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Finally: Sony’s WF-1000XM4 TWS IEM

The audiophile headline for Sony’s latest generation of true wireless IEMs – WF-1000XM4, announced this week – is the inclusion of LDAC support where a strong connection between smartphone and headphones can provide 990 kbps Bluetooth throughput. It’s not enough for CD quality audio and far from high definition audio requirements, but it is is enough to sound really good. The LDAC data rate will automatically drop back to 660 kbps and 330 kbps when the connection is weakened. Bluetooth codec train pots will remember that the WF-1000XM3 only supported AAC (and SBC).

Like DAC chips used in D / A converters, a Bluetooth codec data rate gives us numbers: something solid that we can hang our online opinions and prejudices on if we do not notice (or quantify!) The improvements Sony has made to others places. XM4̵

7;s list of hardware features – one that includes a new 6mm dynamic driver, an enhanced active noise reduction powered by two microphones (one feedback, the other forward) and a brand new Bluetooth SoC (Integrated Processor V1) to pair it all together – will affect sound quality more than any Bluetooth codec. After all, what use is a higher resolution codec if the hardware does not let us hear the benefits?

A bonus for those who dig for faux-surround sound, the XM4 will also render 360 Reality Audio when delivered by Deezer, Nugs or Tidal’s Android and iPhone apps.

Transferred from the previous generation – WF-1000XM3 – the XM4: IPX4 is waterproof; offer voice assistance from Google / Alexa; stops automatically when you remove an earplug; has touch controls; will automatically tailor ANC according to the listening environment; deliver fast attention mode when you cover one earphone with one hand; promises an 8-hour driving time from a single charge (with 16 more from the carrying case) and a 5-minute fast charge will, according to Sony, give back 60 minutes of playing time. Qi wireless chargers may also apply.

The most radical change of all we have saved in the end. Sony has completely redesigned the XM4’s earbuds to dispense the XM3 fins for a cleaner and more conventional true wireless IEM. The earplugs as quite literally The seal agreement has also been redesigned.

From the press release: The new headphones combine a shape that fits the ear canal with a new ergonomic surface design for a more stable fit. Using Sony | The headphone’s Connect app, users can now take a few simple measurements to find the ideal size of Noise Isolation Earbud Tips8 to ensure maximum sound quality and minimal noise outside. The new earplugs are made of a unique polyurethane foam material that is soft and elastic, which improves the adhesion to the ear canal, and eliminates holes to insulate sound and reduce noise. The headphones are also lighter and 10% smaller than its predecessor, with a 40% smaller charging case. ”

The WF-1000XM4 is available now for € 279 / US $ 279.

Additional information: Sony

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