Wednesday, 09 June 2021 11:54

Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds add to listening quality and convenience


Sony's "truly wireless" WF-1000XM4 earbuds boast superior noise cancelling and fit.

The WF-1000XM4 earbuds feature Sony's new V1 integrated processor and dual noise sensor microphones for improved noise cancellation and better Bluetooth stability, while using less power than its predecessor.

There's also a new 6mm driver unit with a 20% increase in magnet volume provides improved performance in low frequencies as well as enhances noise cancelling thanks to the ability to deliver a high-precision cancellation signal in the low frequency range.

Wind noise is automatically suppressed.

Thanks to an analysis of huge amounts of ear shape data from around the world, the WF-1000XM4 has a more stable fit, Sony said.

Also new are the redesigned earbud tips made from a soft and elastic foam, providing improved fit and noise isolation.

The WF-1000XM4 uses Sony's LDAC audio coding technology that transmits approximately three times more data at 990kbps than conventional Bluetooth audio, resulting in reproduction close to that of wired connections.

In addition, the DSEE Extreme feature upscales compressed digital music files in real time, dynamically recognising instrumentation, musical genres, and individual elements of within a song. This, Sony says, restores the high-range sound lost in compression for a richer, more complete listening experience.

The WF-1000XM4 inherits the 'speak to chat' feature of the WH-1000XM4 overhead headphones. When the user starts speaking, this automatically pauses the music and lets in ambient sound. Once the conversation is over, the music automatically resumes.

Music also pauses automatically when an earbud is removed, and resumes when it is replaced.

Furthermore, touching the left earbud reduces the volume and lets in ambient sound so the user can hear the outside world.

An appealing feature is adaptive sound control. As the name suggests, this adjusts the ambient sound settings to suit the environment, and allows customisation of the settings to suit frequently-visited locations such as the office or gym.

The WF-1000XM4 combines beamforming microphones with a bone-conduction sensor for improved sound when making calls.

Other features include eight hours per charge plus another 16 hours from the charging case (five minutes in the case can give up to 60 minutes of playback time), Qi wireless charging, IPX4 water resistance, support for Android's fast pair and Microsoft's swift pair capabilities, and compatibility with 360 Reality Audio when used with participating streaming services.

The $449.95 WF-1000XM4 comes in black or silver in Australia, and will be available from mid-July 2021.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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