Sony WH-1000XM4

Mikeyevs

Active member
Apr 19, 2020
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Mmm... No Aptx HD, so sound quality will be no upgrade and will still be compressed and lossy.
Not for me I think.
 

ruffian

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Apr 4, 2010
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I have the M3s and love them so would be curious to hear these. Don’t notice any compression artefacts. I use Apple devices so never had AptxHD anyway. I listen to the hires stuff with it wired, connected to my Dragonfly DAC and they sound awesome.
 
Oct 11, 2015
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Mmm... No Aptx HD, so sound quality will be no upgrade and will still be compressed and lossy.
Not for me I think.
APTX HD max bitrate 576kbps
LDAC max bitrate 990kbps

APTX HD max bit depth 24-bit
LDAC max bit depth 24-bit

APTX HD max sample rate 48khz
LDAC max sample rate 96khz

APTX HD variable bitrate support no
LDAC variable bitrate support yet

Being upset that the inferior codec isn't available is interesting.
 
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Aug 7, 2020
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I too am concerned about the absence of aptX HD.
But as the above post demonstrates, Sony's LDAC codec is superior to aptX HD, so is there anything to be concerned about?
 

sata

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Aug 7, 2020
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I have the 1000XM2 and I really like the fact it has a longer cable than the XM3 and the newly released XM4 (1.5 meter vs 1.2 meter)
There shouldn't be a problem if I use the XM2 3.5mm cable on the XM4, right? regarding sound quality and what not
 

Friesiansam

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2015
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APTX HD max bitrate 576kbps
LDAC max bitrate 990kbps

APTX HD max bit depth 24-bit
LDAC max bit depth 24-bit

APTX HD max sample rate 48khz
LDAC max sample rate 96khz

APTX HD variable bitrate support no
LDAC variable bitrate support yet

Being upset that the inferior codec isn't available is interesting.
I too am concerned about the absence of aptX HD.
But as the above post demonstrates, Sony's LDAC codec is superior to aptX HD, so is there anything to be concerned about?
LDAC is only useful if supported at both ends of the connection, as with all codecs. Sony's performance claims don't really stand up to scrutiny: The Sound Guys
 

Escudos999

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
4
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25
APTX HD max bitrate 576kbps
LDAC max bitrate 990kbps

APTX HD max bit depth 24-bit
LDAC max bit depth 24-bit

APTX HD max sample rate 48khz
LDAC max sample rate 96khz

APTX HD variable bitrate support no
LDAC variable bitrate support yet

Being upset that the inferior codec isn't available is interesting.
I think lack of APTX HD is poor too on Sony's part. It is about compatibility and APTX/APTX HD is far more available on audio devices than LDAC. Sony is clearly continuing to try to ensure that people purchase Sony LDAC enabled devices.
 
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Aug 7, 2020
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All phones with Android 8.0 and above have LDAC.

I'm not happy that Sony dropped aptX HD, but if all phones have LDAC, why should Sony waste their money paying Qualcomm for aptX HD?
 

Escudos999

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
4
1
25
APTX HD max bitrate 576kbps
LDAC max bitrate 990kbps

APTX HD max bit depth 24-bit
LDAC max bit depth 24-bit

APTX HD max sample rate 48khz
LDAC max sample rate 96khz

APTX HD variable bitrate support no
LDAC variable bitrate support yet

Being upset that the inferior codec isn't available is interesting.
All phones with Android 8.0 and above have LDAC.

I'm not happy that Sony dropped aptX HD, but if all phones have LDAC, why should Sony waste their money paying Qualcomm for aptX HD?
Well, independent studies claim that some of Sony's claims don't stack up and that aptX is also the better option for sound quality - including


LDAC is not Hi-Res.

All phones with Android 8.0 and above have LDAC.

I'm not happy that Sony dropped aptX HD, but if all phones have LDAC, why should Sony waste their money paying Qualcomm for aptX HD?
 

madbrain

Member
Aug 10, 2020
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LDAC is not Hi-Res.
Funny, because your link says the opposite.
Quote : "LDAC 990kbps matches the frequency criteria for Hi-Res".

Personally, I find that fairly irrelevant. I mostly use my headphones on an airplane. There are too many people using bluetooth around for a stable bluetooth connection. So, I use a wired connection instead. Happy with my WH-1000XM3 and not seeing any reason to "upgrade" based on these changes here.
 

Escudos999

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
4
1
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Funny, because your link says the opposite.
Quote : "LDAC 990kbps matches the frequency criteria for Hi-Res".

Personally, I find that fairly irrelevant. I mostly use my headphones on an airplane. There are too many people using bluetooth around for a stable bluetooth connection. So, I use a wired connection instead. Happy with my WH-1000XM3 and not seeing any reason to "upgrade" based on these changes here.
Apologies, yes you're right. I meant to say that according to this article a lot of folk are not receiving the 990kbps hi-res quality.
 

TaffyinLA

Active member
Aug 26, 2020
4
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25
Had the XM4's for a week. I use an iphone and a mac, so lack of APTX isn't an issue, audio quality over AAC is excellent, I enjoy music on these every bit as much as my Grados . There are other issues though, especially if you want to use these for calls.

Major dropout on my voice when paired with my Macbook pro 16 in Teams, Zoom etc. It seems to be working better by switching the headphones sound quality mode from Prioritize sound quality to stable connection, but I'm sat directly in front of my laptop, bluetooth signal strength should not be an issue.

Covering right cup to prioritize external sound doesn't work in Teams / Zoom calls, only when listening to music

Still no ability to mute the mic from the headphones, come on Sony! Basically makes these useless when I'm taking calls on the move in noisy environments. Yes, I can mute on the app I'm using, but I should just be able to tap the headphone to mute.

These could be amazing all purpose headphones with the above addressed (and there's no reason why they can't be) but right now, they're really only useful for music. Oh and my ears can't resolve any difference to music when DSEE is on or off.
 

psalvet

Member
Sep 1, 2020
2
0
20
The tubbiness referred to in the review I suspect is processing gear and signal dependent. I connect to an MME Entender tapping into the RCA output of my PSA Audio preamp and the bass is strong and tight. No complaints.

Listening to all my reference tracks processed by a PS Audio DSD DAC is almost as good of an experience as listening sans headphones to the same material through my Focal 1038be speakers. I never expected that, and as the headphones continue to flex their muscles the SQ continues to improve.

Try playing the La Bamba track called Jazz Variants (The O-Zone Percussion Group). There is absolutely no distortion or clipping in this incredibly dynamic recording, even at insanely loud levels. I have yet to hear a headphone that can make the performance in this track so realistic.
 
Last edited:

yukov

Member
Sep 18, 2020
1
0
20
Sony 1000xm is improving with every generation. Is it realistic now to compare these xm4's with wired headphones? I cannot find any serious comparison online. Where on the ladder are they overall, wired and wireless?
 

Sliced Bread

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2010
413
39
18,920
Had the XM4's for a week. I use an iphone and a mac, so lack of APTX isn't an issue, audio quality over AAC is excellent, I enjoy music on these every bit as much as my Grados . There are other issues though, especially if you want to use these for calls.

Major dropout on my voice when paired with my Macbook pro 16 in Teams, Zoom etc. It seems to be working better by switching the headphones sound quality mode from Prioritize sound quality to stable connection, but I'm sat directly in front of my laptop, bluetooth signal strength should not be an issue.

Covering right cup to prioritize external sound doesn't work in Teams / Zoom calls, only when listening to music

Still no ability to mute the mic from the headphones, come on Sony! Basically makes these useless when I'm taking calls on the move in noisy environments. Yes, I can mute on the app I'm using, but I should just be able to tap the headphone to mute.

These could be amazing all purpose headphones with the above addressed (and there's no reason why they can't be) but right now, they're really only useful for music. Oh and my ears can't resolve any difference to music when DSEE is on or off.
I’ve been looking at these for my iPhone to replace me shure SE425’s, but reading this you’ve just confirmed a few concerns.
I’m hoping the Apple AirPod Studio’s released next month will be competitive as hopefully it’ll not have these problems.
Sadly though being Apple I imagine the sound quality won’t be up to par. Fingers crossed though.
 

andymnc

Member
Nov 22, 2020
1
0
20
got them today. they are disappointing at least.
updated to last firmware that should address connection issues, but the connection still is ugly (to be polite).
Used with a windows 10 machine, the connection drops and reconnects at superfast speed after 1 minute of good working.
Used with a Denon avc-x3700h and the things are way worse.
It can't be that i bought 380€ headphones to use them only with an android phone. Are they serious?
also, why the whathifi review did not mention these problems? they are serious and headphones are unusable
 

Sparky86

Member
Jan 5, 2021
1
0
20
I have the XM3s and don't plan on upgrading, at least perhaps until the next generation, as I got the them at such a great price. They were brand new from Currys at £208 as I had a discount code and a link to buy gift vouchers with 8% off; this was about a month before the XM4s were released so the price was already dropping before the extra discounts.

Any improvement in noise cancelling I'd love but paying the higher price of the XM4s just for that isn't worth it. The only new feature that for me was noticeably absent from the XM3s is the automatic pausing of music when the headphones are taken off.

I'd like multi-point connection too but the implementation on the XM4s has a compromise - the higher quality LDAC codec can't be used in this mode, only SBC I believe. I don't know how much difference this would make to me as the highest quality music I listen to currently is Spotify on the best quality setting and occasionally FLAC files from CD rips, no hi-res streaming for me yet. Still disappointing to have to choose between multi-point and best quality. Also the aptX codec is gone on XM4 (not sure if XM3 had aptX HD or regular, it didn't have the Low Latency version as an option though, not many headphones seem to). So even if a user decided a higher quality codec was more important than multi-point convenience, they would still be limited on PC and other non-LDAC devices compared to XM3.

It is very quick & easy to change between devices with XM3s though - to connect to my phone I can simply tap the NFC tags together and to connect to PC it's only a couple of taps to disconnect from the phone and two clicks to connect to PC.

It would be nice to have the ability to summon a voice assistant just by speaking the wake word i.e. OK Google. Considering the sophistication of the microphone array and real-time processing of the latest WHs, I'm surprised they can't do this. They can even turn on the ambient sound mode in response to talking now so they clearly have the potential for truly hands free voice control without needing a button press to start. I suppose it could be that Sony would need to work it out with Google to get it working. Whereas Apple can make headphones, both over ear & in ear, that launch Siri just with the wake word because they are in control of both the hardware and the software. Samsung have recently introduced this feature in their Buds Live which I am considering buying as my pair of true wireless but I'm weighing them up against Sony's WF1000XM3 that have less features but better sound and noise cancelling.
 

hal9084

Member
Apr 24, 2021
1
0
20
Not sure why nobody has mentioned it yet but neither Windows 10 nor macOS has LDAC support... so if you want to use MX4 on your Pc or laptop then you'll have to go wired or use SBC which has really poor quality.

MX3 is clearly better value.
 

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