The Sony WH-1000XM3 has become quite popular among some Gamereactor branches as the go-to mid-range Bluetooth headphones with noise cancelling. Mostly thanks to their impressive NC tech, but also due to their nice sound quality, generous battery life, and fancy presentation. With the Mark 3, Sony took a huge step forward, becoming real competition to Bose and Sennheiser, however, it has been two years since the last model first landed and now it's time for a refresh. A Mobile World Congress 2020 announcement was expected back in February, but alas the show was cancelled due to a certain impending pandemic, and it is now Sony that has finally unveiled the WH-1000X Mark 4.
The fourth-generation wireless headphones promise to evolve the NC tech to leave "less noise" to be heard and a "purer sound", according to the manufacturer. The highlight is a smart listening system that not only works on cancelling noise depending on each situation (as the former version started doing), but also on saving some battery. This is achieved, for example, pausing the music and going to standby when the user removes the unit to rest it on their shoulders, via accelerometers and proximity sensors.
The Mark 4 boasts some smart features, with new "Speak-to-Chat" voice commands to allow for talk-through conversations without even touching the headphones. What's more, the Adaptive Sound is able to recognise commonly-visited places to avoid constant recalibration. However, one of the most welcomed new feature will for sure be the ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, something users requested for the Mark 3 (a new Bluetooth chip also means broader communication).
Otherwise, and before testing the thing here at Gamereactor, the Sony WH-1000XM4 looks like a natural and expected continuation of the product line after its predecessor's success. It should come with the same 30-hour battery life (though it should make better use of it), the same HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, and almost the same design, colours, and case presentation, as the pictures show. It also has the same RRP and will be available "later this summer".