Sony WF-1000XM4 Review: Amazing Noise-Cancellation, Even Better Value Now
November 24, 2021 Andrew Cheng

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is considered to be one of the best wireless earbuds in the market now, thanks to its amazing active noise cancellation (ANC) performance, audio quality, and long battery life. But at launch, it was priced at RM1,099 for the Malaysian market, which is a little steep.

But now, the WF-1000XM4 is much, much more affordable, making it that much more compelling. If you want an excellent pair of wireless earbuds with great value for money, look no further than the XM4.

What It Is

First, let’s talk about the pricing of the WF-1000XM4. At launch, it retailed at RM1,099, but you can easily get it for RM899 now – that’s a substantial RM200 price difference. If you’re a bargain hunter, you can even grab the wireless earbuds for as low as RM839.

Pricing aside, the WF-1000XM4 is said to have the best ANC in the market for a pair of wireless earbuds, thanks to the new V1 chip; more on this further down the review. On top of that, even with ANC activated, the XM4 can last up to eight hours on a single charge – two more hours than its predecessor’s quoted battery life.

Speaking of battery life, the charging case of the WF-1000XM4 – now 40% smaller with support for wireless charging – can fully charge the earbuds twice, effectively giving you 24 hours of battery life in total. With IPX4 water resistance, you can also use the XM4 for your workouts or in the rain without issue.

The Good Stuff

Let’s start with one of the best features of the WF-1000XM4 (in my opinion): its ANC performance. I compared the ANC of these earbuds to the larger WH-1000XM4 headphones, and I’m pleasantly surprised that both of them are quite comparable to each other in this regard – that’s a high praise for the WF-1000XM4.

Sure, the ANC of the XM4 has the “deafening” effect, but once I start playing some tunes, this effect is reduced. Audio quality of these earbuds are fantastic too. It offers detailed, punchy bass, clear vocals, and overall, a warm, “fun” sound signature that complements pop music very, very well. In short, these earbuds sound great.

Another winning quality of the WF-1000XM4 is its long battery life. In fact, I can get Sony’s quoted battery life of eight hours effortlessly with the XM4 while ANC is activated; that’s class-leading for a pair of wireless earbuds. With ANC disabled, I reckon the XM4 can last even longer on a single charge.

I also really like the “noise isolation earbud tips” of the WF-1000XM4, which feels like a cross between silicone and foam material. Not only are they comfortable to wear for long periods of time, they provide a good seal too for even better audio quality. However, the material does feel a little too fragile for my liking.

One feature that’s brought over to the WF-1000XM4 from the WH-1000XM4 headphones is the “Speak-to-Chat” feature, which automatically activates ambient sound mode whenever I start speaking. This isn’t a groundbreaking feature by any means, but I do love the fact that it can detect my voice quite quickly.

Plus, I don’t have to fumble about to take off the earbuds whenever someone is talking to me with this feature.

Last but certainly not least is the value proposition of the WF-1000XM4. At launch, its RM1,099 price tag is a little hard to swallow, but given that you can now get it for only RM899 – or as low as RM839 on big sale days, such as 11.11 or 12.12 – you’re really getting your money’s worth with these earbuds.

The Bad Stuff

For the most part, the WF-1000XM4 doesn’t have any big shortcomings, though I do wish the earbuds themselves are a little bit more compact. Don’t get me wrong, the design is much improved over the earpiece-like design of the WF-1000XM3, but I do find the earbuds to be a tad too bulky, especially when worn.

And then there’s the charging case. Although it is now 40% smaller, it’s still not as compact as its competition; trying to fit the case into my jeans pocket, for example, is not a particularly comfortable experience.

Is It Worth It?

Most definitely. For only RM899 now, the Sony WF-1000XM4 offers fantastic value for money while also featuring excellent ANC, pleasant audio quality, long, long battery life, and a comfortable fit. It truly is the premium wireless earbuds to beat in the market now.

It would’ve been even better if the earbuds and charging case are a little bit more compact, but beyond that, I thoroughly enjoyed using the WF-1000XM4. If you can get it at a good deal, it’s really a no-brainer purchase if you’re looking to buy one of the best wireless earbuds in the market now.