Two people wearing Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones.
Research report
21 December 2020

First Look: Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones

Possibly the best consumer-level headphones on the market.

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Gecko K.
31 Mar 2021
Best investment - new to over-ear headphones

I've primarily used in-ear headphones for most of my life and this was my first time investing in over-ear. I'd tried the XM3s briefly before buying the XM4s. I find them soft, and comfortable and legitimately forget I'm wearing them sometimes.

The noise-cancelling is excellent and some of the features - auto-pause when you take them off, auto power-off when paused for more than 3 mins(ish), the ability to lower the volume and temporarily improve external audio intake when you cover one ear with your hand...I find them absolutely worth the investment. My office floor can be really busy, but I've found a great increase in quality of life wearing these.

I didn't have too much time setting them up - but I did take one look at the "scan your ear" feature and roll my eyes so maybe that made it easier. A bit on the pricey side, but I have no regrets

J S.
06 Mar 2021
Love my Sony Headphones

I have a pair that is the generation before this one. I wear them to the gym 6 days a week and they are a godsend - comfortable, amazing sound quality and they block out the awful music that is on at full blast around me. The only quibble is when I'm doing handstands, the music can switch off or the volume adjusts upwards. Overall though I love them.

28 Dec 2020
Agreed; try before you buy.

I agree with the previous comment - try before you buy.
I rushed in to purchasing the XM4 after seeing some reviews. I did try the XM3 in the shop for comfort, alongside a model of Sennheisers. The Sennheisers were more comfortable, but I was set on the Sony. I have a large head and I find them too tight.
I also have issues with the noise cancelling cutting in and out when I don't want it to, but that may just take a period of adjustment for me.

Jeff S.
26 Dec 2020
Bettering excellent

I too have the mx3 over ear purchased last year after leaving my Sennheisers on plane ,never to be seen again.
They are better than the Sennheisers and I tried but did not like the Bose. I am used to Meridian systems in my car and am always looking for clarity and definition rather than bass thump.They are also great at getting rid of flight noise on long trips( rememberThose?)
IMO the Sony are already the best performance price and portability package. The MX4 should be a world beater.

Robert W.
26 Dec 2020
Try before you buy

I have not tried these ‘phones, but I did purchase the previous model after falling for all the hype. The sound quality of the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones is very poor IMO: muffled, with the mids and highs lacking in clarity. I understand that Bluetooth can never match wired for sound quality, but I expected better at this price, and after reading many reviews (too late, I read some more balanced reviews). EQ can help but only to a limited extent. That said, the battery life is excellent, and I the ANC superb; noticeably better than my old Bose ANC phones.
So try before you buy if sound quality is important to you. Hopefully, the sound quality of the Sony WH-1000XM4 has improved over the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones.