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Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Sep 16, 2020 at 08:44 am
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Picture
7.1
Neutral Sound
8.1
Commute/Travel
7.2
Sports/Fitness
7.7
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
7.4
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are the upgraded version of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless that come with longer continuous battery life, additional touch-sensitive control features, and allow for multi-device pairing. Like their predecessor, they have an outstanding noise isolation performance thanks to their ANC feature and a comfortable, premium-looking design. Their bass-heavy sound profile may not be preferred by all listeners, but you can customize the sound using the graphic EQ and presets on the Sony | Headphones Connect app. Overall, these decently versatile headphones are a solid choice for many different listeners.

Our Verdict

7.1 Neutral Sound

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are fair for neutral sound. They have a bass-heavy sound profile that adds an extra thump and punch to the mix. You can customize their sound using the graphic EQ and presets available in the Sony | Headphones Connect app. However, they have an inconsistent treble delivery, so their treble may sound a bit different depending on their positioning on your head.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Bass-heavy default sound profile.
8.1 Commute/Travel

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are impressive for commute and travel. While they aren't the most portable headphones, their hard carrying case can help protect them while you're on the go. They have an over 37-hour continuous battery life, and they can be comfortably worn for long listening sessions without a lot of fatigue, too. Also, their ANC feature can block out bass-heavy sounds like engines, as well as sharper sounds like voices, so you can enjoy your music without distraction.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Incredible ANC performance.
  • Over 37-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
7.2 Sports/Fitness

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are decent for sports and fitness. While these headphones have a comfortable fit, they aren't designed to be used while working out. Their bulky design means that they aren't very portable. While they can stay on your head during casual listening sessions, they move around on your ears during intense movements, so they aren't the most stable.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not stable enough for exercise.
7.7 Office

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are very good for office use. These comfortable headphones have an incredible noise isolation performance thanks to their ANC feature, so they block out background noise like voices and AC units well. With an over 37-hour continuous battery life, you don't have to recharge these headphones daily, either. Unfortunately, they leak a bit of noise when you play your audio at loud volumes, so they aren't ideal for quiet settings.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Incredible ANC performance.
  • Over 37-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
5.8 Wireless Gaming

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs; however, their latency is too high to be suitable for wireless gaming. They also can't be used wirelessly with PS4 or Xbox One consoles.

7.4 Wired Gaming

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are decent for wired gaming. Thanks to their audio cable, you can connect them to your Xbox One, PC, or PS4. Unfortunately, you won't be able to use the microphone using this connection. That said, they have a comfortable fit for long gaming sessions, and their bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra punch to explosions and action-packed scenes.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Audio-only wired connection.
6.7 Phone Calls

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are fair for phone calls. Unfortunately, their integrated microphone doesn't have the best recording quality, so your voice may sound thin and muffled. Your voice may also be drowned out by background noise if you're calling from a noisy environment. That said, they have an incredible noise isolation performance, so you aren't interrupted by background noise during your calls.

Pros
  • Incredible ANC performance.
Cons
  • Passable microphone recording quality.
  • 7.1 Neutral Sound
  • 8.1 Commute/Travel
  • 7.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.7 Office
  • 5.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated May 26, 2021: We've retested these headphones using firmware 2.5.0. We have also tested these headphones for 'Breathability'.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have a very similar design to their predecessor, the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. These over-ears have a slightly matte finish, and they're well-padded along the ear cups and the headband. They come in two different colors: black and silver.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
1 lbs

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are very comfortable headphones. They're very well-padded. They don't put a lot of pressure on your head and they have a light fit, so you can wear them for a long time without a lot of fatigue.

7.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have similar touch-sensitive controls to the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. However, they come with several new features, including a Speak-to-Chat function that pauses your audio and lets in ambient sound as soon as you start talking. You can turn this off in the companion app, and you can use the app to remap the Custom button, which controls the noise cancelling feature by default. There's also a Quick Attention feature that lets in ambient noise while you cover the right ear cup, so you can be aware of your surroundings without pausing your music or talking.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless's touch-sensitive controls reportedly had issues working properly in cold weather. Let us know in the discussions if you experience a similar issue with these headphones.

5.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 8.2 ยฐC

Update 05/26/2021: We have tested for breathability.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have disappointing breathability. They trap heat around your ears and reduce airflow. While they should be fine for more casual use, you may sweat more if you're wearing them during physical exercise.

6.1
Design
Portability
L 7.4" (18.8 cm)
W 6.1" (15.5 cm)
H 2.0" (5.1 cm)
Volume 90.00 inยณ (1,474.83 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have mediocre portability. They're the same size as the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, and like most over-ears, they have a slightly bulky design. Fortunately, you can fold them, so they take up a bit less space in your bag.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.3" (21.1 cm)
W 6.6" (16.8 cm)
H 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Volume 126.00 inยณ (2,064.76 cmยณ)

The Sony WH-1000XM4 come with a hard, sturdy carrying case. It can help protect them from scratches, falls, and water damage. Like the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, their case has a fabric finish.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have an impressive build quality. They're very similar to the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, with a premium look and a durable feel. The headband seems sturdy and flexible. However, their yoke/hinge design could be prone to cracking.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are decently stable. They stay on your head during low-intensity movements, like a light jog. However, higher-intensity movements cause the headphones to move around a lot on your head, so they aren't ideal to use while working out or exercising.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones
  • Analog cable
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Airplane adapter
  • Manuals
  • Carrying case

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
3.24 dB
Treble Amount
-1.53 dB

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have a bass-heavy default sound profile. The extra thump and rumble in the bass range can please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. If you prefer a different sound, you can customize the sound using the graphic EQ and presets available in the Sony | Headphones Connect app.

7.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.47 dB

These headphones have a good frequency response consistency. The bass range is very consistent across different users, possibly because their noise cancelling feature seems to check for bass consistency. However, they're a bit inconsistent in the high-mid and treble ranges, so they may perform a bit differently depending on how they're positioned on your head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
5.72 dB
Mid-Bass
6.34 dB
High-Bass
6.61 dB

These headphones have an acceptable bass accuracy. The entire range is fairly flat, but overemphasized, resulting in a deep, punchy, and thumpy bass that's well-suited to genres like EDM and hip-hop.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.68 dB
Low-Mid
1.75 dB
Mid-Mid
0.82 dB
High-Mid
0.31 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. The response is pretty neutral and well-balanced across the range, so vocals and lead instruments are clear, accurate, and present.

7.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.13 dB
Mid-Treble
2.73 dB
Low-Treble
1.53 dB
High-Treble
-6.21 dB

These headphones have good treble accuracy. The response is pretty neutral, and the slight overemphasis in the low and mid-treble can make some vocals and lead instruments a bit piercing and harsh.

7.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.72 dB
Dips
0.88 dB

These headphones have a good peaks and dips performance. The small peak in the high-bass gives a bit of boominess to your audio. The dips in the mid-range nudges vocals and lead instruments slightly towards the back of the mix, and the peak in the low-treble can make those same instruments a bit harsh.

8.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.14
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.65
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.36
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.98

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have a great imaging performance. Weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers on our test unit are well-matched in phase, frequency, and amplitude, so objects like voices and instruments are accurately placed and localized within the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

3.4
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.37 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
9.91 dB
PRTF Distance
3.59 dB
Openness
0.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have a poor stereo soundstage performance. These headphones interact with the pinna, or the outer ear, which is one of the key features in creating a large soundstage. However, the soundstage isn't very open or spacious, and sound seems like it's coming from inside your head instead of all around you, which is expected for most closed-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

Unlike the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, the Sony WH-1000XM4 don't have a virtual soundstage feature. They support Sony's surround sound music format, 360 Reality Audio, which lets you stream music from a few streaming platforms like Tidal and Deezer. You need a subscription to access it. However, it isn't considered a virtual surround feature, and we don't test for it.

7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.269
WHD @ 100
0.133

These headphones have a good weighted harmonic distribution performance. While there's a peak in the high-treble range at normal volume, it shouldn't be too noticeable. Most frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in a clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
2.0.6
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the test settings we used. Our results are only valid with these settings.

Isolation
9.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-28.73 dB
Bass
-24.33 dB
Mid
-22.39 dB
Treble
-38.96 dB

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have an outstanding noise isolation performance. They can block out bass-heavy sounds like bus or plane engines and sharper sounds like voices or AC units, so they can be used during your commute or in a noisy office setting.

7.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.28 dB

These headphones have a decent leakage performance. There's a bit of leakage in the mid-range, but most of it falls below the noise floor of an average office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

Update 05/26/2021: Sony has released firmware update 2.5.0, which is advertised to improve the headphones' general performance. We retested 'Frequency Response' and 'Noise Isolation', but there wasn't a change in these results. However, the microphone performs a bit differently. As a result, the 'Recording Quality' score has changed from 5.7 to 6.1 and the 'Noise Handling' score has changed from 6.9 to 6.0. We have updated our review accordingly.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have an integrated microphone. If you're looking for wireless over-ear headphones with a boom microphone, consider the Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless.

6.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
269.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.11 dB
HFE
3,726.47 Hz
Weighted THD
65.861
Gain
11.46 dB

These headphones have a passable recording quality. Your voice may sound thin, muffled, and lacking in detail.

Note: Our recording file lags in a few areas. This is a known bug in our testing process and we don't currently know what causes the lag.

5.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
11.47 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The microphone has a mediocre noise handling performance. Your voice is drowned out by background noise if you call from a loud environment, like a bus or train station.

Active Features
8.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
37.7 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
37.7 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have an excellent battery performance. While they advertise 30 hours of continuous playtime, we tested over 37 hours of continuous battery life, which is much longer than the battery life for the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. You don't have to worry about recharging these headphones daily, which is convenient. You can also set up an auto-off timer in the companion app, which helps prevent the battery from draining.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Sony | Headphones Connect app offers a lot of customization features. There's a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize the sound to your liking. You can also control the auto-off timer, the Smart-Pause feature, and monitor which devices are connected to your headphones. Also, you can access the 360 Reality Audio feature, but you need a subscription to use it. You can even map the custom button as ANC control or voice assistant control depending on your needs. Unfortunately, unlike the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, there isn't surround support available.

Connectivity
9.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line Of Sight Range
299.00 ft (91.14 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
212 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
38 ms
Android Latency
60 ms

These headphones are 5.0 Bluetooth and NFC-compatible, making them easy to pair with smartphones. Unlike the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, they can pair with multiple devices at the same time, which is convenient. They have a bit of latency, especially when using SBC. As a result, they may not be the best choice for watching videos or movies, though some apps compensate for latency so your experience may vary. Unfortunately, unlike their predecessor, these headphones don't support aptX or aptX HD codecs. If you're looking for a pair of noise cancelling headphones with an H1 chip to seamlessly pair with Apple devices, consider the Apple AirPods Max Wireless.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones can only connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.00 ft (1.22 m)
Connection
1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with an audio cable; however, it won't allow you to use the microphone with gaming consoles.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

The Sony WH-1000XM4 can be plugged in to your Xbox One using an audio cable, but you won't be able to use the microphone.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't come with a base or a dock.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony WH-1000XM4 come in two different color variants: 'Black' and 'Silver'. We tested the Silver model, but we expect the other models to perform similarly. These headphones also come in 'Midnight Blue', which are exclusive to Best Buy, and in a limited edition 'Silent White' color scheme to celebrate Sony's 75th anniversary. The 'Silent White' variant and their included accessories like their carrying case and cables are stark white with gold accents. They're only available from May through August 2021. 

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are comfortable over-ears with a premium look and feel. Like their predecessor, the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, they're decently versatile headphones with an exceptional noise isolation performance thanks to their ANC feature, a bass-heavy default sound profile, and lots of customization options. However, these headphones have longer continuous battery life, more control features, and can be used for multi-device pairing.

If you're looking for other headphones, see our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best closed-back headphones, and the best travel headphones.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are more comfortable headphones than the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. Out-of-the-box, the Bose also have a more neutral, less bass-heavy sound profile than the Sony. The Sony have a graphic EQ and presets available in their companion app to help you customize the sound to your liking. The Sony are better-built, have longer battery life, a better noise isolation performance, and they leak less noise. Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other.

Sony WH-XB900N Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better over-ear headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. Although both headphones are comfortable and can be customized using the Sony | Headphones Connect app, the WH-1000XM4 feel better-built and come with a hard case to help protect the headphones when you're on-the-go. They have a slightly more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, have more consistent bass and treble delivery, and their ANC is able to reduce more ambient noise around you. Their continuous battery life is longer-lasting too. However, the WH-XB900N have access to virtual soundstage features, and their integrated mic offers a better recording quality performance.

Shure AONIC 50 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable,  have a significantly better noise isolation performance, a longer continuous battery life, and support NFC pairing. However, the Shure have a companion app that offers a parametric EQ, which some users may prefer over the Sony's graphic EQ.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better over-ear headphones for most uses than the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, have a more bass-heavy sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ plus presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking. Their ANC also does a significantly better job of blocking out noise around you, and they have longer continuous battery life. However, the Beats have an H1 chip, which makes it easy to seamlessly pair them to your Apple devices.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless

The Sony WH-100XM4 are better than the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, their ANC feature blocks out more ambient noise, and their integrated mic has a much better overall performance. They have a more neutral default sound profile, which some listeners may prefer, and they also work with companion software that gives you access to a graphic EQ and presets. However, the Bowers & Wilkins have a significantly better build quality.

Apple AirPods Max Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Apple AirPods Max Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, feel better-built, and offer an even more powerful ANC. While they don't sound as neutral out-of-the-box as the Apple, they have a companion app that offers a lot of customization features, including a graphic EQ and presets. They also come with a 1/8" TRS cable if you want to use them wired.

Jabra Elite 85h Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better than the Jabra Elite 85h Wireless. The Sony have much better build quality, and their ANC feature blocks out much more ambient sound. They have a bass-rich default sound profile that fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop may like, and you can customize it with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. On the other hand, the Jabra's integrated microphone has a much better recording quality, and their onboard controls include a mute microphone button.

Razer Opus Wireless

The Razer Opus Wireless are better headphones for neutral sound than the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. The Razer's default sound profile is more neutral than the Sony, though some listeners may prefer the Sony's more bass-heavy sound. The Razer have a more stable fit, and they leak less noise. On the other hand, the Sony have a somewhat better noise isolation performance, and their integrated mic performs better in noisier environments.

Bose 700 Headphones Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Bose 700 Headphones Wireless for some listeners. The Sony have a better noise isolation performance and a longer continuous battery life. They offer more talk-through controls, ideal for users who want to stay aware of their environment while listening. The Bose have a more neutral, less bass-heavy default sound profile, and their integrated microphone performs better than the Sony's.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

 The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless have different strengths and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Apple have a more stable fit, a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and a virtual soundstage feature. They're also more compact and portable, so they're easier to take with you on the go. However, the Sony are over-ears with a more comfortable fit. Their ANC system does a significantly better job of blocking out background noise, and they have longer total battery life. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ and presets to help adjust their sound to your liking, and you can use them passively if you run out of battery life.

Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better than the Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless. The XM4 are comfier, better-built, deliver audio more consistently, and have a far more effective ANC system. They also provide a similar overall battery life despite taking much less time to charge and can pair with two devices simultaneously. Meanwhile, the H910N have a less bass-heavy default sound profile, leak less audio, and have better microphone recording quality, though its mic does a worse job of isolating speech from background noise than that of the XM4.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless have different strengths, so you may prefer either. The WF-1000XM3 have an in-ear design that's more portable, have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and leak less audio at high volumes. However, the WH-1000XM4 are over-ear headphones with better battery and noise isolation performance.

Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either one. The Sony are more comfortable, better-built, and their ANC system does a significantly better job blocking out background noise. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking. The Sennheiser have a better overall performing integrated mic and a more stable and breathable fit.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better for neutral sound than the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. The Audio-Technica are wired headphones with a much more neutral sound profile and a significantly better passive soundstage performance. On the other hand, the Sony are better for multi-purpose use. You can use them via Bluetooth or a wired connection, have a more comfortable, stable fit, onboard controls, and an integrated mic. They also have a very effective ANC feature.

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30. The Sony are more comfortable, feel better-built, and have a better-balanced sound profile right out-of-the-box. Their active noise cancelling (ANC) feature can reduce more noise around you, and they have an auto-off timer to help conserve their battery life when not in use. That said, the Anker have longer continuous battery life.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either depending on your usage. The Sony are over-ears with a much better noise isolation performance, a longer continuous battery life, and sound customization features. They also support multi-device pairing and can be used wired with their included audio cable. On the other hand, the Bose are much more portable in-ears with a much more stable fit and an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't test for that currently. 

Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless and Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless have different strengths and weaknesses. The Sony are slightly better-built, provide a more consistent listening experience, are more effective in blocking out ambient noise, and last longer off of a single charge. They also have lower wireless latency. The Jabra's boom microphone provides superior recording quality and noise handling capability. The Jabra's physical control scheme is also easier to use and offers more functionality.

Drop + THX Panda Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, better-built, and have a more bass-heavy sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have a companion app, an active noise cancelling system that can block out a significant amount of noise, and their continuous battery life is longer. However, the Drop have a planar magnetic transducer, which some users may prefer.

JBL Tour One Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better over-ears than the JBL Tour One Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, better built, and can deliver audio more consistently. They have a significantly better noise isolation performance, and their Bluetooth latency on iOS and Android is lower, too.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are designed for different uses. The SteelSeries are wireless gaming headphones. They have a better overall performing boom mic, support Bluetooth, and support non-Bluetooth wireless. They also come with a transmitter which allows you to adjust more controls like channel mixing and audio sources on the fly. In contrast, the Sony are better suited for casual use. They're more comfortable, can be paired with up to two devices at a time, and have an ANC system that helps block out a lot of background noise.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are slightly better headphones for most uses than the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, have a significantly better noise isolation performance, and a longer continuous battery life. However, the Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile out of the box, which some users may prefer.

Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better overall headphones then the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless. The Sony's over-ear fit is comfier and more stable, they provide a better-balanced and far more adjustable listening experience, and block out more ambient sound. That said, the Bowers & Wilkins are better-built, have lower wireless latency, are compatible with USB audio, and leak less audio.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless have more features than the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The WH-1000XM4 support multi-device pairing, have a longer continuous battery life, and they offer some additional talk-through control options. However, the WH-1000XM3 are a somewhat better choice for neutral listening, as they have a more neutral, less bass-heavy default sound profile and a more consistent audio delivery. They also come with a Virtual Surround feature, which the WH-1000XM4 lacks.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better for most uses than the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless. The WH-1000XM4 are over-ear headphones that are more comfortable, have a more bass-heavy sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC can significantly block out more noise around you. They also have much longer continuous battery life and support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with up to two devices at a time. However, the WF-1000XM4 are smaller, more portable, and have a stable fit.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better over-ear headphones than the Beats Studio3 Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable, the Sony are better-built, have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC does a significantly better job of cutting down ambient noise around you. They also have longer-lasting continuous battery life, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help adjust their sound to your liking. However, the Beats have a W1 chip, so you can seamlessly pair them with other Apple devices.

Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better over-ears than the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable and better-built. They have a significantly better performing ANC, and they have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. However, the Anker have longer continuous battery life.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless. The WH-1000XM4 are more comfortable, their ANC can block out even more background noise, and their continuous battery life is longer, too. You can also pair them with up to two devices at a time.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal. The Sony are more comfortable and stable, and they have a better noise isolation performance. Their continuous battery life is also longer. However, if you're looking for gaming-oriented headphones, you may prefer the Bang & Olufsen. They support Xbox Wireless, and they offer full audio and microphone compatibility with Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

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