Review: Sony wf-1000xm4
The Sony WF-1000XM4 TWS speakers are well known by the users and have made a name for themselves. They are quickly becoming an industry standard because of how well they sound and, especially, how well they block out noise. Our review from last year said many of the same things, and my partner was pleased with the earbuds after using them. Having used the WF-1000XM4 for a while, I have some ideas to share, like how there is no easy way to shorten the name. You can’t call them 1000XM4 because people will think they are the WH-1000XM4 over-the-ear headphones. And you can’t just call them WF, either. Sony doesn’t make it easy for us at all. I wonder if people who use the site often even know these names.
Aside from that, I have other thoughts about the WF-1000XM4 (sigh), mostly about how good and comfortable the sound is. So keep reading to learn.
Sony wf-1000xm4 EarBuds Specification
|Battery life||8 Hours|
|Voice control||Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa|
|Charging||Qi wireless charging, USB-C|
|Color Options||Silver, Black|
|Weight||7.3g (per earbud)|
- Fluent, robust, and articulate speech
- Excellent usability and well-designed ergonomics
- The excellent sound quality on calls.
- The battery life is mediocre.
- Bad noise cancellation
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is now on sale for $279.99/£250/AU$449.95. This price seems fair when you consider that the previous WF-1000XM3 started at a modest $230/£220/AU$399 in 2019 and that the last few pairs are still on sale for around $170/£150/AU$200. Compared to its competitors, the WF-1000XM4 does pretty well against Bose, Grado, and Sennheiser models. It also seems like a good deal compared to Bowers & Wilkins’ excellent (but crazy-priced) PI7.
The WF-1000XM4 keeps up Sony’s practice of making earbuds with strange shapes. They are strangely shaped like spheres and have gold vents that look like steampunk for the speakers. It’s definitely different, but it’s up to you to decide if you like it. Large touch-sensitive areas are built into the outside of the ears. You only have to lightly touch these to use the motions, which is much easier than poking your ears with most other earbuds.
Also, does anyone want to watch a magic trick?
Yes, the sensors on the back are set up so that if you put the earbuds on a surface in a certain way, it will block the sensor and trick the earbuds into thinking they are back in your ears. I’ve often returned to find that the music was still playing even though I had removed my earbuds and put them on the desk. Sony made a mistake there.
Sony’s new V1 engine powers the buds. Sony says that it makes ANC work better while using less power. It also has a new process called “Adaptive Sound Control,” which lets the earbuds figure out what’s going on around you and adjust the sound to work best. The WF-1000XM4 uses the WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones’ “Speak-to-Chat” mode. This instantly stops the music and turns on the background noise so you can hear clearly who is talking to you.
Sony says these are the world’s first TWS earbuds to play Hi-Res music through the LDAC codec. LDAC can carry up to three times as much data as normal Bluetooth audio codecs like AAC and SBC. WF-1000XM4 also has 360 Reality Audio, which makes a live show recording feel like you’re there.
We found the WF-1000XM4 a little challenging to insert, and we expected them to rest more profound in the ear than they do. However, once you get them where you want them, you can adjust the touch controls, the EQ levels, and many other features to your liking. Is that it? Good. It’s time to crank up the stereo. We began our evaluations by playing a Tidal Masters file of Ross From Friends’ Burner and were immediately impressed with the WF-1000XM4. They don’t emphasize any particular frequency range, they pay close attention to every nuance, and they don’t linger on rhythms or tempos. Their presentation is full of energy and enthusiasm yet is kept under tight control. The bass tones that the earbuds transport have weight, texture, and an incredible amount of information.
Despite the abundance of energy and forward motion, the WF-1000XM4 never loses control of its composure. The transitions into and out of bass notes are clear and well-defined, preventing the low frequencies from bleeding into the midrange.