It is not surprising to see a new Sony WF-1000X variant almost every two years. It was about two years ago when Sony announced the 1000XM3, and even before the pandemic began, the company already infused a few features that make it both enticing for sound enthusiasts and working consumers.
This year, with the announcement of the WF-1000XM4, Sony took most, if not all, of the best things of the WH-1000XM4 to their new TWS.
Best in Class
I’ve got to say, the Sony WF-10000XM4 may just be the best TWS I’ve used so far. Noise-canceling has been improved to an industry-leading level all thanks to its new Integrated Processor V1, which improves even more on the performance of the famous QN1e chip with minimal energy consumption. What actually sets it apart from the previous iteration is its integrated Bluetooth Audio and high-quality noise-cancelling processor in one chip. This is something that the previous generation doesn’t have.
Now, how about sound quality? This is where the exciting part comes in!
The WF-1000XM4 sets very high standards in the TWS space in terms of sound quality. Thanks to its new integrated chipsets and sound enhancement engines. Edge-AI and DSEE Extreme (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) upscale compressed digital music files in real-time. It dynamically recognizes instrumentation, musical genres, and individual elements of each song, such as vocals or interludes, and restores the high-range sound lost in compression.
This technology, in turn, brings out every small detail of each song you listen to. It has a very well balanced soundstage without sacrificing auditory depth and clarity. Despite being connected to either my Galaxy Z Fold 2 or Sony Walkman ZX300, there is virtually zero difference between my wired TWS and the WF-1000XM4 thanks to its Hi-Res Audio Wireless Support. This feature makes it even more possible to realize the true beauty of LDAC. I found myself being able to listen to every percussion and voice attenuation of songs like my FLAC copy of “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jojo or “Peaches” by Justin Bieber on my ZX300. Full effect and best quality, in my opinion, is best experienced with Project Z Firmware Mod installed on ZX300, with Direct Source disabled, DSEE AI and Type B Standard DC Phase enabled.
I have used other TWS in the past, and nothing can really come close to the level of the WF-1000XM4. There is almost zero noise that can leak through its buds, and it’s really an amazing, and sometimes an odd experience in a very positive way. Apart from its noise-cancelling features, there is one notable improvement on the TWS that I need to mention. This is the first in the WF series to have memory foam tips. It is manufactured from a soft and elastic polyurethane foam substance, which offers better and secure fit.This type of engineering is very well thought out, and precisely based on Sony’s years of experience.
My only qualms with ear tips is that it can get really irritating to the ears when listening to music for a long period of time. This is where custom or 3rd party IEM tips would be beneficial. Fortunately, they are readily available via market. We recommend Spinfits, Comply or Spiral Dot.
The WF-1000XM4 now has speak-to-chat capability, which allows you to have short chats without taking out the earbuds. This feature automatically pauses playback when you’re talking to someone so you can talk to them, then restarts playback when you’re done talking to them.
It also has this feature that allows users to lower the level of sound and allow ambient sound when you put your finger over the left earbud. Music or movie playback also automatically pauses when you remove the earbuds from your ears.
The WF-1000XM4 also has Adaptive Sound Control, which automatically adjusts ambient sound settings based on where you are and what you are doing, according to your location and activity. It can even be programmed so that it learns to recognize areas you frequently visit like the gym or at home and tailors the music accordingly.
Is it good for voice chat or recording though?
A bone conduction sensor and Precise Voice Pickup Technology make hands-free calls even better on the WF1000XM4. Your mouth is the sole sound that is picked up by the beamforming microphone. No matter how much noise surrounds you, they’ll hear every word. Hearing the other person clearly is another benefit of Noise Cancelling. However, I wouldn’t give a perfect score because the quality is still a little “distorted” or “muffled”. You can listen to the sample audio recording below and just like what my colleague would describe, “It’s better than the Senheisser Momentums TWS’ but worse than the JBL LiveAudio+.” In this regard, while its quality would pass by my standards, I wouldn’t recommend it if your purpose of buying is for voice chat or voice recording purposes.
The Headphones Connect App promises quite a number of benefits if you’re using a WF-1000XM4. You can easily tweak and choose equalizer settings and enable DSEE Extreme. You can also select the Voice Assistant of your choice.
Now, let’s talk about battery life. A single charge lasts up to 8 hours, and the charging case extends the battery life by 16 more hours! Sony’s Headphones Connect App will alert you when the battery level in your charging case dips below 30% after a 5-minute charge time, giving you up to 60 minutes of playback
Finally, a feature that has been requested by many is now available – wireless Qi charging. Your headphones and charging case can be charged using a smartphone with Qi technology like my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Huawei Mate40 Pro.
Now before I forget, this new TWS now features IPX4 water resistance rating, which means splashes and sweat won’t stop you from enjoying your music. This is the first in the series, and I’m pretty sure that they will further improve this feature moving forward. Just don’t go swimming with this one though.
This is among the best true wireless stereo IEMs you can find within the PhP14K range. It mostly excels in the features it presents like excellent sound performance, DSEE Extreme, provided memory foam tips, app controls and noise cancelling features. It offers the best in class battery performance with Qi charging support.
Its perfection, however, is somehow tainted with its mediocre microphone performance. Again. This is the IEM of choice if you’re after sound quality, but it isn’t definitely the best for voice chat and meetings.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is now available in all Sony Centres or Sony Authorized Dealers nationwide. Click here to locate stores near you or you may also opt to checkout our official Sony stores in Lazada and Shopee.