Smartphone

Sony’s next big AirPods Pro rivals are as good as official after these huge new leaks

UPDATED: Just in case you felt all the renders and press images embedded below didn’t do the revised design of the WF-1000XM4 justice, Sony’s next noise-cancelling earbuds have now leaked in a promotional video running for a whopping two minutes and 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, this is in Dutch, so a few of the advertised features are a little hard to decipher. But the V1 chip, Hi-Res Audio support, IPX4 rating, and up to 24 hours of battery life are now (even more) guaranteed to pan out, alongside other premium stuff like Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-to-Chat, beam-forming microphones, and bone conduction technology. The original story continues below.

Sony’s top-notch wireless headphones and true wireless earbuds have started to receive more attention than the company’s Xperia handsets in recent years, providing stiff competition for the likes of Bose and Apple respectively by integrating premium overall sound quality and state-of-the-art noise cancellation technology at fairly reasonable prices.

New design, new price, same great quality (presumably)

Because the latter part is without a doubt the most important piece of the puzzle, we’ll start by pointing out that the Sony WF-1000XM4 are likely to cost a bit more than their forerunners. Namely, €279.99 on the old continent.

Obviously, you shouldn’t simply convert that number into dollars to find out the prospective US price tag, but considering the 2019-released WF-1000XM3 are normally available for €249.99 in Europe and around $230 stateside, we feel confident predicting that the WF-1000XM4 will start at roughly $250.

To justify the relatively small but potentially significant (for some) price hike, Sony is expected to revise the design of the WF-1000XM3 to make the WF-1000XM4 more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time in a row.

Impressive upgrades all around

Perhaps more importantly, Sony also plans to add IPX4 certification, which means that unlike their predecessors (and much like the AirPods Pro), the next-gen WF buds will offer basic protection against sweat and “splashing water.”

Set to be made available in familiar black and silver hues at first (and possibly, a gold flavor as well at some point down the line), the WF-1000XM4 should also come with a brand spanking new in-house Sony V1 processor under the hood in charge of further improving the already impressive noise cancellation functionality and audio performance.

Speaking of charging, the battery life will purportedly be advertised as going up to 24 hours, which sounds identical to what the WF-1000XM3 are already capable of. But the previous-gen earbuds can only reach that mark with ANC switched off, while their successors will apparently last just as long if you keep the feature enabled at all times.

Wireless charging case notwithstanding, the Sony WF-1000XM4 should be capable of keeping your favorite tunes going for up to 8 and 12 hours with ANC turned on and off respectively, thus challenging and potentially eclipsing Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ endurance champions at last. 
The case could boost those numbers all the way up to 36 hours if you refuse to isolate yourselves from your surroundings, which is enough to suggest these puppies will make a serious bid for this year’s heavyweight title of best true wireless earbuds.


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