There was a time when we wondered what sony was doing in the noise cancelling segment where there was a clear overlord. A few years down the line, the upstart has almost kicked out the incumbents and is making a cushy throne for itself. Sony’s confidence with headphones has been evident for some time and now it has come to a point where there is something new every other month. The latest is the Sony WH-1000XM4, the successor of the WH 1000XM3
The Sony WH-1000XM4 looks a lot like its predecessor. The only major design change I could spot was how the matte finish has given way to a softer exterior that is pleasant to the touch. The headphone rests well and is perfect for listening to music or binge watching a show for long hours. The band and the ear cups offer the right amount of cushion. But it does get a bit hot inside the cups when it is sultry outside.
The headphones can be folded flat and even knocked in for storage. Under the left ear cup is the power button as well as the voice assistant — you can configure the assistant of your choice. The panels are touch sensitive and you can tap and swipe to navigate.
As soon as you wear the Sony WH-1000XM4 and switch on power, you realise the capabilities of the headphone. The drone of the decade old fan in my living room just vanishes, leaving just a faint trace of the soap my wife is binge watching on her weekly off day. While the Sony WH-1000XM4 is meant for those who travel a lot by air, that is now a dream sequence that does not seem to be coming back to real life anytime soon. For now, this is a great silencer for those working from home and trying to think above the din of the household.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is also smarter than earlier versions. In fact, as you start to speak, the noise cancellation goes off and you move to aware mode. Let’s say you are at an airport lounge and walk up to a coffee shop to place an order, with this headphone you can just speak normally and your music will pause for the duration of your conversation. This is a very useful feature and often you are juggling with bags and other stuff while at the airport.
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