When Sony decided to march into the noise-canceling headphone business, they made their entrance with a banger of a product – The WH-1000XM3. Considered to be the best noise-canceling headphones out there, WH-1000XM3 remained at the top of the list for 2 years straight, since its release in 2018. However, competitors haven’t been sitting idle either, several major companies including Bose and Microsoft are neck and neck with Sony for releasing impressive noise-cancellation headphones. Smaller companies such as Jabra are also releasing similar products at a much lower price. Rumors have it that Apple is also deciding to release its own premium version of noise-canceling headphones.
To stay at the top of the perch, Sony has to release a product that outperforms all of its competitors and tops off the WH-1000XM3 as well. On August 6th, Sony announced the release of the WH-1000XM4, a new flagship headphone, and a successor to the WH-1000XM3. Sony’s latest noise-canceling headphone comes with a price tag of $349.99, the same price that the WH-1000XM3 had on launch day back in 2018. Bose’s Noise-Canceling 700 headphones, which are considered to be on par with the WH-1000XM3, comes at a similar price of $339.99.
In terms of visual aesthetics, you can hardly tell the difference between the 1000XM4 and 1000XM3. The design has been kept the same, with some subtle changes as well. The simple and sleek design allows these headphones to blend in with the environment without drawing much attention. The use of high-quality materials and leather padding makes the WH-1000XM4 highly durable but extremely comfortable at the same time. Besides the usual USB charging port and audio jack, the earcups also come with control buttons to cycle through the different noise-cancellation modes. The earcups also include a touch-sensitive control panel that can be used to change the volume, play music, and shuffle through playlists.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 arrived with a slew of amazing features and fans will be relieved to hear that all of these features have been kept intact in the WH-1000XM4. Several new features have also been added, one of the most notable being the new refined wireless noise-canceling approach. The 1000XM4 offers much better noise-cancellation than its predecessor making it the best NC headphones in the market. Location-based preferences have also been added so that users can control the level of noise-canceling based on their location. In offices, users may want some voices to come through whereas at home you may prefer complete noise-cancellation.
The WH-1000XM4 also includes a sensor in the earcups that can automatically detect when the user takes off their headphones. The sensor will pause any music and resume playback once you put on the headphones again. A similar feature known as Speak-to-Chat has also been implemented. With this option selected, the headphone detects when the user starts talking and automatically pauses music and turns of noise-canceling. This will allow users to chat naturally without having to take off their headphones. With 30-hours battery life and some of the best noise-canceling features, the WH-1000XM4 is the perfect headphones in this price range.