KEY POINTS

  • Sony is releasing a successor to the highly successful WH-1000XM3 noise-canceling headphone
  • The new headphones might be announced this week
  • The new WH-1000XM4 offers better features compared to its predecessor

Sony is once again shaking up the portable audio scene with its latest and greatest noise-canceling headphones yet, the new WH-1000XM4. This new pair of cans comes as the successor to the popular WH-1000XM3 and offers some interesting improvements over it.

Sony's Japan website hints that the new device might arrive this week. A teaser page on the website says fans should “wait 4 something exciting” on “2020.08.07” at 9 a.m. It didn't explicitly say that it will announce the new headphones at that time, but the hashtag #ListenwithSony seems to hint that it's about a new audio device.

Now, a leaked promotional video seems to indicate that the audio device will indeed be the WH-1000XM4. The leaked video, first shared online by a Chinese user and spotted by a Chinese website, showed the new noise-canceling headphones in action, being used in the train, on the streets, in a cafe, stores and more.

The video shows the audio device as optimized for use in any situation, whether the user wants to remove the noise to enjoy the music or hear what's important outside. It reveals new features meant to make the device more useful in various scenarios, such as when listening to music while talking to someone, waiting for announcements or simply listening while commuting.

Here are some interesting details shown in the video:

Adaptive sound control

The new WH-1000XM4 automatically adjusts ambient sound, letting users enjoy noise cancellation features without the worry of missing out on important announcements and sounds. The device continually monitors what's happening outside then adjusts noise cancellation levels to let important sound in, such as announcements, the sound of cars on the street and so on.

This feature is meant to let users stay aware of what's happening around them without letting all the unnecessary outside noise in.

DSEE Extreme

The video claims that the WH-1000XM4 offers real-time audio up-scaling based on the music genre and instruments being played. This means users will hear details better, regardless of the genre they like to listen to.

Location-based sound settings

The video doesn't reveal much about this, but the WH-1000XM4 personalizes sound profiles based on the user's current location. This feature will work if the user registers favorite locations.

Speak-to-chat

Unlike other noise-canceling headphones, the WH-1000XM4 automatically pauses music when it hears the user speak with others, then resumes the music when the user stops conversing. It doesn't require the user to put their hand on the earcup to talk, like the WH-1000XM3.

With all of these features, one might think that the WH-1000XM4 will not offer long battery life, but it does. It can last up to 30 hours on a single charge, and a 10-minute charge results in five hours of continuous playback.

Sony WH1000 XM3 4 Sony is releasing a successor to the highly acclaimed WH-1000XM3 (pictured). Photo: Jeff Li/IBTimes