What you need to know
- Images of Sony's upcoming WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones have leaked out via Anatel Brazil's FCC equivalent.
- The photos show a strikingly similar design to the previous model.
- Some of the upgrades were revealed in pictures of the manual, including less power consumption, Bluetooth 5, and a new "speak to chat" feature.
Sony announced its class-leading noise-canceling WH-1000XM3 headphones in August of 2018. They quickly garnered praise from reviewers and users who loved the WH-1000XM3s for the fantastic sound quality and stellar noise cancelation technology. Now, we're getting our first look at the sequel, the aptly named WH-1000XM4.
The photos were discovered by Everton Favretto via Anatel, Brazil's version of the FCC. Hopefully, you were a big fan of the previous design, because not much has changed here—the WH-1000XM4s look virtually identically to its predecessor.
While the photos themselves don't reveal what kind of upgrades the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones might be sporting, the included manual helps fill in some blanks. Unfortunately, not too many blanks, as most of the pertinent information has been censored or left out.
However, we were able to see that this year Sony's flagship headphones will be upgraded from Bluetooth v4.2 to Bluetooth v5. The WH-1000XM4s are also rated for 2W of power consumption versus the 8W found in the WH-1000XM3s. The use of Bluetooth v5 and lower power consumption should equate to improved battery life from Sony's over the ear cans this year. The manual even mentions an operating time of 40 hours when plugged and using noise cancelation, compared to 36 hours in the current model.
Furthermore, there is mention of a new "speak to chat" feature, alluding to using Google Assistant or Alexa hands-free. Currently, the WH-1000XM3 requires you to press a button before using a voice assistant. Google is also said to be working on hands-free Assistant access for its upcoming Pixel Buds as well. So seeing Sony implement it on its latest headphones wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities.
There is still no word on a release date or the price for Sony's new WH-1000XM4 headphones. However, with them passing through regulatory bodies, we could see them announced in August like the WH-1000XM3s were last year.
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