This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Sony has released a new noise-canceling wireless headphone, the WH-1000XM4, on September 4. The previous model WH-1000XM3 was a well-received headphone, and the WH-1000XM4 seems to be getting much better reviews here, with enhanced sound quality and noise cancellation features.
A review of the WH-1000XM4 itself has already been posted, so check it out for more information on noise cancellation and more.
In this article, we checked out another of the WH-1000XM4's enhancements, the multipoint Bluetooth support.
Multipoint connection with two devices at the same time
First, let's check about multipoint. The multi-pairing feature remembers the pairing information for multiple devices and allows you to easily change the connection without having to pair them again. Many devices support this, but they only remember their pairing status and can only connect to one device at a time.
In contrast, the multipoint function can connect to multiple devices at the same time, and the WH-1000XM4 can connect to two devices simultaneously. Even though the two devices are connected at the same time, it does not mean that the music being played on them will be mixed.
For example, if a PC and a smartphone are connected to the WH-1000XM4 at the same time, if you stop the music on the PC and start playback on the smartphone, you can listen to the music from the smartphone without having to make any connections.
If you receive a call from your smartphone while you are listening to music on your PC, the music playback on your PC will stop and you can receive the call from your smartphone with the WH-1000XM4.
Note that the WH-1000XM4's multipoint (connecting to two devices at the same time) is disabled by default and must be enabled through the dedicated Sony | Headphones Connect app (Android and iOS).
Also, the WH-1000XM4 supports three codecs, SBC, AAC, and LDAC, but LDAC is not available when using multipoint.
Once the multipoint is enabled, the connection will be disconnected, but then it can be connected to two devices at the same time. You can check the devices connected to the WH-1000XM4 from the app.
Convenient combination of smartphone and PC
We tried out this multipoint feature in action. There's no particular switching operation on the device to be played; you just start playing the music or video. However, if something is playing on one device, starting playback on the other does not switch to that device. In other words, the playback on the first device connected takes precedence.
The WH-1000XM4 also supports multi-pairing with up to eight devices. Multi-pairing is also useful when using multipoint.
As far as we've tried, if two devices are already connected to the WH-1000XM4, and you perform the connection operation to the WH-1000XM4 from another device, the connection of the one you are not currently using (the old one you last used) is released and replaced with the new device.
However, this behavior seems to work only if you are using the multipoint feature. If you don't use multipoint, you have to disconnect once on the device currently connected, otherwise, it could not connect from another device.
Even with the same multi-pairing support, the WF-1000XM3 was able to connect from a new device without breaking the connection, so it's somewhat disappointing that it didn't support this. However, if you're a person who uses multiple devices, you'll probably enable multipoint, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Simultaneous connection of your smartphone and PC to the WH-1000XM4 using multipoint, if your smartphone receives a call while you are playing music or video on your PC, playback will pause and the smartphone's ring tone will be heard from the WH-1000XM4. You can continue to answer and talk to the phone, and when you end the call, playback on the PC resumes.
This is, of course, not only for the combination of smartphone and PC, but also when using two smartphones. I used it with my Android phone (Galaxy S20) and iPhone 11 Pro to test it out, and when I received a call to the Android phone while playing music on iPhone, it switched over without any problem.
Support for Android Fast Pair
Although not directly related to multipoint, the WH-1000XM4 also supports Android's Fast Pair. This is a feature that allows you to bring a device in the pairing waiting state closer to Android and a pop-up appears on the screen prompting you to pair it, and simply tap on it to complete the pairing process, available for Android 6.0 and above.
It's a useful feature, but its usefulness is only for the first time. Nevertheless, I think it will be of great benefit to those who frequently change their smartphones or are not used to operating a smartphone.
Note that it is not compatible with Swift Pair, which can do the same thing on Windows.
Highly recommended if you use multiple smartphones and computers
Lately, I've been using only fully wireless earbuds, but with multiple PCs and smartphones, it can be a hassle to reconnect them. So, WH-1000XM4’s multipoint is very comfortable.
I'm sure there are some preferences for sound quality and other factors, but I would highly recommend these headphones to people who use multiple devices for main and sub, for talking and gaming, or for smartphones and tablets, or to people who share a headphone with a PC and a smartphone.
I had borrowed the WH-1000XM4 for review, but I liked it so much I bought it.
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.