True Wireless earbuds have come a long way in a space of just a few years. The earbuds space is so cluttered these days that it gets tough to pick a fine product unless, of course, you spend a good chunk of money.
I have used several TWS earbuds, but still couldn’t get something that offers me a combination of great style and rich sound quality–although I must admit that Apple’s Airpods Pro and Jabra’s Elite 85t are some of the best I have used so far.
And Sony’s WF-1000XM3 did come close but it was too bulky to start with.
Priced at Rs 19,990, the WF-1000XM4 is a premium set of earbuds with proprietary noise-cancellation tech and impressive audio with a bold design making the deal even sweeter.
The question is, are they really the best TWS earbuds so far, read this review to find out:
Sony WF-1000XM4: Build and design
There are upgrades and then there is an overhaul, Sony’s WF-1000XM4, the successor to the WF-1000XM3 that had a distinctive pill-shaped design, sets itself apart from other earbuds with fresh design language.
Their large size creates an impression that they may not be too comfortable to wear but not only do they offer a secure snug fit, but you can also wear the earbuds for long hours.
The earpieces are built from solid plastic and have a decent finish, giving them a premium look. There there’s a tiny metal accent on each bud that houses one of the outer microphones while there is a second outer microphone is on the top of each earbud, and a third microphone is placed inside to assist with ANC.
The earbuds have the best touch controls I have seen so far in TWS earbuds. They are highly responsive with just a slight touch. Besides, there are proximity sensors that automatically play and pause music when you remove or wear the buds.
I loved the colour scheme on my review unit; the copper highlights on black finishing make the earbuds look exquisite.
The silicone ear tips are the finest I have seen in earbuds, they are quite thick so you will have to pick the right size for you.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 earpieces are rated IPX4 for water resistance; the earbuds can handle water and sweat easily.
The charging case has the same colour scheme as that of the earbuds with black and copper. However, the case is not that tiny and will take some space in your pocket.
There is a USB Type-C port at the back for charging, and a chunky indicator light on the front, just under the lid. The case supports Qi wireless charging so you get an additional feature there.
Sony WF-1000XM4: Battery
The earbuds offer a decent battery time if not exceptional. As against Sony’s claim of 8 hours, you can easily get 6-7 hours with ANC on most of the time. The charging case can charge the buds two more times. It takes over an hour to fully charge the devices and you get a wireless charging option too which takes its own sweet time.
Sony WF-1000XM4: Performance
There is everything that you really need from your earbuds – the thump, the oomph, sweet acoustics, and more and just in the right measure.
These are the finest pair of earbuds when it comes to sound, it’s so pleasant that listening to any genre is a treat for those finicky about the sound.
The rich and smooth bass is complimented by deep mid-tones and crisp highs, with clear and detailed vocals.
You can go all loud with metal or dim it a bit with just acoustic versions of your favourite songs, the earbuds are highly capable and have a sweet sound signature.
A lot of pop and lo-fi music I played on these earphones, besides the usual Bollywood and Punjabi music and it’s a delight overall.
The best part was, I was finally able to enjoy my favourite band Peter Cat Recording Co. using earphones. Else I had to play them on my speaker just for the feel.
The ANC is quite prominent and up to the mark when you use the earbuds outdoors. Sony has brought in a new VI processing chip to make noise cancellation more effective. Honestly, the ANC is indeed great but it’s still short of what Apple’s Airpods Pro offer.
Talking about technicalities, The XM4 supports Sony’s LDAC codec for high-bitrate streaming, besides the SBC and AAC codecs. The LDAC sweetens the deal as you experience high-quality audio.
The call quality on the WF-1000XM4 is great too; the earbuds manage to block most of the external unwanted noise and pick your voice clearly, thanks to the bone-conduction sensor.This makes it ideal for work-from-home as you can easily take office calls without much disturbance.
The speak-to-chat feature pauses your media when you speak to somebody while the music is on, it’s a cool feature but at times it gets triggered on its own and it gets irritating.
Sony WF-1000XM4: Verdict
Time and again, Sony has proved its mettle in bringing the best audio products and WF-1000XM4 is a testament to that.
The Sony XM4, as it’s called, is a standout and perhaps the best TWS earbuds so far hands down.
Its rich audio, impressive ANC, decent battery life, comfort and bold looks justify the Rs 19,990 price tag and give you the experience a premium device should offer without any compromise.
It’s tough to pick a device that offers both style and substance, but with Sony WF-1000XM4, it seems you can have it all, finally! It’s worth a splurge!