The fourth-generation of Sony's noise-cancelling wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM4, continues to deliver the goods. It's been almost two years since Sony released the previous model, and the WF-1000XM4 comes with a new design and ear tips. It's also easier to figure out how to get them in your ears. The sound is excellent, the noise-cancelling is great, and the battery life, well, amazing.
- 6mm drivers
- Water-resistant (IPX4)
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Max. 8 hrs (NC On), max. 12 hrs (NC Off)
If you're looking for excellent sound, the Sony earphones does that amazingly well. You'll be pleased by how much clarity that is. The soundstage is a lot wider than expected of earphones, and doesn't feel very pressed in. I don't claim to be an audiophile, but my ears can tell how much better the WF-1000XM4 sounds compared with some of the other options I've tested. Bass in particular, really shines. Clear, strong, but not overwhelming unlike other models I've tested. Overall, it's a sound I like.
Apart from the excellent sound, the noise cancelling is great, too. The earphone's natural sound isolation with its new unique polyurethane foam material is perfect. It easily blocks out most sound even without the noise canceling turned on. It's also really comfortable in the ear canals. I usually have to switch to a smaller size for my left ear, but the default size (medium) fits both my ears fine with no issues. When the noise isolation kicks in, it's pure absolute silence. I haven't been able to test it on a plane, but engine noise from cars and buses are basically wiped out. Same with fan and aircon noise.
The Sony Headphones app comes with a seal test, to ensure your headphones are optimally fitted. There are also three sizes of ear tips to choose from. I don't quite like the automatic walking detection that turns on ambient noise to let you hear your surroundings. It pauses the music for a quick notification, and can quite annoying if you're sitting and standing in quick succession. I turned that off quickly. The earphone's round areas are now a touch zone, and by default, a quick tap on the left earbud switches between noise isolation or ambient sound. Touch and hold to temporarily turn on ambient sound. The right side controls volume, tap to increase, and long press to lower. You can also set it so that when you talk, ambient noise turns on so you can communicate.
Battery life is amazing too. After about 3 hours of playback at full volume, I was still left with about 50% charge. You'll likely get to the rated 8 hours on a single charge at a more normal listening volume. The battery case adds another 16 hours of juice. At S$379 officially, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is as good as it gets. With great sound and noise isolation, this pair of wireless earbuds are pretty much one of the best I've tested so far. The amazing battery life and comfort make it a definite can buy. Check it out on Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Sony.
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