Sony introduced the WH-1000XM4, the fourth-generation headphones from Sony’s award-winning 1000X family. The wireless over-ear model offers the same fan-favorite tech from the popular WH-1000XM3 model, an add additional smart features that personalize and control music, with improved noise cancelation.
“Our industry-leading noise canceling has continued to wow the world, and this new model takes that incredible technology even further,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics North America. “Sony was the pioneer behind noise canceling technology back in 1995, and that 25 years of experience has helped us drive the industry forward and offer best-in-class audio products.”
Sony is one of the leaders in ANC and traditional noise-canceling headphones, and the new model has two microphones on each earcup that enable a Dual Noise Sensor. These microphones capture ambient noise and pass the data to the HD Noise Canceling Processor. Then, a new Bluetooth Audio System on Chip (SoC) senses music and noise at over 700 times per second. The company stated that a new algorithm applies noise-canceling processing in real-time, and is an improvement over the WH-1000XM3 model.
Using Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme more accurately rebuilds audio lost during digital compression for a full-fidelity experience. Sony stated, “Edge-AI analyzes music in real-time and recognizes instruments, music genres, and individual elements of each song to restore the high range sounds for a richer, more complete listening experience.”
To build this AI system, Sony worked with Sony Music Studios Tokyo to gather data and insights on how specific music signals are composed.
Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is a new immersive audio experience, that can be enjoyed on the WH-1000XM4 headphones when combined with an Android or iPhone that has a participating streaming services app installed.
The description reads, “The 360 Reality Audio listening experience immerses users in music as if they were right in front of their favorite artist. Listeners can enjoy a custom immersive musical field that is perfectly optimized for them when using the WH-1000XM4 headphones and the “Sony | Headphones Connect” app.”
A new Speak-To-Chat feature enables users to have short conversations without taking off their headphones. By simply speaking, the headphones will recognize the user’s voice and automatically stop the music to let in ambient sound so they can conduct a conversation. The music automatically starts playing again 30 seconds after a user has stopped talking.
A Quick Attention mode is also available on the WH-1000XM4, making it easy to tune in for an announcement or say something briefly by simply placing your right hand over the earcup to decrease the volume and let in ambient sound.
The Adaptive Sound Control senses where a customer is and what they’re doing, and adjusts ambient sound settings for an ideal listening experience. Over time, Adaptive Sound Control learns to recognize frequently visited locations such as the workplace, gym or favorite café, and tailors sound to suit the situation. You will most likely need to allow GPS tracking to take advantage of this function.
The company added, “For example, if walking near a busy street, sound can be adjusted so the listener can still be aware of the surroundings without needing to turn off the music. Users can set up their frequently visited locations and preferred settings via the “Sony | Headphones Connect App” and ambient sound settings will automatically update as they move between different environments.”
The new model also detects whether they are being worn, and adapts playback accordingly to help save battery power. Using the headphone’s proximity sensor and two acceleration sensors, the headphones automatically stop playback when removed, and resume playing when they are put back on.
The WH-1000XM4 also features new Precise Voice Pickup technology, which controls five microphones in the headphones, and performs advanced audio signal processing to pick up voice clearly and precisely for hands-free calls and Speak-to-Chat.
The new headphones also work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The WH-1000XM4 can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at the same time, so when a call comes in, the headphones know which device is ringing and connect to the right one automatically. You can switch the headphones to either of the two devices at the touch of a button.
The WH-1000XM4 are also NFC and Bluetooth enabled, and have a battery life of up to 30 hours. The company claims that the charging function provides up to 5 hours of wireless playback from just 10 minutes of charging.
The WH-1000XM4 model has a suggested retail price of $349 is available for pre-order today at Amazon and other authorized dealers in black and silver.
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