Sony's next big wireless headphones are an open book after this huge new leak


Almost two whole years after taking the wraps off the objectively impressive WH-1000XM3 headphones and exactly two months on the heels of the first sighting of a highly anticipated sequel at a major US retailer, Sony has yet to formally unveil the WH-1000XM4, let alone commercially release these undoubtedly improved wireless noise-canceling cans.

It obviously can't be long now until we hear all about the new features and upgrades of the latest high-end alternative to the Bose 700, as well as Apple's upcoming AirPods Studio. Then again, Sony may not have a great deal left to announce, as a freshly leaked promotional video corroborates many of the key selling points already revealed by multiple North American retailers back in June.

If you're familiar with what the WH-1000XM3 have going for them, we're sure a bunch of the things advertised in this (low-quality) 2-minute clip will ring a bell, starting with the "industry-leading" noise cancellation technology. But while the WH-1000XM4 are essentially guaranteed to strongly resemble their predecessors in a lot of ways, design included, Sony is also preparing a few changes and additions that might sound minor but are likely to prove extremely consequential in daily usage scenarios.

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For one thing, you can expect an unnamed "new high-performance Bluetooth audio system-on-chip" to enhance the wireless connectivity of the Sony WH-1000XM4 over their forerunners, which didn't exactly disappoint from that standpoint in our in-depth review anyway. Of course, there's always room for improvement in that department, especially if your living situation involves some type of mansion and you want to sync your hot new headphones to your handset from three bedrooms and two bathrooms away.

Jokes aside, the list of new features likely to appeal to and make a notable difference for a significant number of future users includes stuff like wearing detection, favorite sound settings for registered locations, and speak-to-chat functionality. With these, you'll notice the music on the WH-1000XM4 will automatically start and stop every time you put the headphones on and then take them off, as well as pause when you're talking (and start playing again when you go quiet), and finally, recognize different places to personalize your audio experience.

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Pretty much everything else looks familiar, from the 30-hour battery life rating to the fast charging claims, built-in dual noise sensor technology, touch controls, voice assistant support, 40mm HD hybrid drivers for "exceptional sound quality", adaptive sound control, and 360 Reality Audio capabilities. 

That's not necessarily bad, mind you, as change for the sake of change is rarely a good idea. Besides, we're almost certain now that the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones will start at the same reasonable $350 price point as the WH-1000XM3. All we need is an official release date, which has to drop soon.

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