The Sony WH-1000XM4 builds on its predecessor, the Sony WH-1000XM3. The WH-1000XM4 continues to give Bose a run for their money with multipoint connectivity, voice-to-chat functionality, and a host of other advanced software features. This time, Sony is ahead of the game, and with the introduction of the Sony WH-1000XM5, you can get the XM4 headphones at a greatly reduced price.
While the WH-1000XM4 is visually almost identical to its predecessor, there are some new features to discover inside. Bluetooth Multipoint makes everyday use a bit more convenient by allowing you to connect to two devices at once. So you can easily switch from listening to music while working at your desk, to watching a YouTube video on your phone, and back again – all without opening your Bluetooth settings.
In addition to the ability to stay connected to two devices at once, there are also some new features that you can only access if you download the Sony headphones Connect app, such as the Talk to Chat feature. When enabled, this feature pauses the music when the headphones detect that you are talking. While this feature is quite useful, it walks a fine line between useful and annoying, especially considering how sensitive the detection is.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 uses Bluetooth 5.0, has Bluetooth Multipoint, and supports SBC, AAC, and Sony’s own LDAC, which provides the highest possible streaming quality if you’re willing to put up with a slightly less stable connection. If you’re using a device that isn’t compatible with any of these codecs, the default is SBC, the most basic codec used by all Bluetooth audio devices. Devices that do not have Bluetooth can also be connected using the included 3.5mm audio cable.
However, the multipoint capability is only available if you use AAC, and not LDAC or SBC. Depending on what you have in mind, it might be worth it, but for me it’s not. The Sony WH-1000XM4 charges via USB-C, and the quick charge feature will get you 5 hours of playtime after only 10 minutes of charging, which is fantastic if you’re already late to catch the bus or train.