Sony WF-1000XM4 Review – The Best Noise Cancelling TWS Buds

Sony WF-1000XM4 Review – The Best Noise Cancelling TWS Buds

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is considered to be the best TWS buds with its industry-leading noise cancellation. Let’s see if it’s true.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Unboxing

Like usual, we’ll start with what it comes with out of the box. And speaking of its box, I am very impressed with its packaging. Though it doesn’t look like much at first glance, it’s actually quite rigid and protects the product inside very well. I even tried to drop it a few times. It’s also important to note that there is no plastic in the case. It is environmentally friendly and can even be recycled.

Along with the buds and its Charging Case, you’ll also get the Warranty card, User Guide, Spare Buds with different sizes, and a USB to USB-C cable. You can also watch my unboxing and impression video below.

Design and Aesthetics

The XM4 comes in two colorways; Black and Silver. Both looks so classy and elegant, but I somehow gravitate towards the silver one. Normally, I would pick black, but I really love the silver variant. Like most TWS buds, their shape is designed to fit into the ear ergonomically. The microphones that are used in the noise cancelling are also highlighted with a metallic design. And the whole buds have a tactile coating which feels really nice to the touch and gives it a premium look.

Sony WF-1000XM4

The charging case also has the same tactile coating. It also has a small footprint that can fit in any pocket. It’s even smaller than the charging case of the XM3. I’m afraid though that dirt may easily stick to the coating. That’s why I also purchased a third-party protective case.

Build Quality and Comfort

Build quality is what you would expect from wireless buds at this price point. It’s really well made in my opinion. The tips are also comfortable to the ear. But you have to be sure to use the correct bud size. Too small causes it to fall off, while too big is a bit uncomfortable and sometimes become painful in long hours of playtime.

XM4 aesthetics

It also has an IPX4 water resistance so it’s safe to use it on the gym. I did try using it while working out and it seemed fine. But I wouldn’t recommend using it when swimming though.

Audio Quality

Audio sounds really good on the XM4. It’s loud and clear, with a pretty balanced sound. Soundstage is unexpectedly small, but that’s understandable for most in-ear monitors though. But what I was looking forward to try out was its Hi-Res Audio Wireless and DSEE Extreme features. I tried them while listening to lossless audio on Apple Music, and the quality was superb. Well, not as good as high-quality wired IEMs, but very close. The music listening experience is further enhanced when active noise cancellation is turned on.

Industry-Leading Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation, this is the feature that the XM4 boasts about. They claim to have the best noise cancellation in the industry. And with my experience with the device for more than a week now, I can definitely say that it probably is the best in the market.

XM4 on ear

While it does have superb active noise cancellation, it is further enhanced by its design that provides passive noise cancellation. I did notice that the earbud tips were different, they were noise isolation tips which further enhanced the overall noise cancellation of the device.

Its noise cancellation was also tested in variety of scenarios, such as in a noisy public place. I even tested it with loud air-conditioning as well as using a vacuum cleaner. And it impressively passed with flying colors. As far as I can hear, there were no delay in its anti-noise.

Functionality and Smart Features

XM4 wireless charging

The XM4 has a long battery life, it did reach around 8 hours as advertised with noise cancellation on. It also features quick charging via USB-C, as well as wireless charging.

Aside from the usual tap controls, the device is also loaded with smart features. One is Quick Attention, you basically just long tap the touch sensor and it automatically turns down the volume and lets ambient sound in. This is particularly helpful when someone needs to speak quickly have a word with you, without having to remove the buds. If you do need to remove the buds, it intelligently detects it and pauses your music for you and resume playing when you put it back on your ear.

But my favorite smart feature has to be the Adaptive Sound Control. On other noise-cancelling device, I usually manually turn ANC on and off depending on my activity. With Adaptive Sound Control, however, I don’t have to. It automatically detects what you are doing and adjust accordingly. For example, If I were walking along the street, it automatically turns ambient sound on so that I could hear my surroundings, especially incoming vehicles. You can also supposedly set it to recognize places you frequent and tailor the sound. But I haven’t actually tested this feature out properly. But with the features that I did tested out, I’m really impressed with this device.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Specifications

Weight41 g
Headphone TypeTruly Wireless
Drivers6mm
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2
IP RatingIPX4 (splashproof)
BatteryMax. 8 hrs (NC On) / Max. 12 hrs (NC Off)
Charging Case up to 16 hrs
Approx. 1.5 hrs Charge Time
Qi Wireless Charging
Other FeaturesHi-Res Audio Wireless
Active Noise Cancellation
Ambient Sound Mode
Quick Attention
Adaptive Sound Control
ColorsSilver
Black

If you already own the Sony WF-1000XM3, I don’t think it’s worth the upgrade. But if you don’t own the XM3, then you should definitely need to get the Sony WF-1000XM4. If you can afford the device, that is. The device has a retail price of ₱13,999 SRP and can be purchase online and at Sony Centres nationwide.

Josef Cagas
Geek-of-all-Trades, master of none, Josef is the founder of Davao Geek Hub. He has a passion for all things tech, and consumes all forms of media.