Review: Sony WH-1000XM4

Review: Sony WH-1000XM4

I finally got to try the Sony WH-1000XM4, and for those unaware, Sony WH-1000 series has been right up there competing as the world’s best noise cancelling headphones and the latest version continues the trend.

Unboxing the packaging, the WH-1000XM4 are packed in a clean and sleek dark grey hard case. You get the standard audio accessories, a 3.5mm audio cable, airplane adapter, and USB-C charging cable.


Compared to the previous gen, Sony introduced a lighter-weight design to shave off the weight slightly to 251g. The earpads with the foam cushion and supple headband offered sufficient comfort in wearing the headphones for long durations. The overall finish and design give off a professional look, a fine balance to achieve an understated luxury design. However, if I were to nit-pick, the headphones can slip off if I were to lean back / recline on my chair, so it doesn’t offer the most secure fit.

New Features in WH-1000XM4

Improved Noise Cancelling. The WH-1000XM4 has improved noise cancellation in the mid-range. I was not able to compare it to the previous generation, but I was impressed with the removal of significant background noise from fans and other equipment at home. For those who need to work from home in 2021, a quality pair of noise cancelling headphones will go some distance in improving the home office environment. There’s an intelligence component to the noise-cancelling too. Coupled with the Sony app, you can enable location detection, which will apply different levels of noise-cancellation depending on your location. E.g. when on the go in MRTs, you may want to set the noise cancellation to allow voices to come through, but turn up the noise cancellation to full once you are at home.

Multi-point pairing. A new multipoint connection lets the headphones connect to two devices at once, intelligently switching between both as the requirement of each device dictates – say, to deliver a notification or answering a call. It’s also easy to pair.

Speak to chat. The WH-1000XM4 can recognize when you start talking and automatically pause your music / video, while also increasing the ambient noise for you to hear the external response. It took a little time to get used to, but it is a convenient feature which enables short conversations without requiring to remove the headphones. If you don’t like it, you can turn it off through the software app controls.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the previous WH-1000XM3 had been raved by many, and the WH-1000XM4 continues to impress. Overall, it offers a well-balanced soundstage and I felt it was able to accurately capture and re-produce the warmth and detail of various tones. It’s strengths would be in the lows and mids, as the active noise cancellation does help to allow the bass tones to stand out. Sony uses its Dual Noise Sensor tech, making use of two mics in each earcup to analyse ambient noise with the QN1 noise cancelling processor. This allows the headphones to adjust its noise cancellation response imperceptibly quickly, at more than 700 times a second. The overall tone was warmer which I thought was well suited as generally most people who would use this headphones would probably be wearing them for extended durations.


I’m impressed with the build and sound quality of the Sony WH-1000XM4. It lives up to the strong reputation of the previous generation and is one of the, if not the best noise-cancelling headphones in the market currently.