Sony has recently been knocking it out of the park in terms of tech. Their cameras lead the industry into the mirrorless realm, they produce movies with high quality and their audio is now a staple for most tech-heads. Today we’re not going to look into a new piece of tech, but had a lot of praise when it came out a couple of months ago; Sony’s WH-1000xm4 headphones. We’re gonna be taking a deep dive into their long-term usage and see if they’re worth the $350 Sony is asking for.
First, the most important part of headphones, let’s talk about the sound. Their warmer sounding, with a slight emphasis on the bass. The mid-range sound does get lost in the mix and the highs aren’t really as clear as audiophiles would like. But the sound that does come out of these sounds really good, despite these things. If you like music with a tad more bass, like hip hop or pop, then these are great. Anything else other than that still sounds pretty crisp too. Just don’t expect a flat sound.
Now the active noise canceling; these knock most, if not all, in its class out the park. Most constant noise, such as the humming of car engines, is blocked out and background music or noise from coffee shops or street work or just people talking is drastically downplayed. The ambient sound is serviceable but nothing to ride home about. You can have convos with people or quickly listen in if you need to hear real quick but it does sound robotic and is clear that you’re wearing headphones.
Now what a lot of people don’t talk about in reviews, especially for long-term listening, is that the build quality is done really well. Yes, it’s made of plastic, but the build still feels high quality and feels durable enough to last. And the use of plastic really helps with comfort for long listening sessions. They don’t pinch or feel heavy.
Now the things I don’t really like. A majority of the faults of the 1000x’s come from the gimmicks Sony’s trying to sell. The touch controls are ok but vary when it comes to accuracy. And these touch controls also lead to quick ambient sound controls which sound fine. Put your right hand over the right earcup to temporarily turn on ambient sound, but you can just take the headphones off. And something I liked at the start ––– but don’t like now ––– is the carrying case it comes with; it’s a bit too big and bulky to carry in my bag. I like organization in my bag and having the headphones just folded up and in there works as well.
Some other minor things that I found with the headphones that don’t need much mentioning but are worth knowing. With the M4s, they added multiple device support, which I find really nice and convenient (when I remember to use it). And the headphones also support higher file types for audio with certain settings, so if you use LDAC then go for it. And the 30-hour battery is really nice, I charge mine once a week and I would still have a bit left. And the quick charge also doesn’t hurt.
Overall, I’m really happy I bought these and have been my daily driver for the past couple of months. The sound fits the music I like, the noise canceling is done really well and the build is nice and light but durable. At the end of the day, if you spend $350 on these, you won’t be disappointed. A great investment for long-term listening.