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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Sony WF-1000XM4 announced

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Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

Sony today announces WF-1000XM4 – the latest truly wireless model in the critically acclaimed 1000X series, succeeding the WF-1000XM3, which has been well-received since its introduction in July 2019.

Specially developed by Sony, the newly designed Integrated Processor V1 and its Bluetooth® ‘System on Chip’ technology improves the performance of Sony’s acclaimed QN1e chip to deliver the industry’s highest level of noise-cancelling yet consumes less power than its predecessor.

The increase in magnet volume and the high compliance diaphragm of a newly designed 6 mm driver provides the WF-1000XM4 with improved performance in low frequencies and enhances noise-cancelling by generating a high-precision cancellation signal to the low-frequency range.

Newly-developed Noise Isolation Earbud Tips provide an improved fit with the WF-1000XM4. The new earbud tips are made from a unique polyurethane foam material that is soft and elastic, maximising the surface contact area between the earbud tip and the ear canal. This eliminates gaps to insulate sound, reduce noise, and improve adhesion to the ear canal for a more stable fit.

The WF-1000XM4 now supports High-Resolution Audio Wireless via LDAC, Sony’s industry-adopted Bluetooth® codec, which allows transmits approximately three times more data (at the maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps) than conventional Bluetooth® audio, allowing one to enjoy High-Resolution Audio content in exceptional quality, as close as possible to that of a dedicated wired connection.

Using Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme™ (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) upscales compressed digital music files in real-time. Dynamically recognising the instrumentation, musical genres, and individual elements of each song, such as vocals or interludes, restoring the high-range sound lost in compression for a richer, more complete listening experience.

Speak-to-Chat, a feature that received widespread praise for its innovation when first introduced on the WH-1000XM4, is now available on the WF-1000XM4 and allows one to have short conversations without taking out the earbuds. As soon as one attempts to speak, the feature will automatically pause the music and let in ambient sound to conduct a conversation. Once the conversation is over, the music starts playing again automatically. Based on Precise Voice Pickup Technology, which combines four microphones and sensors with advanced audio signal processing, the Speak-to-Chat feature recognises and reacts to one’s voice.

‘Quick Attention’ mode is available on the WF-1000XM4, so if one wants to listen to an announcement or say something briefly, place a finger over the left earbud to decrease the volume instantly and let ambient sound in.

The WF-1000XM4 also feature Adaptive Sound Control, a smart feature that senses where one is and what one is doing – for example, travelling, walking or waiting – then adjusts ambient sound settings for the ideal listening experience. You can opt to have Adaptive Sound Control learn to recognise places that one frequently visit, like the office, the gym, or a favourite café, and tailor sound to suit the situation.

The headphones come with instant pause and play for a seamless experience. Just take the earbuds out of one’s ears, and the music stops thanks to a proximity sensor that detects when wearing one or both earbuds. Pop them back in, and the music starts again.

The WF-1000XM4 has been designed to be smaller and lighter; The earbuds and charging case have been redesigned to be 10% and 40%, respectively, smaller than its previous generation without compromising sound quality or battery life.

One can enjoy a full 8 hours of use from the WF-1000XM4 and a further 16 hours from the charging case. This translates to a total battery life of 24 hours. A 5-minute quick charge will provide up to 60 minutes of playtime, while the Sony | Headphones Connect app will notify you when your charging case drops below 30%.

With the WF-1000XM4, no cables are necessary for charging. With wireless charging via Qi technology, one can use a smartphone with Qi technology, like the latest Xperia 1 III with the battery share function, to charge your headphones and charging case.

Hands-free calling is even better on the WF-1000XM4 thanks to Precise Voice Pickup Technology. Combining Precise Voice Pickup Technology with microphones and a bone-conduction sensor, the WF-1000XM4 picks up one’s voice clearly and accurately for hands-free calls. Beamforming microphones are calibrated to only pick up sounds from one’s mouth. With an improved signal-to-noise ratio they’ll catch every word, even when there’s a lot of noise around. In addition, the new bone-conduction sensor only picks up vibrations from one’s voice – it doesn’t register ambient sound – enabling even clearer speech when making calls. The Noise Cancelling adds to the calling experience on the WF-1000XM4 as it allows one to hear the person on the other end of the call more clearly, even in noisy situations.

360 Reality Audio, a new immersive audio experience, can be enjoyed on the WF-1000XM4 headphones when combined with an Android™ smartphone/iPhone with a participating streaming services app installed. The 360 Reality Audio listening experience immerses one in the music as if one is right in front of your favourite artist. Listeners can enjoy a custom immersive musical field perfectly optimised for each user when using the WF-1000XM4 headphones and the “Sony | Headphones Connect” app.

With an IPX4 water resistance rating, the WF-1000XM4 is splash, and sweat-resistant allows one to keep on moving to the music.

Just say “Hey Google” or “Alexa” to activate one’s preferred voice assistant. The WF-1000XM4 also supports Google’s Fast Pair feature that enables quick and effortless Bluetooth pairing with one’s Android devices and Microsoft’s Swift Pair that enables the same for Windows 10 devices.

The WF-1000XM4 will be available in Black and Silver at a recommended retail price of AUD 500, EUR 280, GBP 250, SGD 379, USD 279.99. In Singapore, the WF-1000XM4 will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Store Online and Sony Authorised dealers from June 2021, pre-orders are available from today.

Coinciding with the launch of the WF-1000XM4 is an exclusive promotion in Singapore for 1000X series owners. Trade-in one’s existing Sony 1000X series headphones and get SGD 80 off for the new WF-1000XM4. Trade-in applicable only to Sony MDR-1000X, WH-1000XM2, WH-1000XM3, WH-1000XM4, WI-1000X, WI-1000XM2, WF-1000X and WF-1000XM3 series models only and ends on 31 July 2021.

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