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Since the WH-1000XM2 (2018 Mark 2) and WH-1000XM3 (2019 Mark 3) GadgetGuy has used these as its reference standard for headphone tests. Now the WH-1000XM4 (Mark 4) is here, and we don’t see any need to change that.

It is not that we don’t love Sennheiser, Bose, Jabra, Plantronics, JBL and the dozens of other mainstream Bluetooth Noise Cancelling headphones. And a few are costing several thousand dollars that Thomas Bartlett gets to test – lucky sod!

It is just that the premium Sony WH-1000XM4 has more codecs (SBC, AAC, aptX/LL/HD/Adaptive and LDAC) and has stood the test of time. So, we measure by a constant. You can read the WH-1000XM3 review here and see why it earns 4.9/5. It may pay to chase run-out pricing too.

Sony is a Master of Marketing hype, so here is the release sans hyperbole – as GadgetGuy readers expect. Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Improved Noise-cancelling via smart listening (AI)
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life (ANC on)
  • Automatic ambient noise adjustment (user specifies thresholds)
  • BT Multi-point connection
  • Speak to Chat (AI listens and knows when you want to speak without taking off the headphones)
  • Quick attention mode
  • Dual Noise sensor (means two mics per ear cup) and 700 adjustments per second. Total of five mics
  • Powered by its new QN1 processor
  • Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme more accurately rebuilds audio lost during digital compression. Adaptive sound control recognises instruments, music genres and individual elements of each song to restore the high range sounds lost in compression
  • 360 Reality Audio – requires the Sony Headphone Connect App
  • Adaptive Sound Control learns to recognise locations that you frequently – your workplace, gym or favourite café, and tailors sound to suit the situation
  • Wearing detection
  • Google Assistant and Alexa
  • Black and Platinum Silver in a similar style to WH-1000XM3 with folding earcups and carry case
  • $549.95 from August
  • Website here
Sony WH-1000XM4

GadgetGuy has a set and will review them over the next few weeks.