The Sony WF-1000XM4 is rumored to be the sequel to the best wireless headphones you can buy right now, the Sony WF-1000XM3, and as more leaks emerge, the hype surrounding these headphones grows.
Still, details on the Sony WF-1000XM4 are scarce in the field. Sony has not even confirmed that they exist, and there is no sign of them in any regulatory body such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
However, the images of the Sony WF-1000XM4 were apparently leaked, after photos of the packaging were posted on Reddit, and while their legitimacy is still in doubt, we can't help but get excited about Sony's upcoming true wireless headphones.
The images, if they are genuine, also gave us an idea of what a new design looks like and some of the features we can expect from the Sony WF-1000XM4, including active noise cancellation and Hi-Res Audio support.
Of course, we will need more than unverified images to confirm the existence of the Sony WF-1000XM4, but for now, here is everything we know about the rumored headphones, plus everything we would like to see.
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Come to the point
- What are they? A new pair of Sony wireless headphones.
- When will they be released? Maybe in 2021, but that remains to be confirmed.
- How much will they cost? Probably around € 230 / € 220 / AU € 399.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 (pictured) launched in July 2019 (Image credit: Steve May)
Sony WF-1000XM4 release date
At the moment, there is no firm release date for the Sony WF-1000X4, but we believe that its launch is quite imminent, given that it has been a year and a half since the launch of its predecessors.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 was launched in July 2019, so it is possible that Sony will release its successors two years later.
It also makes sense for Sony to opt for a 2021 release date if the company wants to avoid competition from Apple. The tech giant is said to have released the Apple AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 sometime this year, and the latter in particular could be a rival to the Sony WF-1000XM4 as they will likely feature active noise cancellation.
The fact that Sony WF-1000XM4 packaging images have been leaked also suggests that a release date may be coming soon, although, as we mentioned, these images have yet to be verified as genuine.
The design of the Sony WF-1000XM4 could be very different from its predecessors (photo). (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Sony WF-1000XM4 price
Again, it is not yet clear how much the Sony WF-1000XM4 will cost, but we would be surprised if the company deviates too much from the price of its predecessors.
When it was first released, the Sony WF-1000XM3 was priced at € 230 / € 220 / AU € 399, although prices have since dropped significantly as the heads have aged.
We'd expect Sony to aim for a similar price for the WF-1000XM4, as it's a model we've seen before from the brand with the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the new WH-1000XM4 on-ear headphones.
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Sony WF-1000XM4 design
Almost everything we know about the Sony WF-1000XM4's design comes from packaging photos posted on Reddit by Key_Attention4766 (via the Walkman blog).
Based on the images, it appears that the Sony WF-1000XM4 will have a sleeker build than its predecessors, with rounder casings and the look of memory foam tips.
All round cases can be touch-sensitive, unlike the Sony WF-1000XM3, which has a dedicated touch area that allows you to control your music playback, call your device's voice assistant, accept or reject calls, and quickly enter. . Attention mode.
The gold Sony logo has also changed slightly and now appears on the side of the headphones rather than on the top. Meanwhile, a gold-accented piece on the outside of the headphones could be a noise-canceling external microphone, as The Walkman Blog speculates.
One of the leaked images posted on Reddit. (Image credit: Key_Attention4766)
Sony WF-1000XM4 specifications assumed
Again, information on the kinds of features we can expect from the Sony WF-1000XM4 is a bit sparse on the ground, but some specs have been pulled from the packaging images posted on Reddit.
This includes the return of the active noise cancellation technology that made the WF-1000XM3 so popular, and the Ambient Sound and Quick Attention modes are likely to appear as well.
The bundle also includes Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification, which means they could support Sony's high-resolution LDAC codec, along with AAC and SBC codecs that are already supported by XM3.
Previously there were rumors that the Sony WF-1000XM3 would receive a Hi-Res Audio update, after the headphones appeared very briefly on Qualcomm's aptX website, being described as "aptX HD enabled". This post was quickly removed, but not before being detected by the Walkman blog.
As the article appeared in March 2020 and we haven't heard anything since then, there is a possibility that Sony will register aptX HD support for the WF-1000XM4.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 could be inspired by the WH-1000XM4 on the ear (photo). (Image credit: Sony)
Sony WF-1000XM4: what we want to see
While information on the Sony WF-1000XM4 is leaking in drops (in fact, Sony hasn't even confirmed its existence yet), we've had a chance to imagine a few things that we'd like to see in true fourth-generation wireless headphones.
Support for 360 Reality Audio
We'd like Sony to provide the WF-1000XM4 with some of the features of the Sony WH-1000XM4, its on-ear siblings (and the best headphones of 2021).
One such feature is support for 360 Reality Audio, which is Sony's proprietary immersive sound technology. Designed to put you at the center of your music, the technology places individual instruments in a virtual sphere, making you feel like your favorite songs are coming to you from every angle.
In addition to giving you another way to experience your music, support for 360 Reality Audio could make the WF-1000XM3 a true rival to AirPods Pro, which are compatible with Apple's Spatial Audio technology.
DSEE Extreme audio upconversion
Another feature Sony could borrow from the WH-1000XM4 is DSEE Extreme audio upscaling. This AI-based processing seeks to restore the details of lossy compressed formats and brings clarity to lower-quality formats and files, and we were impressed with its capabilities when we tested the WH-1000XM4.
Talk to chat and auto pause
Once again, Speak-To-Chat was introduced with the Sony WH-1000XM4, and we would like to see it implemented once again with the WF-1000XM4. This feature allows the microphones inside the headphones to recognize when you have started speaking and pause your music while increasing ambient noise that is funneled into your ears.
Speaking of pausing your music, we'd love for Sony to introduce auto-pause when you remove a headset. It's something we've seen in many wireless headphones on the market and it feels like a simple upgrade.
Better battery life and wireless charging
With each new generation of true wireless headphones, we love to see an improvement in battery life. The Sony WF-1000XM3 currently offers six hours from the headphones themselves and an additional 18 hours from the charging case, and models like the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 have shown that much more is possible these days.
That said, while the leaked images of the headphone packaging are legitimate, it appears that the battery life won't change at all.
Another simple update Sony could make is the introduction of wireless charging capabilities. This is something that Apple AirPods Pro does as standard, and with more and more people buying wireless charging pads, it seems prudent to give these users the option of wireless charging.