Sony WF-1000XM4 Review summary:

Editor’s rating: 4/5

Design

Comfort

Connectivity

Sound

Noise Cancellation

Battery

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pros

  • Impressive sound quality
  • LDAC codec supported
  • Excellent companion app
  • Impressive ANC performance
  • IPX4 water resistance

Cons

  • No multipoint connection
  • No aptX HD support

Sony has been a champion in a true sense when it comes to audio. With time, Sony has adapted and reinvented itself to meet market needs. For instance, Sony wasn’t among the earlier adopters of Truly wireless earbuds but when it decided to jump in, it tried to offer the absolute best experience possible. Last year Sony released its first premium TWS in India – WF-1000XM3 – which was one of the best in the market at the time. Now, the Japanese tech giant is ready with a successor, the Sony WF-1000XM4.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is undoubtedly the most premium TWS that the company has to offer in India. Well, we have been testing these out for the past 15 days to be certain about how they perform. Should you buy the Sony WF-1000XM4? Let’s answer such questions in our detailed review.


Sony WF-1000XM4 Unboxing

Sony has packed the WF-1000XM4 in a more eco-friendly box that’s entirely made of paper and can be recycled easily. We commend this approach and hope more and more take this path of offering eco-friendly packaging.

The package includes a Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds tucked inside a charging case, three sizes of ear tips, a charging cable, and some documentation.

Jump to..

Sony WF-1000XM4 Specs


Driver: 6 mm, neodymium magnets
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz(44.1kHz sampling) / 20Hz – 40,000Hz(LDAC 96kHz sampling, 990kbps)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2
Codec: SBC, AAC, LDAC
Water resistance: Yes (IPX4)
Battery Buds – 8 hours (with NC On)/ 12 hours (NC Off)Case – 24 hours; USB Type-C charging port
Colors: Silver, Black
Price: Rs. 19,990


Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Design and comfort 

Sony has done remarkable work here. Usually, brands make certain design refinements in their TWS but the Sony team went back to the drawing board to develop the WF-1000XM4 from the scratch. They have cut down all the bulk to come up with a much leaner and compact WF-1000XM4.

The new redesigned case is 40 percent smaller than that o the predecessor. It has ditched the shiny paint job for a battle finish with a simple Sony logo on top. You can now easily slide them in your denim pocket without feeling any discomfort.

The case has a magnetic lid that is easy to open or close with one hand. The Snap has such a gratifying feel to it that I often unknowingly start opening and shutting the case lid for no reason when idle. Not just the case lid, even the buds snap and snuggle into their holster as you bring them closer.

The case has a led indicator on the front neatly placed where the upper and lower lid meet. There’s also a Type C port placed at the back which can be used for wired charging. Sony has also added Qi wireless charging coin at the bottom which is a welcome addition.

Sony engineers have also shrunken the size of earbuds as the 1000XM4 has a 10 percent smaller footprint than WF-1000XM3. The all-new earbud comes in an all redesigned rounded structure that fits in my ears easily. The earbuds match the looks and feel of the case by offering a similar matte finish with a gold color accent highlighting the mics.

The buds are again entirely made of plastic, which helps keep them light. The touch controls are well implemented and easy to reach and operate. The companion Headphone Connect app lets you disable tap gestures for left and right buds and this is particularly useful in avoiding accidental triggers when we wear them lying in our bed.

Is the Sony WF-1000XM4 waterproof?

With this new redesign, Sony has ensured that the WF-1000XM4 is IPX4 rated which assures some protection against dust and water. All in all, it’s a functional design that also looks extremely elegant and is also comfortable to wear for a long duration.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Connectivity, Controls & Companion app

The flagship earbuds come with support for the Headphone Connect app that Sony recommends to every user. The companion app lets you check your fit by implementing a proprietary ear scanning. All you have to do is click a picture of your ear to analyze and the app will make the required changes automatically.

How does the Sony WF-1000XM4 connect to your phone?

On the connectivity front, the 1000XM4 has Bluetooth 5.2, which means the earbuds can accept transmission to both left and right bud individually. Sony has added support for Fast Pair with Android, Swift Pair with Windows PCs for a faster pairing. These buds also come with Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification. 

The top surface of each earpiece is touch-sensitive and can perform different actions with your touch. From making volume adjustments toggling between noise-cancelling and ambient sound modes can be done with a single touch. All these gestures are listed in the app.

 LEFT BUDRIGHT BUD
One tapMute/ANC/Ambient soundPlay/Pause
Two tapsN/ATrack forward/answer call
Three tapsN/ATrack backward
Long pressN/ASmart assistant

The companion app also has an activity-based Adaptive Sound Control feature where it automatically optimizes audio as per your location and ‘action’ like running, walking, etc.

There’s also Speak to Chat feature that can be toggled on from the app. it basically senses when you are indulging in conversation and enable audio passthrough to ensure hassle-free quick conversations.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Audio Performance  

The WF-1000XM4 gets a 6mm driver which as per Sony offers a 20 percent increase in magnet volume and a more flexible high compliance diaphragm to deliver much-improved performance when it comes to reproducing low frequencies. There’s a new Sony V1 integrated processor that delivers a high bit rate and high sound quality. Talking of bit rate, it supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs, and aptX is not supported.

That all sounds great but does that translate into real-life performance improvement?

Of course, the WF-1000XM4 delivers details that we previously never noticed. The XM4 handles deep bass and low-mid frequencies better than its biggest competition, Apple’s Airpod Pro. Sony clearly flaunts its audio prowess here by delivering a wider sound stage covering all frequencies so immaculately.

Usually, most TWS distorts bass to give you that thump, but that’s not the case here. Sony has ensured that the quality of the bass is crisp and distortion-free. If you are wondering does the XM4 favor low frequencies? Well, not really. This new Sony TWS manages to deliver Sony has natural tone dripping texture that makes it fit for every genre of music. It delivers captivating sound with more subtle detail than WF-1000XM3.

The equalizer in the Headphone Connect app can be used to align WF-1000XM4 to your individual taste.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Noise Cancelling and Call quality

How good is the Sony WF-1000XM4 at cancelling noise? Well, it works remarkably well. Sony has managed to successfully maintain its lead over the competition in Active Noise Cancellation tech. Thanks to the new V1 chip, this truly wireless can suppress noise almost to the level of over-ear cans. From the sound of fans, tp cars honking in the road next to my place it manages to cancel out every noise effectively. Thus, it allows me to experience music at lower volumes.

As for Ambient Sound, Sony has made noticeable improvements to this feature as well. With Amideint Mode turned on, the sound is much more clear as compared to its predecessor. Not just clear, it also sounds more natural than before.

Coming to the call quality, respectable improvements have been made here too. With Beamforming mics and bone conduction sensor it mange to pick up everything I said loud and clear while on call or in virtual meetings. Yes, slight ambient noise gets through if you are talking from a noisy place and that’s understandable.

Sony WF-1000XM4 review: Battery Life

Battery won’t be a cause of concern here. These Sony truly wireless offer class-leading battery life. They are advertised to offer 8hours playback time on buds and with case support, you can experience 32 hours of quality audio without worrying about charging.

In a real-world scenario, the Sony SF-1000XM4 lasted for us a little over 7 hours and 20 minutes on a single charge that too with ANC turned on. With the case, I managed to refill my XM4’s twice before they died down. That’s pretty impressive, right?. As far as charging is concerned it supports fast charging where 5 mins of top-up will give you 60 minutes of playback time. Oh, and yes the battery status of the buds and the case can be tracked from the companion app.

Verdict: Should you buy Sony WF-1000XM4?

Absolutely, when it comes to audio quality you are definitely getting your money’s worth here. The Sony WF-1000XM4 are the best noise-canceling Truly Wireless earphones that you can buy today. They not only shine with their ANC performance, but they also deliver Sound Quality that will keep you hooked for hours. From LDAC support to the improvements made in call quality, it just delivers. Despite the shrunken size, it delivers class-leading battery performance too. I only see one downside – i.e lack of multipoint support. Otherwise, it’s the best TWS that money can buy.

Reasons to buy:

  • Impressive sound quality
  • LDAC codec supported
  • Excllent companion app
  • Impressive ANC performance
  • IPX4 water resistance

Reasons to not buy:

  • No multipoint connection
  • No aptX HD support

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