Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds review: Big-time upgrade
Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds review: Big-time upgrade
9:49

Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds review: Big-time upgrade

Headphones
[SOUND] Here they are folks, Sony's new Sony WF-1000XM4 noise cancelling ear buds. They're not cheap at $280. That's $50 more than the previous model, but you know what? They're really damn good. So let's get right into the review and find out how they stack up against the best true wireless noise cancelling ear buds out there right now. [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] [SOUND] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] As you can see, they're totally different looking than the mark three, and that goes for the packaging as well. Like a lot of other companies Sony's moved to simple eco for like packaging And I appreciated that. All those little complaints about the previous model that, they stuck out of your ears too much. That case was a little big, there was no water resistance. And that headset performance for making calls just wasn't as good as it should be. Well, Sony made a list of all those gripes and basically went down the list and cross them off. But at least most of them anyway, these have a more traditional ear bud design and why they certainly aren't small buds. They're a good deal smaller than the mark threes and they fit my ears snugly and securely. They also stayed in my ears when I ran with them and yes, they're splashproof With an IPX4 water resistance rating, so you can sweat on them without worrying that you're gonna ruin them. All that said I could see some people with smaller ears who might have a little trouble with them. I can't guarantee you're gonna put everyone equally well, but they did fit my ears well. The one thing I was a little unsure about was the look of the buds They've got this little copper colored ring, that's their signature design trait but there's something a little funky about it and slightly jarring. I think I would have preferred at the buds were all one color but that's a minor gripe on my part and your aesthetic sensibilities may be completely the opposite of mine. What is that copper ring? Well, it's a microphone and there are two microphones on each. To be for me to pick up your voice better on top of that. These have bone conduction sensors to detect when you're talking during calls and the buds have the same speak to chat feature. Found on Sony's over-ear wh 1000 x mark for headphones if you're listening to music and someone comes up to you. If you say anything, like, hey, what's up, your music automatically pauses and the earbuds go into an ambient sound mode allows you to hear the outside world and the person you're having a conversation with, for music then resumes a few seconds after you stop talking, and that noise cancelling that you had on before will kick back in. Unlike the previous model, you can also tap and hold on the left leg to manually pause your music and go into that ambient sound mode. So you don't have to use the speak to chat you can turn it off, which is probably a good idea. If you're someone who talks to yourself a lot or happens to sing along to the songs. You're listening to. [MUSIC] Before I get into how good the noise canceling and sound quality are, I'll say that Sony has really improved the headset performance for making calls. The noise reduction during calls is a lot better and people said they could hear me well, even in the noisy streets of New York. I test call quality by standing in the street with cars driving behind me. These measureup well to the AirPods Pro, maybe they're not quite they're equal, but they're close. So the voice calling capabilities of these ear buds have definitely improved. The noise cancelling is quite impressive right at the top. The class is definitely improved from the mark three and it's right there with the Bose quietcomfort earbuds Which costs the same as these and were previously best in class for true wireless noise cancelling. Sony says the WF 1000x Mark 4 has a new custom chipset called the V1 that processes both sound and noise cancelling and it appears to have made a big difference particularly for noise cancelling I didn't travel on a plane, but I have a noisy back unit in my apartment and I compared the noise cancelling of these to the Bose, and they were very close in terms of their muffling abilities. Both are really quite impressive, I thought these also did a good job muffling noise outside in the streets, and even did well tamping down sound. When I was watching an NBA playoff game in my home theater, with the vibe fairly high, so the noise canceling seems to work across a wider range of frequencies than it did with the mark three. As with all of these types of noise, isolating earbuds to get optimal noise cancelling performance, and the best possible sound, you do need to get a tight seal. To that end, Sony has redesigned its ear tips and includes three sizes of foam ear tips instead of silicone tips. They're kind of a polyurethane coating to them so they're a little bit more durable than your typical foam tips and the large tips fit my ears well, I was able to get a good seal according to the sealed test In the app, but I still decided to use a set of silicone tips. I had that end up fitting my ears perfectly, but most of you should be able to get a good seal from the included tips. Along with shrinking the size of the buds. Sony also shrunk the size of the charging case. It's about 40% smaller You can now stand it up it has a flat bottom and you get both USBC and wireless charging. Battery life is rated at eight hours, with the noise cancelling on at moderate volume levels and up to 12 hours with it off. The charging case holds an additional 16 hours of juice. That eight hours of battery life with ANC on Is better than what you get with a lot of noise cancelling earbuds including the AirPods Pro, which are at about five hours. [MUSIC] I'm not going to dig into all the features in the app there are some adaptive sound modes. Plenty of equalizer settings and you can customize the touch controls to your liking and add volume control to the mix if you want and you can also choose whether to use Google assistant, Amazon Luxor or your phones native voice assistant. As you might expect. These complete tracks recorded in Sony's 360 reality audio format, which is supported by some streaming music services like Deezer and title. These are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and also have support for Sony's high resolution l DAC wireless streaming audio codec. Some Sony devices and Amazon music HD Kobas title, and Nuggs net music services support LDAP streaming, I use an Android device to stream LDAP with Kobas and I did notice a very slight difference in sound quality for the better. Alas Apple devices don't support LDAP For those of you looking to pair these with your APTX enabled Android devices, APTX isn't supported. The majority people will simply use the default AAC audio codec for wireless Bluetooth streaming to their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. Sorry if I bored you with all that technical audio codec stuff, but there's always a few commenters who complain if I don't mention it, so I do. More importantly, I should point out that unlike Sony's WH 1000x Mark 4 over ear headphones, these don't have multipoint Bluetooth pairing. So you can't pair them with two devices simultaneously, like with a PC and smartphone and automatically switch the audio when a call comes in That's really the only missing feature that stood out to me anyway. As far as the sound goes, not surprisingly It's really good. Nice detail warm but well defined bass that goes deep, natural sounding mids for vocals lip and just big open sound for true wireless buds anyway Along with that new 1B chip for digital processing, Sony has redesigned the six millimeter drivers. And these do sound richer than the MX3's, which already sounded excellent. For me anyway, the traits of an excellent sounding wireless headphone involves such Two adjectives as accurate, articulate, well balanced, dynamic and smooth. These exhibit those traits, though I don't wanna oversell them too much because they are true wireless ear buds after all, and not wired headphones. But for true wireless their sound is up there with the best sounding models, including Bowers and Wilkins, new $400 PI7 Sennheisers $250 momentum true wireless two and mastering dynamics $300 mW eight. Needless to say they easily outclassed the AirPods pro in the sound department, though the AirPods pro are lighter and overall more comfortable to wear. I do like the Bose quietcomfort earbuds sound, but these offer a little bit more refined, richer sound Some people including me like how the Bose's stay here tips fit their ears, but in most other regards these Sony's have the edge with a smaller design for both the buds and the case, better headset performance and slightly better sound. And as I said they're very close as far as noise canceling goes No earbuds are totally perfect Of course, and not everybody will love the fit of the wf 1,000x mark for buds or be able to afford their high price. But if you're looking for great sounding earbuds with great noise cancelling solid voice calling capabilities and good battery life, these buds check all the boxes. As always, let me know what you think. In the comment section. And if you found this video informative at all, hit the like button, subscribe if you haven't already I'm David Coney from CNet, thanks for watching.

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