot (about 5 clicks up on the head band) I am now able to wear them for hours without needing to take them off.
5. Call quality. I've tested these with multiple family members and friends. They have all given these at least 9/10 in terms of call quality in moderate background sound environments. Will the call quality be the best on the market? Probably not, but personally I didn't buy these for calls. Rest assured, you'll be fine.
6. Style. I like the minimal design. They are matte black with a sleek non-offensive look which I actually like more than the Bose. I would say opt for the black over silver (almost a pewter grey) because over time they will show scratches and smudges less.
Conclusion. If you're on the fence, take a look a the many reviews on youtube especially the ones comparing models. I highly recommend you buy these over the probably cheaper XM3's (depending on when you view this). The added features are worth spending more, but good news is that these seem to routinely go on sale. Worth every penny for WFH, music lovers, and even calls. Enjoy :)
We appreciate your in-depth review of the headphones. Good to know that your investment is worth it. Intelligent and intuitive, the WH-1000XM4 headphones offer further improvements to our industry-leading noise cancelation, exceptional sound quality, and smart listening that adjusts to your behavior and your location. Using the Sony Headphones Connect app, Ambient Sound Control lets you adjust the volume of background sound and gives you the option to allow voices alone to be heard. Meanwhile, the Equalizer lets you customize sound levels to suit your music. Thanks for choosing Sony!
The new Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones are a clear improvement over Sony’s already excellent line of Bluetooth headphones. They are very comfortable and provide superb listening experience at home, traveling or in a noisy office. They incorporate extremely effective noise suppression, have easy-to-operate controls and a very long battery life. Their unmatched quality is evident in every feature.
Sony is one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world. It began in 1946 as an electronics shop but soon began producing its own products, starting with tape recorders and transistor radios in the mid-1950s. Sony built a reputation for quality and introduced many innovations in portable audio, including the Walkman in 1979, the CD disc in 1983, flash memory for audio and video in 1998 and the Blu-ray HD disc in 2000. Its consumer audio products including stereo component systems, speakers and headphones are very well-regarded for quality and features.
Here are the key features:
• Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones
• Ergonomic, fully adjustable over-ear, closed dynamic headphone
• 40 mm dome driver for maximum bass and very accurate wide frequency response
• Advanced noise-canceling/suppression technology uses two microphones on each earphone to analyze and block external noises, may be switched on or off and may be optimized for wearing conditions and atmospheric pressure
• Artificial Intelligence and Digital Sound Enhancement Engine technology to accurately upscale compressed music, especially high-pitched sounds normally lost
• Monitor function allows ambient sound to be easily heard while wearing headphones, may be switched on or off; Speak-to-Chat provides automatic pause and resume without removing earphone
• Voice Assist function compatible with Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant
• Bluetooth 5.0, reception range up to 30 feet, NFC pairing connection option, supports SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs; simultaneous connection to two devices
• Sony Headphones Connect app provides extensive sound customization and 3D Reality Audio
• HD Voice and built-in microphone for making and receiving phone calls with high quality sound
• Touch control on side of right earphone to raise/lower volume, next/previous track selection
• Power, Bluetooth pairing, Monitor and Noise Cancel buttons on left earphone
• Rechargeable 3.7v internal lithium ion power source: 10 minute quick charge gives 5 hours of play time, 3 hours to fully charge with included 8” USB-C connection cable (recharge at 5.0v)
• Headphones will operate 30+ hours (38+ hours with noise reduction off) continuously from a full charge, 9 day standby time, customizable auto-off timer
• Can also operate without using any power by connecting an included 4.1 foot 3.5 mm stereo cable to left earphone
• 3.5 mm (headphone) male-to-male 50” connection cable included
• Airplane in-flight audio connector included
• 4 – 40,000 Hz audio frequency range, less than 1% THD distortion
• Sony Headphone Connect app provides graphic equalizer and presets
• Easy to follow illustrated quick set-up guide
• Foldable design for compact storage
• Size: 5.5 inches by 6.6 inches by 3.5 inches
• Weight: 9 ounces
• Hard case with outside and inside pockets for accessories included
• One year warranty on parts and labor
Included in the slip-cover box are full instructions/set-up guide and a very nice, compact hard case which contains the headphones, a short USB-C charging cable, a 50 inch long 3.5 mm direct-connect wire cable and airplane audio adapter. The quick set-up guide is comprehensive with step-by-step instructions for using the headphones, a trouble-shooting checklist, technical specifications and detailed explanations for using each feature.
The headphones have a non-reflective black finish and very attractive copper-colored lettering and highlights, substantial bass-producing drivers and super-soft memory-foam cushions on each headphone for superb comfort and noise isolation. They fold flat to enable compact storage and to easily fit into a purse, drawers, etc. The Sony WH-1000XM4 has a look of quiet quality and business elegance without flashy excess.
The headphones use USB-C technology and are quick-charging. In just 10 minutes you have 5 hours of play time. Full charge is accomplished in three hours. The stated music playing time of thirty hours seems conservative since I found the headphones would operate for nearly forty-five hours before fading out. The customizable auto-off feature aids this very long battery life.
An audio prompt indicates when the power is on or off and a second press of the power button gives a voice guidance of the remaining power level. Pair the earphones with your phone or other source via Bluetooth or NFC. The connection remained very solid throughout my home, up to nearly 50 feet.
The headphones are fully adjustable and the very soft pads completely and comfortably enclose even the largest ears. The Sony WH-1000XM4 are perhaps the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn. They are light (9 ounces) and have plenty of adjustment range to enable a perfect fit. You can wear them for many hours in perfect comfort and your ears will never complain.
Even without the noise-canceling function most external sounds are blocked. Pressing the Custom (automatic noise canceling) button turns on that feature and sets the level of noise reduction and there is an audio announcement that it is active (or that it has been turned off.) The ANC technology is very sophisticated, utilizing two microphones on each earphone to analyze external sounds and cancel it. You can even customize the noise cancellation for wearing conditions and atmospheric pressure. My favorite test is to turn on both my shower and bathroom sink faucet and the noise (which would normally be very loud) was just a faint hiss which I could easily ignore while listening to the music. Even without music playing the noise canceling feature was extremely effective. You can also adjust the degree of noise cancellation using the Headphone Connect app. A perfect companion for isolating you with just your music in public transit and airplanes!
But you buy headphones primarily to provide sound, not to eliminate it. Here you will find your investment well-rewarded! The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones utilize Sony’s DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) and Artificial Intelligence technology to accurately expand digital music, especially higher-frequencies which are often chopped out in the compression process. Bass and mid-range sounds are very well reproduced. You can modify the sound contour/response by utilizing the Sony Headphones Connect app which features a full equalizer, a number of surround sound presets and sound positioning controls. For those who like heavy bass these are an ideal choice. If you want to cut back the bass the equalizer on the app will do that very effectively. I played every range of music, from classical, blues, hard rock, jazz and a full range of vocals (opera through folk ballads) and these fine headphones never disappointed me. The sound quality is just beautiful.
I compared the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones to another set from Sony which are priced about 25% lower and a super-premium set from another audio supplier priced about 25% higher. Compared to the lower-priced Sony headphones the WH-1000XM4 provided more features and better sound which more than justified the price differential. Compared to the higher-priced set I found that the Sony WH-1000XM4 provided noticeably better noise reduction and equal music reproduction. I think that to find a significantly better set of headphones you would have to spend at least 50% more, and even then most users would not really appreciate any difference in sound or features.
Like all good earphones these will respond to various voice commands, allow you to interact with Siri, take calls, etc. Each earphone has some controls. The right side has a nice touch pad which will raise/lower volume, skip tracks (forward and backward), pause and repeat tracks and has a microphone for use during calls. The left side turns the earphones on/off, handles Bluetooth pairing, activates the noise cancelation feature and also takes calls. One nice feature is Quick Attention which shuts off noise cancellation and lowers music volume when you touch the right headphone, enabling you to easily hear outside sounds (such as transit announcements), and then resumes noise cancellation and music volume when you remove your hand. But an even more clever feature is Speak-to-Chat which shuts off noise reduction and music when you speak, then resumes music and noise reduction when you stop speaking. Don’t worry if you like to sing along to your music – you can disable this feature! Finally, if you rely on Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant you will appreciate the easy integration with those services provided by these headphones.
In summary, the Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones are an excellent value and packed with premium features for discerning music fans who demand superb noise isolation, a very comfortable headset and above-all, beautiful and accurate sound reproduction. They are an ideal choice for traveling and would pass boring hours in airports and on planes with gold stars for quality, sound level and range. I am happy to award Sony’s new WH-1000XM4 a full five stars and a hearty, unqualified endorsement. Invest in these and you will receive the twin dividends of heavenly music and unmatched isolation from all of the unwanted, annoying noises assaulting you every day!
We appreciate your in-depth review of the headphones. Good to know that your investment is worth it. Intelligent and intuitive, the WH-1000XM4 headphones offer further improvements to our industry-leading noise cancelation, exceptional sound quality, and smart listening that adjusts to your behavior and your location.
To get the most out of your WH-1000XM4, download the Sony | Headphones Connect App. It includes Adaptive Sound Control—which automatically adjusts noise canceling based on your activity and an equalizer—which can be customized to fine-tune your music. Using our advanced noise canceling technology, we designed these headphones so you can block out noise and experience next-level silence. Plus, you have the ability to use the convenient smart features including Quick Attention, Google Assistant/Alexa/Siri compatibility, and touch controls.
Thanks for choosing Sony.
Features, Noise cancellation, Sound quality
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Better Noise Cancelling and improved materials...
Features, Noise cancellation, Sound quality
...over the previous Sony WH-XB900N which I am directly comparing these to.
I did not have nor have I listened to the XM3's so keep that in mind when I reference the 900N's, as they are a completely different model.
Basically what you get with the XM4 is the XM3 + 900N merged into one. Most of the underlying features from the older XM3 along with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa features of the 900N. There are some subtle design changes (see photos) that offer a cleaner look. Along with that improved look (lack of visible screws being a big one) you are presented with significantly softer/more supple materials on the headband and the earcups. The moment I took the XM4's out of the box I could immediately feel the improvement in this department. The alterations to the looks (color aside) I didn't notice right away. Extremely subtle in nature.
I reviewed the 900's for BestBuy (4-star review) and pointed out how the Noise Cancelling wasn't all that terrible, nor was it amazing. But, for the price-point, it was expected. (you can view that review for comparison by searching "Adjustments via the app" for the reviews associated with the product here = https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-wh-xb900n-wireless-noise-cancelling-over-the-ear-headphones-black/6347796.p?skuId=6347796)
The XM4's improve upon it and keep the exact same MSRP. That's a win in my book and worth pointing out. I can't hear any ambient sounds with the full NC on and a low volume audio book playing, much less a song at mid volume. This was not the case with the 900N's.
Just like those, you *have* to use the Sony app to get the most of these sound-wise. You will experience very flat sounding cans unless you go in and adjust your EQ. You have numerous presets as well as the ability to adjust each frequency to your own preference. After doing this they sound really good. Not something that can hang with $500, $1000, or $1500+ headphones, but much cleaner and offering more depth than a lot of other sub-$500 big name brand offerings. The bass isn't muddy, the highs aren't tinny, and you can actually hear the mids.
You also still have the ability to allow some ambient noise in in select settings. The app and headphones work together to figure out when someone is talking to you and allow that to cut through the mix, really cool feature. There is also a semi-NC mode which allows ambient sound in so that you can hear a standard level and not be completely removed from your auditory senses out in the world.
Sony also improved the upscaling chip as well as added a feature that pauses whatever you're listening to when you remove them from your head. There are also more and improved mics for calls when/if you use these for such a thing. I have only had a couple calls come through while having the XM4's on, but everything was fine on my side of things, and the caller didn't say anything along the lines of "I can't hear you" or "speak up" or "are you on speaker?" so I'm assuming it was great on their side, too).
If you are looking at these as an upgrade from a Sony offering in the past year or two, really check out if those subtle features and improvements are worth dropping another ~$350. If you have the cash and don't mind, they won't disappoint.
But, if you do *not* have any other headphones and want some excellent wireless Noise Cancelling cans, these are more than worth your attention, money, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a quality listening experience.
Hi BillnMish, we appreciate your in-depth review of the headphones. We're glad that you like the improvements we made on the headphones. Intelligent and intuitive, the WH-1000XM4 headphones offer further improvements to our industry-leading noise cancelation, exceptional sound quality, and smart listening that adjusts to your behavior and your location.
To get the most out of your WH-1000XM4, download the Sony | Headphones Connect App. It includes Adaptive Sound Control—which automatically adjusts noise canceling based on your activity and an equalizer—which can be customized to fine-tune your music. Using our advanced noise canceling technology, we designed these headphones so you can block out noise and experience next-level silence. Plus, you have the ability to use the convenient smart features including Quick Attention, Google Assistant/Alexa/Siri compatibility, and touch controls. Thanks for choosing Sony.
Features, Listening to music, Noise cancellation
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Sony Does It Again...Amazing Sound and Features!!!
Features, Listening to music, Noise cancellation
Sony has done it again; they’ve actually improved upon what I feel is the BEST noise cancelling wireless headphones available! The WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones are the newly released version from Sony and they have added even more user-friendly features than the previous versions.
What’s in the box - The headphones ship with a great zippered carrying case, a USB-C fast charging cable, an audio cable for wired connection, airplane cable adapter and instructions/paperwork. The headphones fold up perfectly to fit in the case which is a good size for traveling. They fit perfectly in the outside pocket of my pack used for traveling. The earphones were fully charged out of the box, so all that’s needed to get started (optional really, as they headphones will connect to your Bluetooth device anyway) is download the Sony Headphones Connect app and set up the earphones. There was a software update available for the headphones and it updated once they were connected.
Headphones Connect App - it's a great tool for taking advantage of the many settings these headphones provide like Adaptive Sound Control, Noise Canceling Optimizer, Surround, Equalizer, Sound Quality Mode, etc. Open the app, turn on the headphones and hold them close to connect and you're off and adjusting. The app is broken into three sections: Status, Sound and System. Some of the functions are automatic like the Adaptive Sound Control - this will detect your surroundings and adjust the headphones accordingly. You can also select the Noise Canceling levels. The System tab is all about the operational settings like Auto Power Off, Touch Sensors, etc. Super easy to use and a great tool.
Fit and Function - The first thing I noticed when putting on the headphones was the plush feel of the ear pads and the headband. They are super comfortable and easy to adjust to your head size. I've been wearing them almost non-stop for the last couple of days and there are no hotspots or uncomfortable rubbing. Hold the power button for a couple of seconds and then the magic starts, the noise canceling technology is fantastic, literally cutting out all the background noise as I mowed the lawn, went running or just getting stuff done around the house. With the Auto Switching Based on Action, the noise cancelling level adjusts to your activity and the outside noise. So cool!
The Sound - The sound quality is the BEST I've ever heard from Bluetooth headphones. Straight out of the box these things rock, but the Headphone Connect app gives the user the ability to set custom equalizer settings based on preference. I’m not super technically savvy, so not sure exactly how the Edge-AI works, but music is so crisp and clear on the highs and the bass is rich and deep. Quality sound as expected from Sony!
Cool (and totally useful) Functions - Not only do these headphones rock, they are loaded with super cool and totally useful Touch Features so you can adjust the music level, FF, Pause, answer phone calls, etc. just by touching the right ear cup. And if that isn't enough, Sony has upped the game by adding Speak-To-Chat which stops the music and let’s in ambient sound so you can hold a conversation without having to take the earphones off or cover the right earphone (which still works) as the previous version supported. Just be aware if you like to sing along to your music, it will pause…I learned this pretty quickly! The other new function that really stands out to me is the Automatic Off (Wearing Detection) feature. By simply taking the headphones off, music is paused until they are put back on…then the music starts up again automatically. Not sure how Sony will add more features to these headphones in the future…but I’m sure they will do something amazing!
Phone Calls – Sound is great both on the speaker and headphone sides. No complaints from anyone I’ve talked to on the headphones. Your music will start right back up once the call is ended. Totally hands free and couldn’t be any easier to use!
Battery Life - As mentioned, they came fully charged and after multiple days of use, they are still at 90%...this absolutely crushes the battery performance of my other NC headphones. And on top of that, there’s a quick charge feature that adds 5 hours of charge in 10 minutes. Worrying about battery life is completely off the table based on my experience to date.
- Noise Canceling and Sound Quality are second to none
- Ease of adjustability of sound and functions
- Touch & Automatic Controls - control your music, pause or call without ever touching your phone, customization is off-the-charts.
- Fit and comfort is outstanding, even after hours of use – no hot spots
- Sony Connect App give the user complete control over setup and functionality of headphones
- Taking Phone Calls - crisp and clear even in a crowded store
- Great Carry Case for traveling and storage
- Not a huge fan of the Platinum Silver color…but come on, you can just buy the black ones!!
The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones are by far one of my new favorite devices and would 100% recommend them to anyone looking for the BEST noise canceling and function-packed headphones available.
Verdict. Simply put, these are perfect in almost every way. They are comfortable, the sound is exceptional, active noise cancellation is the best I’ve heard (or not heard in this case?!), the touch controls are very cool, and finally, the app takes it to the next level of customization and automation. Perfect!
Setup. I was able to setup these headphones on an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy through the app, and have them setup simultaneously. The setup with the app was very easy, taking literally just seconds. As soon as the headphones connected, the app installed a firmware update and then the headphones were operational. Easy!
Sound. Music truly sounds exceptional with these headphones. I think it is a combination of the awesome ANC and hi-res audio wireless capability. One can truly get lost listening to music with these headphones. The other really interesting aspect of these headphones is that you can let yourself get lost in the music because the headphones will take care of the rest: reducing ANC to let you hear ambient sounds when you are walking, letting you hear announcements at the airport, and stopping the music and turning on hear-through when you start talking. Amazing!!
App. The app is simple and it just works. I haven’t experienced any glitches. There are sufficient options to make it really useful, without the inclusion of bloatware. Before these headphones, I had another nice pair of ANC headphones, but in this case the app really take these headphones to the next level because of the options and automation. Game changer!
Automation. By far, the coolest feature of these headphones is the automation. The headphones pause the music when you remove them. You can program ANC based on location or activity, and then the headphones will automatically switch. You can quickly activate hear-through by touch the right earcup with your hand. Touch and hold to activate a voice assistant that actually works. The headphones have a sensor that analyzes air pressure and shape to optimize sound! And again, my favorite feature is speak-to-chat, which automatically pauses the music and turns on hear-through so that you can carry on a conversation. I have mine set to be less sensitive so it is not triggered by soft voice, and I have it set to resume music after 15 seconds. Bespoke!
Buttons. The headphones have minimal buttons… two to be exact. The rest of the controls are done by touching the surface of the right earcup. I thought I would hate this feature, but it works really well for me and I like it more than buttons because I don’t have to look for a button. I just slide my fingers on the earcup and it does what I want. One of the physical buttons is the on/off/pairing button, and the other button controls the ANC, and that button is customizable. Say what?!
Accessories. The headphones come with a really nice zipper case that minimizes the required space. The case includes an airplane adapter, an audio cable, and a charging cable. Nice!
Things I love:
- Exceptional sound
- Amazing ANC
- Very comfortable for a few hours, even if you wear glasses
- Touch controls are really cool and work well
- Speak-to-chat is very convenient
- Battery life of 30 hours!
- Fast charging gives you 5 hours of play back in just 10 min of charging
Things I don’t love:
- The only thing that could be better is the transition between the two different devices connected to the headphones. Based on the devices that I use, I have to disconnect one device to connect to another one.
Conclusion. These headphones are the best I have ever used. They are not cheap, but they are certainly worth it for all that they offer. Really well done Sony!
Hi AllAboutTech, we appreciate your 5-star review of the headphones. Good to know that these headphones are worth it. Make sure to enable the "Connect to 2 devices simultaneously"on the Sony Headphones Connect app to enjoy easier Bluetooth switching. You may find this link helpful: https://helpguide.sony.net/mdr/wh1000xm4/v1/en/contents/TP0002935899.html ~Ralph
Features, Listening to music, Sound quality
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
The Jerry Lee Lewis of ANC Headphones
Features, Listening to music, Sound quality
I could just as well throw the rest of my headphone collection away now that “The Killer” (JLL’s nickname) has arrived. The Sony WH-1000XM4 is the newest flagship of Sony’s wireless, active-noise-canceling headphone line-up. I have read many complimentary things about Sony’s noise reduction technology and have been eager to try one of their high-end examples (I have a lesser model that I use when mowing the lawn). It turns out that the ANC is just one part of the package for this over-the-ear headphone.
Probably the number one feature of these cans (I feel like an early ‘70s hipster using this term, but it is a requirement in headphone reviews) for me is the control interface. My-oh-my, the simplicity and elegance of how this works is just so awesome! And it works well! On the right side ear cup, swipe up or down to incrementally adjust the volume, swipe forward to skip to the next track, swipe back to go back to the beginning of the track, and double-tap to pause or play (or answer and hang up a phone call). This means there are only two traditional, “hard” buttons to use and they are on the left ear cup. One controls power on/off and the other is a “Custom” button that can be programmed via the mobile app to operate “Ambient Sound Control”, “Google Assistant”, or “Amazon Alexa”. I did not see an option for “Siri”, but on the box, small print states that the Voice Assist Function is compatible with Siri.
The sound reproduction of high quality music source material is on par with my wired headphones that sold for twice the price of these - enough said. I did notice some variations between the music stored on my iPhone in the phone’s native “Music” app and the same song when streamed via the Deezer app, and the Deezer version sounded noticeably better as the high-hat cymbal was present. Using the DSEE Extreme feature on the song stored on the phone did nothing to restore the lost musical information in that file. The DSEE feature is supposed to use Artificial Intelligence technology to accurately upscale compressed music - I’m not sure how missing information in compressed files are supposed to be recreated, but maybe the type of compression used plays a role in how well this feature works.
The “Headphones Connect” app that Sony has developed offers a mind boggling variety of features, customization, and options for tailoring the 1000XM4 to your exact needs. Once you get used to some of the features these headphones have, you will most definitely miss them in other company’s products. If having your music pause when you remove the headphones (and resume when you put them back on) isn’t cool enough, they can also be set to automatically pause when you start talking to someone, and the noise cancellation also shuts off so you can hear their reply (Sony calls this “Speak to Chat”). The only thing that would have been better is if the external microphones would pick up their voice and play it through the drivers in the phones.
The design of this headphone is elegantly simple, while fit and finish are superb. The exterior is monochromic in color with a tiny splash of the two rose-gold colored “SONY” logos - very understated. The materials are not metal and leather, and I’m sure this allows Sony to spend the money on the performance of the product, but none-the-less they have a high quality feel to them.
I had the opportunity to compare the XM4 against three other over-the-ear, active-noise-canceling headphones, and I used my gas-powered lawn mower as a noise source. My findings are subjective as I don’t have the equipment to make accurate measurements. The most disappointing ones were my low-end Sonys and a set of $500 “premium brand” headphones that try to make up their shortcomings on style alone. The XM4 narrowly edged out a set from the other big name in ANC headphones by a small margin in my non-scientific test.
Besides sound signature, comfort is the other big subjective characteristic of headphones, but in my opinion these are the most comfortable ones I have ever used for extended periods of time. The ear pads are much softer and more cushioned than my headphones that have leather covered ear pads.
The included charging cable plugs into a USB-C port on the right ear cup, so no more squinting to see which way the connector is to be inserted. But…this cable is only 8 inches long - probably not an issue since you can get 5 hours of playback time when charging the battery for only 10 minutes. The included case is sufficiently sturdy to offer proper protection - other manufacturers that include a drawstring bag take note, you look cheap. There is also a cord with 3.5mm mini-phone plugs on the ends and an airplane adapter included in the box, but no AC adapter for charging. The XM4 gives outstanding volume from a computer or phone - way more volume than I get from my Air Pods, which is nice. As a side note to this, there is a statement in the instructions that reads “because the headphones achieve a tight seal over the ears, forcibly pressing them against your ears or quickly pulling them off can result in eardrum damage”. I did not attempt to check the validity of this statement, but I mention it for those who do not thoroughly read instructions. Also of note for those who are out and about while wearing headphones, these are not waterproof.
Taking into account other products in the marketplace, I think the Sony WH-1000XM4 is an excellent value for the price and has outstanding performance that should not disappoint anyone.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about mids quality, treble quality, durability and comfort. Editors are less positive about reliability. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 100/100 = Excellent quality.
TechRadarRating, 5 out of 55.0Gerald Lynch on December 2, 2020
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones review
The Sony WH-1000XM4 are the best headphones this year – here's why.Full Review
The VergeRating, 4.5 out of 54.5Chris Welch on August 6, 2020
Sony WH-1000XM4 review: the best noise-canceling headphones get better
Same looks, better mics, and pairing with two devices at once.Full Review
Sony has made the best even better. With a bunch of seemingly small changes, the company has further improved its already stellar headphones. The WH-1000XM4 sounds great and the custom ANC automatically adjusts if you choose to let it. You won'tFull Review
Tom's GuideRating, 4 out of 54.0Alex Bracetti on January 20, 2021
Sony WH-1000XM4 review: The noise-cancelling headphones to beat
The Sony WH-1000XM4 delivers big improvements to challenge the Bose 700 for best in category.Full Review
A:AnswerA few differences.
1.) Speak to Chat feature. When you talk, the headphones will automatically pause the music, so you can chat without touching any controls.
2.) They have improved the noise cancelling especially at high frequencies like human voices, great for office.
3.) 5 Microphones for better call quality.
4.) Slightly larger and deeper ear pads.
5.) Multipoint connection support. Can now connect to 2 devices at same time
6.) Bluetooth 5.0 support.
A:AnswerI ordered on the 8th, the page said it would ship by the 14th, it is now the 16th and the order says delayed. I went with Best Buy because the ship date was a week before everybody's goto online retailer's release date of the 21st. As of the 16th, their release date has moved up to the 18th while Best Buy just says they'll cancel the order if it doesn't ship by the 22nd.
I would buy from a more reliable retailer.
A:AnswerConsidering that the included charging cord is only 8 inches long, I suspect you cannot use them while listening to them. I went and got a longer cord and my suspicions were correct, they will not turn on when plugged into a charger. Ten minutes on a charger gives you five hours of listening time, so I don't think it is too much of an issue for most people.
A:AnswerI had the same issue with QC35 (none Bluetooth). Never did with QC35 2’s.
I will say this the leatherette of fue Sony’s doesn’t seem as high quality as the leatherette of fue Bose 700’s. It just feels more plastic Iike, and it attracts oils from the face quite easily.
As for durability, it’s early to tell, but I’ve never heard about Sony’s fraying (not with the M3’s). Stands to reason this is the same for rue M4’s.
A:AnswerYeah, I am also having this issue. I am planning to exchange mine for another pair. I had the XM3s for 2 years and never had this issue (people report that this issue was also present with the XM3s), so I'm hoping it's bad luck with this pair.
A:AnswerNo, they are not sweat resistant.
Sony does NOT cover damage caused by perspiration in their Limited Warranty.
(found under https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/wireless-headphones-bluetooth-headphones/wh-1000xm4#manuals)
Under Sony's warranty it says:
"This Limited Warranty does not cover products purchased from sources other than Sony or a Sony authorized dealer (including non-authorized online auctions), or issues due to:... (vii) contact with liquid, heat, humidity or perspiration, sand, smoke, or foreign materials"
With that said, there are people that have no issues with sweat (even excessive sweat) while wearing them. So it's up to your discretion. But just be aware that Sony has covered their behinds if something goes wrong with your headphones since their exclusion of coverage is in writing. They won't replace it or service it for you for free.
A:AnswerI tested this just now with my XM4.
They do NOT work with the PS4 via bluetooth. You'll get an error message saying "Bluetooth audio devices are not supported on the PS4"
You can use them wired when connected to your DualShock 4 controller using the speaker cable but the microphone will NOT work. Only game audio.