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Sony WH-1000XM4 Review

Are Sony’s noise-cancelling headphones a class above of the rest of the competition? 

What we love — Superb sound, comfortable fit, and handy smart features

The design of these headphones ticks all the right boxes; not only are they very comfortable to wear thanks to the cushy ear pads, but they’re also lightweight (at just 254g), and elegant to look at too, with an understated but functional design.

Once they’re in place you’ll be blown away by the sound quality, which is among the very best available in a pair of commercial headphones. Sound is smooth and detailed, with a strong command of lower frequencies, and the noise cancellation is flawless — you’ll love listening to any genre of music on these cans.

The excellent performance is boosted by a host of smart features which aren’t just gimmicks, but really add to the overall premium package. The Speak to Chat feature automatically mutes your music when you start talking, and in our our experience it did this extremely efficiently with no hiccups, while Adaptive Smart Control effectively changes the level of noise cancellation based on the ambient noise in your surroundings.

Battery life is more than satisfactory, delivering 30 hours of playback time with noise-cancelling enabled, and 38 hours with the feature turned off.

What we don’t like — No aptX audio

It’s hard to find any flaws in the Sony WH-1000XM4; the only slight niggle is that it doesn’t have aptX audio enabled for high resolution Bluetooth audio, as its predecessor did. But frankly, we consider that to be no great loss.


The Sony WH-1000XM4 are simply brilliant, possibly the best premium headphones on the market right now. Offering excellent sound quality, a host of useful and well-implemented smart features, and being very comfortable to wear as well, frankly you’ll struggle to find any headphones that beat these.

Our Recombu reviews are created using data collected by Trusted Reviews Labs, utilising their testing expertise to bring you an easy-to-read, short-form review.


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