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For years, Sony has ruled supreme in the world of headphones, and their prowess in noise-canceling technology has earned them users’ everlasting loyalty. With the release of the Sony WH 1000XM3, they established themselves as leaders, leaving competitors in its behind.
However, the release of the Sony WH 1000XM4 turned the emphasis to the newcomer. This adjustment resulted in a price decrease for the older model and the WH 1000XM4 catering to a greater budget range.
The decision is now yours: Should you invest in the WH 1000XM4 with its unique features, or will the more affordable WH 1000XM3 suffice?
Don’t worry! I’m here to walk you through a thorough comparison of the Sony WH-1000XM3 vs. WH-1000XM4. So, stay tuned till the finish to find out which model wins.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Vs WH-1000XM4: Which One to Opt for? : A Comprehensive Guide
A brief comparison of their major features reveals instant differentiation. I’ve put together the table below to help with this. After you’ve had a look, we’ll dive into a thorough comparison. Let’s get started with our in-depth examination. First, let’s talk about their designs and see who stands out.
|Features||Sony WH-1000XM4||Sony WH-1000XM3|
|Sound Pressure Level||105 dB/mW.||104.5dB/mW.|
|Colors||Black, Silver, Blue.||Black, Silver.|
|Codec Support||SBC, AAC, LDAC.||SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC.|
|Battery Capacity||1100 mAh.||1000 mAh.|
|Number of Microphones||5.||3.|
|Frequency Response||4 Hz to 40 Hz.||4 Hz to 40 Hz.|
|Impedance||47 Ohms (Active), 16 Ohms (Passive).||47 Ohms (Active), 16 Ohms (Passive).|
|Battery Life||Up to 30 hours (ANC On), Up to 38 hours (ANC Off).||Up to 30 hours (ANC On), Up to 38 hours (ANC Off).|
|Charging Time||3 hours.||3 hours.|
|Quick Charging||10 mins charge = 5 hours playback.||10 minutes charge = 5 hours playback.|
|Charging Cable Type||USB-C.||USB-C.|
|Dimension||7.27 x 3.03 x 9.94 inches.||7.31 x 2.94 x 10.44 inches.|
|Weight||254 gm.||255 gm.|
|Check Details||See More||See More|
What’s in the box
|Sony WH-1000XM4||Sony WH-1000XM3|
|Sony WH 1000XM4||Sony WH 1000XM3|
|Protective Case||Carry Case|
|Warranty Card||Warranty Card|
Fit & Comfort
The 1000XM4 headphones take comfort to a new level with their sophisticated leather earpads and headbands, delivering a pleasant experience for extended listening sessions.
Sony’s latest model has a redesigned design with 10% larger ear cups for increased contact with the head. During use, the extra space improved comfort and allowed for better ventilation, reducing moisture buildup.
Furthermore, the XM4’s earcups have a soft-touch rubber texture, which is a major improvement over the XM3’s plasticky feel. This distinction makes the XM4 more comfortable and skin-friendly to wear.
When it comes to headbands, both models feature identical padding, but the WH-1000XM4 has a thinner design that puts less strain on the skull and ears.
While the fit may not be noticeably different, some customers have noted that the XM4 is a friendlier fit. Both headphones feature approximately comparable weights for lengthy wear without significant fatigue. To avoid discomfort, restrict listening sessions to roughly 3 hours.
In terms of overall comfort, the 1000XM4 comes out on top thanks to its more comfortable earpads and user-friendly design.
Now, we’ll turn our attention to one of the most important characteristics of headphones: sound quality. As we progress through this arena, we’ll see if the XM4 maintains its dominance or faces competition.
Design & Build
When you put the two headphones side by side, it’s simple to confuse one for the other because they have the same appearance. When you hold them in your hands, the genuine distinctions become obvious. Notably, the plastics used around the sliders and earcups set them differently.
The XM4s have a somewhat more textured and sophisticated feel than the XM3s, implying a sturdier construction quality. Despite the small differences, both models emit a luxury and sophisticated air that gives the impression of permanence.
On the one hand, the WH 1000XM4 has a color variance advantage. While the XM3 comes in black and silver, the XM4 comes in black, silver, and blue to accommodate a wide range of tastes.
In addition, there is a little change in the hanger area. The distance between the cups and the hanger is minimized in the 1000XM4, resulting in a smooth appearance and less sound leakage at the hinge connection.
The WH 1000XM4 earcups are thinner, softer, and slightly larger in size than the XM3. Even the headband cushion is slightly slimmer.
The XM4 weighs 1 gram lighter than the XM3. When these small material improvements are taken into account, the 1000XM4 emerges as the clear winner in this design category.
While design is pleasing to the sight, comfort takes primacy. The headphones should fit snugly without requiring frequent adjustments. While we’re talking about comfort, let’s look at the key characteristics that lead to an unequaled listening experience.
These two versions are ideal if you want bold, dynamic, and crystal-clear sound. They produce a spacious soundstage with remarkable precision and depth thanks to Sony’s 40mm dome-type drivers and the QN1 chip.
The sound quality includes great bass, appealing to the requirements of any casual listener. One noticeable feature is that the powerful bass does not degrade your hearing. S
ony has expertly tuned the sound on both headsets, guaranteeing an optimal blend of impact while also allowing the intricacies in complicated compositions to show through.
Engaging the ANC (enabled Noise Cancellation) mode also has no negative impact on performance, since the mids and highs keep their sharpness even while ANC is enabled.
While I didn’t notice any difference in bass response between the two models, some customers have reported that the WH-1000XM4 has slightly less enhanced bass than the WH-1000XM3. Individual hearing sensitivity may have an impact on these perceptions.
Notably, Sony has fixed this issue as well. The Sony Headphones Connect software allows users to create a custom EQ profile, allowing sound customization based on personal tastes. With this choice accessible, there is no space for disappointment with the sound quality.
As a bass enthusiast, I appreciated the audio characteristics of both models. If you share this predisposition, you’ll probably be equally content.
In terms of sonic prowess and delivery of the advertised audio experience, both versions are equal. As recognized noise-canceling headphones, their capacity to eliminate unwanted interruptions is the next factor that determines their superiority. Let’s see who takes the throne in this kingdom.
When looking for noise-canceling headphones, the ultimate goal is to discover a set that can successfully block out nearly all extraneous sounds. Sony completely understands this requirement.
The XM3’s noise isolation ability is outstanding, as its ANC system adeptly filters out a wide range of frequencies, from low-pitched transportation engine rumble to high-pitched AC humming.
Sony, on the other hand, took noise cancellation to new heights with the advent of the XM4. The Sony WH-1000XM4 was specifically developed to improve noise-canceling capabilities, which it does brilliantly.
This improvement is due to Sony’s improved noise-canceling algorithm and the adoption of a new Bluetooth SoC that tackles mid-range and higher-frequency noise more efficiently.
The XM4 transforms even the loudest noises into whispers thanks to its dual noise sensor technology and feedforwarded microphones. An automatic noise-canceling optimizer modifies ANC settings based on the environment to provide maximum noise reduction.
This feature is especially effective against annoying domestic noises like ringing doorbells, screaming TVs, humming kitchen appliances, and even barking dogs. The XM4 can considerably satisfy the needs of pupils seeking escape from such distractions.
While the XM3 is clearly a solid rival, the XM4 outperforms it in terms of noise canceling. As the outcome suggests, my vote for this round goes to the Sony WH-1000XM4.
Microphone or Call Quality
Before diving into the intricacies of this aspect, let’s clarify something: neither of these headphones is designed for those looking for headsets primarily for busy calls.
Nonetheless, a visible distinction between them demands discussion. The WH-1000XM3 headphones’ call quality is a common complaint. During a phone call with my sister, she could hear every ambient sound around me, making them unsuitable for making calls.
Sony, on the other hand, addressed this worry with the Sony WH-1000XM4 by offering Precise Voice Pickup technology. This advancement ensures that your voice is clearly and loudly projected to the other end of the connection.
The microphones effectively reduce ambient noise while precisely capturing your voice, ensuring optimal communication for Zoom meetings and home-based phone conversations.
It’s worth mentioning that the XM4 may not be able to block out all noises in noisy areas. In this aspect, the 1000XM4 clearly outperforms the XM3.
The following section goes into battery life, a detail that, while hinted at in the table, is important in its elaboration.
When it comes to overall battery features, both devices are on par. They provide roughly 30 hours of playback with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) enabled and approximately 38 hours with ANC off.
They also share the simplicity of USB-C charging, with a full charge lasting roughly 3 hours. Notably, a 10-minute rapid charge delivers a hefty 5 hours of entertainment, which is great for emergency situations.
While it may appear like they have nothing in common, the XM4 has a unique feature: Wearing Detection. When you remove your headphones, this feature automatically pauses the audio, potentially saving battery life.
Although not exactly a battery feature, this attribute has the potential to drastically minimize battery depletion.
However, for the sake of evaluating battery features, it will not be counted as a bonus point, resulting in an identical ranking for both models in this category.
The second important thing to consider is the control system’s usability, which ensures a smooth user experience.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 features user-friendly sophisticated controls. Swiping left or right allows for track rewinding and skipping, while vertical swipes control volume levels. Double-tapping the touch-sensitive pad on the earcup activates the play/pause and call management functions.
Placing your hand over the right earcup’s touchpad automatically reduces the music level. Additionally, an ambient button on the left earcup activates Aware Mode, allowing you to easily access Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Despite the convenience, there were occasional hitches in the touch sensor’s response, with tiny delays or overly sensitive reflexes leading to unintentional inputs.
In comparison, the WH-1000XM4 has touch panels with the same controls as the XM3. However, it has new features such as the Speak-to-Chat option.
When you start conversing, this feature stops playing and allows ambient sound in, utilizing built-in microphones and powerful signal processing to recognize and pause speech automatically.
Another useful feature is the Quick Attention feature, which allows ambient noise to filter in when the right ear cup is covered, allowing you to be aware of your surroundings without interrupting music or conversations.
Furthermore, the previously mentioned wearing detection attribute instantly pauses music when the headphones are withdrawn and resumes when they are re-worn, giving indisputable convenience.
With these new features, the XM4 reclaims the spotlight, demonstrating its technological advancement over the XM3 in terms of features and functionality.
Sony maintains seamless communication in both versions by equipping them with NFC chips, allowing for effortless pairing with a single touch.
Placing the left earcup on the back of your smartphone commences automatic detection and connection. The XM3 uses Bluetooth 4.2, as shown in the previous table, but the XM4 uses Bluetooth 5.0.
While the Bluetooth version varies, the operational range remains steady at 10 meters, offering a strong connection for music playing and calls even when roaming about your home. The multipoint technology is the deciding factor in this market.
The 1000XM4 takes center stage once more, this time with multi-device connectivity—a feature missing on the 1000XM3. This functionality is very useful for those who want to be connected to both their phone and their laptop at the same time.
The XM4 effortlessly switches audio between devices, increasing convenience. The Sony Headphones app displays the connected devices for convenient administration.
As a consequence of this round, the XM4 obviously emerges as the superior choice for connectivity. Beyond connectivity, codec support is critical for determining the efficiency of data transmission from your device to the headphones. A surprise awaits us in the following part, so let’s dive in and find out what it is!
Support for Bluetooth Codec
The WH 1000XM4 has a severe disadvantage in that it lacks aptX codec support. It only supports AAC, SBC, and Sony’s proprietary LDAC codecs.
In comparison, the XM3 offers a more diverse set of possibilities. Along with AAC, SBC, and LDAC, the 1000XM3 also supports aptX and aptX HD, providing Android users with a consistent, high-quality option. The choice between the two models is based on your specific requirements.
If you’re firmly invested in the Apple environment, the XM4 is an excellent pick. However, for Android users looking for maximum enjoyment, the XM3 wins thanks to its aptX support. In terms of codec support, the WH 1000XM3 wins for the first time in this duel.
Both headphones work in tandem with the Sony Headphones Connect app, giving you access to a plethora of options.
Personalize EQ profiles with different song presets, use Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, regulate ambient sound levels, remap buttons, and manage sound location are all included. However, the WH-1000XM4 has a few more features.
Through the app, you may set the auto-off timer for the “Smart-Pause” function and view connected devices. DSEE Extreme is also included in the upgraded app for upscaling compressed digital audio files.
As a result, the newer model has a tiny advantage in this category. With a thorough analysis of their essential qualities completed, it is now time to crown the winner of this competition.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Vs Sony WH-1000XM4: Pros And Cons
When comparing the Sony WH-1000XM3 Vs Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones, consider the following pros and cons:
Sony WH-1000XM4 : PROS
Sony WH-1000XM4 : CONS
Sony WH-1000XM3: PROS
Sony WH-1000XM3: CONS
Which is the Winner?
The judgment is clear: the Sony WH-1000XM4 takes the lead. It is the superior alternative, with significant upgrades over its predecessor, the WH-1000XM3.
The XM4 is the clear choice for people looking for top-tier noise-cancelling headphones with impressive capabilities. I wholeheartedly suggest the Sony WH-1000XM4 above its predecessor based on my personal usage and firsthand knowledge.
If you commute, travel, or frequently find yourself in noisy environments, these headphones will become an invaluable companion.
While the XM3 is more affordable, the XM4’s enhanced features make it worth every penny. After investigating their merits, if neither choice appeals to you, rest assured that I have other fantastic options to recommend.
Consider the following options for the Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4:
In terms of noise cancellation, the Bose 700 outperforms the Sony WH-1000XM4. Bose also excels at call quality performance.
Furthermore, the Shure AONIC 50 is an outstanding headphone, with comprehensive codec support, impressive low-latency noise cancellation, and superior sound quality. With these choices in mind, I conclude today’s conversation, bringing our journey to a close.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Vs WH-1000XM4: Which One to Opt for – FAQs
1. What are the main differences between the Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 headphones?
The key distinctions between these models are their features and performance. The WH-1000XM4 claims advancements in noise cancellation, comfort, and connection.
It enables multipoint connectivity, allowing you to connect to numerous devices at the same time. Furthermore, the WH-1000XM4 includes functions such as Speak-to-Chat and Quick Attention to improve the user experience.
2. Which model has the best noise cancellation?
While both models excel in noise reduction, the WH-1000XM4 takes the lead. The WH-1000XM4 provides greater noise isolation thanks to upgraded algorithms and twin noise sensors, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a totally immersive audio environment.
3. Is there a substantial variation in sound quality between the two models?
Both the WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 have excellent sound quality. However, the WH-1000XM4 offers minor improvements thanks to upgraded driver technology and increased noise isolation. Audiophiles may detect a subtle boost in audio quality and depth with the WH-1000XM4.
4. Can I expect a significant variation in comfort between the two models?
Yes, the WH-1000XM4 provides more comfort than its predecessor. With revised earpad materials and design changes, it gives a more comfortable fit for extended listening sessions, minimizing discomfort and fatigue.
5. Are the extra features of the WH-1000XM4 worth the extra cost?
For many consumers, the additional capabilities of the WH-1000XM4, such as multipoint connectivity, Speak-to-Chat, and enhanced noise canceling, justify the slightly higher price.
These advancements lead to a more advanced and convenient listening experience, making the investment beneficial for consumers looking for cutting-edge audio technology.
I hope that our thorough comparison of the Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision. As we complete our comparison, it is evident that the WH-1000XM4 is the superior option.
The WH-1000XM4 outperforms its predecessor with a slew of improvements ranging from improved noise canceling and comfort to sophisticated capabilities such as multipoint connectivity and broad codec support.
Its redesigned design, better call quality, and user-friendly software position it as a contender for those looking for top-tier noise-canceling headphones.
While the WH-1000XM3 remains excellent, the WH-1000XM4 unquestionably takes the lead, giving an upgraded aural experience that sets a new benchmark for perfection. I send you my best wishes as you make the greatest selection for your requirements, and I value your company on this journey.
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