You can now officially buy Sony’s newest wireless ANC headphones, the stellar WH-1000XM4. Sony announced the updated version of the WH-1000XM3 at the beginning of this month, but didn’t give a specific release date. They’ve been in pre-orders since the announcement, but today those pre-orders will start shipping and you can purchase the headphones for $350 at Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers.
Sony's WH-1000XM4 headphones (our new favorites) start shipping today – Engadget
These headphones have been highly anticipated because it’s been two years since the WH-1000XM3 came out. We gave the WH-1000XM4 a score of 94 because Sony fixed the small issues with the previous cans while adding new features, but it also didn’t mess with what made the WH-1000XM3 so great in the first place. The WH-1000XM4 has a similar design to the previous models, although now the headphones have a matte finish, a slimmed down headband cushion and larger earcups. These design tweaks now only make the WH-1000XM4 look a bit more lux than the previous model, but they also make them even more comfortable to wear for long stretches of time. And you’ll be able to do so — the WH-1000XM4 last up to 30 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough for an entire work day’s worth of wear.
The most important new feature is multi-device connection, which lets you pair the WH-1000XM4 with two devices at the same time, switching between them at will. The WH-1000XM3 didn’t have this feature and it’s a welcomed addition here that makes the WH-1000XM4 more versatile and flexible. Sony also added wear detection and Speak-to-Chat features that pause playback when you take the headphones off and when it detects that you’re speaking. The former feature is slightly more reliable than the latter (you have to raise your voice a bit for the WH-1000XM4 to catch that you’re speaking), but they both work well enough that they add to the premium nature of these headphones.
The WH-1000XM4 have similarly stellar sound quality and active noise-cancellation to the WH-1000XM3 and the companion mobile app lets you customize audio settings like EQ. Small tweaks like updating the QN1 noise-cancelling chip algorithm for improved efficiency and improving the digital sound processing chops elevate the WH-1000XM4 from great to superb. What’s more, the WH-1000XM4 have the same launch price ($350) that the WH-1000XM3 did when they first came out. While expensive, that’s in line with most competing wireless ANC headphones. If you’re in the market for a new pair and money is no object, the Sony WH-1000XM4 are the wireless headphones to get.