This is it folks.
The new Sony wh 1000 x mark for noise cancelling headphones.
A lot of people have been waiting for this headphone.
And I'm excited to tell you what's new about it.
So let's get right to it.
On the outside anyway, very little has changed from the mark three.
They still come in the same black and silver color options and cost $350 Like the mac three did when it first launched.
If you look closely, there are some subtle alterations that are designed to make the headphones fit more comfortably.
Ear pads are ever so slightly bigger.
You see the oval inside is a little wider and the padding is also a touch softer And then some of the paddings has been shaved off the top of the headband.
All these little changes are supposed to reduce the pressure on both the top of your head and around your ears.
I did find them slightly more comfortable wear over longer listening sessions and they do weigh a gram less than the mark three.
There's no change to the buns at least in terms of their placement.
The button that used to be labeled [UNKNOWN] is now labelled CUSTOM New Africana program that button to do what it did before.
Mainly toggle between noise cancelling and a transparency mode that sounded from the outside world.
Or you can program it to perform another functions such as activate Amazon Alexa or Google voice assistant.
Also if you hold it for a few seconds,headphones go into a calibration mode,to detect the shape of your head,or whether you're wearing glasses.
Then optimizes the headphones based on those readings.
The bigger changes are on the inside one you can see inside the left ear cup there's a sensor detects when you have the headphones on and automatically pauses the audio when you take them off.
It doesn't seem to affect the battery life, which is still rated at 30 hours with wireless and noise cancelling on And you get five hours worth of juice from only ten minutes of charging via USB-C.
Now, the hidden stuff, there's a new bluetooth system on a chip that has more processing power Headphones still use the Sony's q n one chip that's found in the mark three, but Sony tweaked its algorithms for noise cancelling and digital signal processing to slightly improve both the sound and the noise canceling.
Both were already excellent in the mark three and now they're a touch better
These aren't huge upgrades but more subtle improvements.
The headphone does a little better job of converting streaming music from services like Spotify to pseudo high resolution according to Sony.
The Mark four is better at processing highs adding back in a bit of missing detail, and you're dealing with compressed streaming audio again Subtle upgrade, but the headphones do seem to sound slightly more refined and detailed even though the hardware and by that I mean the drivers are the same.
The basis for yet punchy and well defined.
They've got a nice openness to them with a relatively wide soundstage.
Do they blow away without their from Bose Sennheiser and others know but they just sound really good While they are dynamic sounding.
They also have enough form to them that you don't experience listening fatigue over longer listening sessions.
Features wise there are few legitimate upgrades, the first is multipoint bluetooth pairing that allows you to pair these headphones with two devices at the same time, and switch back and forth between them.
It's an important feature for some people particularly those of us who like to simultaneously pair with our phones and computers Working from home, or maybe it's your phone and a tablet.
I was using an earlier version of the software so the feature wasn't completely reliable, but Sony promises that it will be when the headphones officially shipped and the software is updated.
From the beginning, the 1000 X's signature extra feature was a quick attention mode.
If you hold your hand over the right ear cup, pauses, whatever audio you're listening to it, lets sound in.
So you can quickly have a conversation and go right back to what you're listening to, just by removing your hand That's still there.
But there's a new mode called speak to chat that's essentially hands free quick attention.
If someone comes up to you and wants to chat, you can simply start talking.
Hey, what's up, your audio pauses and the headphones go into ambient mode.
That's pretty cool.
The audio then resumes after a set period of time, you could set it from anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute.
Or you can manually resume it by touching the ear cup.
I did make the mistake of having on while I was out walking my dog.
Every time I'd say something to him, my music would pause which was irritating.
And stocks don't talk back.
I didn't need to hear what he was saying.
So remember to turn it off if you frequently have conversations with animals.
I'll finish up by talking about the two biggest complaints people had about the mark three First was that voice calling wasn't that great and the second was that the touch controls just wouldn't work in very cold weather on the first issue, so he says it's improved the noise reduction while you're making calls, and also says the microphones now pick up your voice better.
In my test, the voice calling does seem improved.
People said they could hear me clearly.
A while the noise reduction wasn't stellar, a good noticeably muffled background noise I don't think the Mac 4 is quite as good as Bose as noise cancelling 700 headphones for voice calling, but it's definitely better and not a weakness like it was on the Mac 3 when it first launched.
As for the touch controls responsiveness in cold weather, it will Sony says it's made some improvements there too.
I'd love to test it but it's somewhere I am.
I don't have a walk in freezer handy.
wants the cold weather comes I'll put my finding stuff on my text review on CNET.
I'm not convinced the touch controls will work flawlessly at really low temps.
Then again, a lot of electronics just can't handle subzero weather.
We'll say you're still pretty toasty on your ears in hot weather.
That's Sony's wh 1000 XM4 for in a nutshell.
If you already own the mark three, it's probably not worth upgrading to.
Just not that big a leap forward, but this is a great headphone to sell about 15 to 20% better thanks to a few small but significant upgrades.
It should improve a bit further with firmware updates.
Remains one of the top noise cancelling headphones if not the top one out there.
Having the best combination of comfort, sound performance and extra features.
We'll see what competitors like Apple Bose and others have in store over the next six months.
I was gonna drop $350 on a noise cancelling headphone today.
This would be at the top of my list.
David Carnac for CNET, thanks for watching and let me know what you think in the comment section.