This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

Sony will launch the WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones with noise-canceling features on September 4. The estimated market price is 40,000 yen excluding tax.

The successor to the current WH-1000XM3 model, the WH-1000XM4 is equipped with new AI (artificial intelligence) functions in addition to noise cancellation and high-resolution sound quality.


The new model inherits the HD Noise-Canceling Processor QN1, while also incorporating a new Bluetooth audio SoC. It senses more than 700 times per second and applies real-time noise cancellation processing to the acoustic environment at the time.

It also features a function that adjusts the noise cancellation effect according to the wearer's condition and air pressure, and improves the mid to high frequency cancellation performance compared to the WH-1000XM3. It cuts out low-frequency noise and human voices to ensure silence in town and in cafes, according to the company.

The smartphone app Sony | Headphones Connect has a menu that allows you to optimize the noise cancellation

In terms of design related to sound quality, the speakers are equipped with a 40mm HD driver unit, just like the WH-1000XM3, and DSEE Extreme, which uses AI technology to perform deep learning to analyze music in real time. It claims to be able to achieve a higher degree of accuracy in the original frequency response of the sound source that is lost due to compression.

"In particular, it brings spatial echoes, percussion, and the human voice closer to high-resolution sound quality than ever before," says a Sony representative.

Sony Music's mastering and mixing engineers were involved in the development of this AI technology, and the company's high-resolution catalog is being used for deep learning.

In addition, it supports the LDAC codec, which can transmit up to 96kHz/24-bit (high-resolution equivalent) song data while providing lossy compressed Bluetooth audio. When transmitted from a high-resolution or non-LDAC compliant device, DSEE Extreme upscales to high-resolution equivalent sound quality.

The first to include functions with telework in mind

With the recent spread of the new coronavirus infection, there has been a growing trend to promote ways of working, including telecommuting and telework, and the WH-1000XM4 features Speak-to-Chat, which is perfect for telework.

Speak-to-Chat detects that the headphone wearer is speaking and automatically stops noise cancellation and music playback. In addition to this, the system automatically switches to outside sound capture, allowing the user to continue the conversation with the other person while the headphones are on.

Sony says the conversation detection algorithm recognizes the wearer's voice through advanced audio signal processing that optimally controls five microphones (a feed-forward microphone on each side and multi-array microphones on the left housing).

Internal proximity sensor detects the wearing state of the headphones.

The WH-1000XM4 can now also be connected to two devices at the same time and switch connections as needed. For example, if you receive a call to your phone while playing music on your PC, it can automatically switch the connection from your PC to your phone. The feature will be updated on launch day and will be available on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android combinations.

In terms of connection-related features, the headphones also supports Fast Pair, a pairing technology developed by Google, which allows users to complete the pairing process by simply tapping the pop-up that appears on the screen. This feature can be used in combination with a device running Android 6.0 or later.

Other features include Ambient Sound Mode, which allows users to listen to music while listening to outside sounds; Quick Attention, which temporarily lowers the volume by placing a hand over the housing to capture outside sounds; and Adaptive Sound Control, which automatically detects the user's activity and switches to the most appropriate outside sound capture mode.

30 hours of music playback with noise cancellation on

As for the design, Sony has eliminated the gaps to the limit to make it look sleeker. As for the design, the company has eliminated the gaps to the limit to make it look sleeker. Battery life is 30 hours with noise cancellation on and 38 hours of battery life when used with noise cancellation turned off. Use while charging is not recommended.

WH-1000XM3 (left) and WH-1000XM4 (right)

The WH-1000XM4 has a power button, custom button, 3.5mm jack, and USB Type-C port

WH-1000XM4 case is available in two colors to match its body color

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.