There are true wireless headphones in all shapes and sizes. But very few are versatile enough to deliver top-notch audio quality while still being good enough to provide excellent noise cancellation and call quality. Sony is trying to tick all the boxes with its new WF-1000XM4.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a premium wireless set for those who don’t want to compromise on any aspect. Its design carries on the legacy of the Sony WF-1000XM3 but is unique in many ways. The ear cups here are large and have metal studs on the sides that aren’t really buttons. The sides are tactile so you can tap to pause or play. A long press brings up the smart assistant you want to use.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is quite loud. But the design ensures that it will stay put no matter what you do. However, my 10 year old son couldn’t hold them for more than a minute and he jumped.
Sony has equipped the WF-1000XM4 with all of its smart features. Best of the lot for me is the adaptive sound. The headphones know exactly what you are doing and if you check on the app you see it walking or staying. And this audio shifts accordingly. So, if you start walking while standing still for a long time, the noise cancellation will switch from active mode to ambient sound mode so that you can be aware of what is going on around you.
Like some of the other Sony models, the WF-1000XM4 also has the ability to understand the locations of your daily routine and adjust the audio accordingly, for example by activating noise cancellation whenever you use the headphones in your office. . Unfortunately, I was safely in one location for the duration of the exam and couldn’t really test it on this model.
Another feature is to check if you have the best silicone tips for your ears. This is something I haven’t seen on other headphones and works great. Fortunately, I had the best fit and didn’t have to change.
These headphones provide good noise cancellation without being overwhelming. By that I mean you don’t want to go into a vacuum every time to wear them and it’s not at the expense of noise reduction. In ambient mode you are more aware of what is going on around you and you can also choose to turn off noise cancellation completely, especially if you want to save battery power.
The size of the WF-1000XM4 tells you that it means business. The new 6mm drivers along with the high conformance diaphragm deliver a sound range that will impress even audiophiles. You can also increase the quality by selecting DSEE Extreme scaling in the app. The headphones are also compatible with Sony’s high-resolution LDAC audio and 360 Reality audio standards.
Listening to a lossless version of Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha outdo themselves in trying to reach new heights of Raga Hameer, you get a feel for the capacity of the WF-1000XM4. It strikes a good balance with the tabla on the left and the sitar on the right, the two blending together perfectly to deliver the perfect listening experience.
With a loud-voiced number like “We Belong” from “Mare of Easttown,” I admired the clarity of these headphones, making you forget how minimalist the whole composition was. And by switching to a melody like “Kaana Dooram”, the earpiece brings a feeling of calm so that you can relax. There is no excess, not even in the bass and everything sounds balanced.
One aspect that also stands out is the quality of the calls. Understanding that people are investing in truly wireless headphones to be connected anytime, anywhere, Sony has added the ability to sense wind and reduce that noise when needed. In addition, the quality of your voice during calls is much better because Sony uses beamforming microphones to get exactly what you need.
The battery life is good enough to last a full day of calls without going back to the case for a recharge. The case offers more than 30 hours of playback.
At Rs 19,990, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is one of the best truly wireless units you can buy, especially if you need something good enough for your important business calls as well as your hi-res audio collection. This will keep both workaholics and audiophiles happy.