Sony is no stranger to releasing market leading audio products with its great WH-1000XM4 cans, one of our favorites of the year. Now the Japanese company is back with some new wireless earbuds, and the fancifully named WF-1000XM4 is sure to tick all the right boxes.
These Buds have a long list of upgrades over their predecessor, the WF-1000XM3, including a new design, better sound, and improved noise cancellation, which means you should only be hearing your music and nothing else.
The big question is, are these the wireless earbuds to beat and will Sony get another cabinet full of awards by the end of the year?
Express.co.uk put the WF-1000XM4 to the test and here’s what we think of these latest Sony buds.
SONY WF-1000XM4 REVIEW
Right out of the box, the new WF-1000XM4 immediately looks a lot better than before with a charging case that is now smaller and much easier to use. Sony has obviously worked hard to make its new buds more pocket-friendly and somehow managed to remove 40 percent of the plastic from this newest product.
It’s a major design change that brings these buds more in line with the ever-growing roster of competitors who supply all music producers with neat and compact cases.
This problem became even more noticeable with use in the gym as we weren’t sure that one of the 250lb buds wouldn’t suddenly fly out of our ear, hit the treadmill, and be thrown across the floor.
While we were a little less impressed with the size and fit of Sony’s new headphones, one just can’t fault the sound of the WF-1000XM4. These things blew us away with audio quality full of detail, rich bass, and crystal clear highs.
The WF-1000XM4 are possibly the best buds we’ve heard this year, with a sound that will really immerse you. Even when the sound is pumped to the max, things won’t distort and your brain will tremble with the bass directed into your ear canal.
It’s very impressive and if audio quality is high on your wish list then the WF-1000XM4 won’t disappoint. The sound gets even better thanks to an upgraded V1 processor that offers really great noise cancellation.
We have tested these new buds in numerous scenarios, whereby our music experience is always free of noise and distraction.
Other audio features worth mentioning include full compatibility with stunning high-resolution audio music tracks and a technology called the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine that upscales compressed digital music files in real time to make everything sound better.
When you go to a coffee shop to buy your morning coffee, the WF-1000XM4 now features Sony’s speak-to-chat technology, which mutes the sound as soon as the earbuds hear your voice. That means you can talk to people and hear their responses without taking the buds out of your ears.
It works well but can get a little annoying as even a slight cough will stop the music. Fortunately, this software makes it easy to turn things on and off via Sony’s dedicated app, so you can also customize the touch controls and tweak the sound settings.
If you love listening to endless playlists, these new Buds have around eight hours of battery life with a total of 24 hours on the charging case. That’s impressive as many of Sony’s competitors, including Apple’s AirPods, only last around 5 hours before needing to be refilled.
There’s another nice boost too, as a quick 5 minute fast charge gives you up to 60 minutes of playtime.
As expected, the WF-1000XM4 are fully compatible with Alexa and Google’s Assistant, and thanks to an IPX4 water resistance, should also withstand the British weather.
ADVANTAGES • Great sound • Excellent ANC • Long battery life • Smaller charging case
DISADVANTAGE • Trouble getting a good fit • Very expensive • Buds are bigger than their competitors
If you want the best sounding earbuds of 2021, you can’t go wrong with Sony’s WF-1000XM4. The audio quality is really epic with tracks full of detail and booming with rich, powerful bass.
The noise cancellation is first class and ensures a completely uninterrupted music experience. The battery life is also impressive, and there are plenty of additional goodies like speak-to-chat and the ability to upscale compressed digital music files.
Our only problem with the WF-1000XM4 is its large size, which won’t fit some ears, and the fact that we just didn’t get the right fit.
At over £ 250 they are also very expensive and this is a crowded market with many competitors now offering similar features at a much lower price. If you’re a fan of Sony’s audio kit and are looking for some of the best sounding buds out there, you won’t be disappointed.
We’re just not sure if they did enough for us to give them the full five stars.