Written by Lucas

Compare the Sony WH-1000XM3 to the WH-1000XM4

The WH-1000XM4 are the successor to Sony's most successful headphones, the WH-1000XM3. The 2 headphones are very similar, which can make it difficult to make the right choice. For example, the XM4 have a number of new smart functions that the XM3 don't have. In this article, we'll explain what the similarities and differences are so you can choose the best headphones for you.

Sony WH-1000XM3

Over-ear | 30-hour battery life | High-end noise canceling
Retail price 279,- 189,99
in stock
  • Stream your music wirelessly via Bluetooth from your smartphone or tablet.
  • Active noise canceling reduces distracting ambient noise and white noise.
  • The Smart Listening function adjusts the level of noise canceling to your activity.
  • The headphones don't have multipoint pairing.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Over ear | 30-hour battery life | Noise canceling
280,-
in stock
  • Active noise canceling reduces distracting ambient noise and white noise.
  • When you start a conversation with someone, the music pauses and ambient noise is amplified.
  • You can use the Sony Headphones Connect app to personalize all settings, including the sound, via an equalizer.
  • The headphones don't include a 6.3mm adapter.

Comparison Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM3 Sony WH-1000XM4
High-end noise canceling Yes Yes
Multipoint pairing No Yes
Easily switch from music to conversation No Yes
Wearing detection No Yes
Battery life 30 hours 30 hours

Noise canceling

Noise canceling

Sony WH-1000XM3: HD Noise-Canceling Processor QN1

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have the same processor as the XM3, but the algorithm of the technology has been improved. According to Sony, this provides 15% more sound reduction than with the XM3. That means you're even less bothered by ambient noise while you listen to music.

Test noise canceling

Sony WH-1000XM4: same processor, improved algorithm

The Sony WH-1000XM4 have the same processor as the XM3, but the algorithm of the technology has been improved. According to Sony, this provides 15% more sound reduction than with the XM3. That means you're even less bothered by ambient noise while you listen to music.

Sound quality

Test sound

Sony WH-1000XM3: Hi-Res audio

The XM3 are compatible with Hi-Res audio files and has a 40mm driver. With these headphones, the emphasis is mainly on the bass. This is powerful and deep, so you can hear a solid sound. The mid-range tones and treble are balanced and sound clear as well as detailed.

Test sound

Sony WH-1000XM4: Hi-Res audio + DSEE Extreme

If you consider the audio, the XM4 have the same specifications as the XM3: Hi-Res audio compatible and a 40mm driver. The sound quality is virtually the same, which means both sets of headphones are suitable if you prefer a powerful bass.

Multipoint pairing

No multipoint pairing

Sony WH-1000XM3: no multipoint pairing

The biggest flaw of the XM3 is the lack of multipoint pairing. This function ensures you can connect the headphones to 2 playback devices at the same time. If you watch a video on your laptop and receive an incoming call via your phone, the connection automatically switches to your phone.

Multipoint pairing

Sony WH-1000XM4: multipoint pairing

You can use multipoint pairing with the XM4. If you connect the headphones to your laptop and phone, you can switch between 2 playback devices easily and quickly.

Smart functions

Voice Assistant

Sony WH-1000XM3: voice assistant

With the XM3, you can easily switch on a voice assistant. Ask Siri what the weather will be like or switch on the Google Assistant. If you request a song using voice command, you can leave your phone in your pocket and simply use your voice to play one. That way, you'll never have to take your phone out of your pocket.

Speak to Talk

Sony WH-1000XM4: from music to conversation and pauses automatically

In addition to the integrated voice assistant, the XM4 has a few more smart functions. Whenever you start talking, the headphones automatically turn down the music and amplify the ambient noise. You don't have to take off your headphones and you can start a conversation right away. If you take the headphones off, the music pauses. Once you put them back on, the music continues. If you don't want this, you can switch off both functions in the Sony Headphones Connect app.

Carrying comfort

Wearing comfort XM3

Sony WH-1000XM3: stays on for a long time

With the XM3, you can listen to music for hours without the ear cushions hurting your ears. This is thanks to the soft leather. The headband as well as the ear cushions are made of this material. This makes the XM3 suitable for long listening sessions.

Wearing comfort XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4: not as large, more space

Like the XM3, the XM4 stay on comfortably for a long time. A few adjustments have been made to the design for extra wearing comfort. There is more space inside the ear cups, leaving more room for your ears.

Conclusion

The Sony WH-1000XM3 and Sony WH-1000XM4 are close in terms of sound quality, noise canceling, and wearing comfort. The XM4 are slightly better in these areas, but mainly win first prize thanks to the new smart functions. For example, the XM4 have multipoint pairing, which allows you to connect them to 2 playback devices at the same time. In addition, the music pauses when you switch them off and ambient noise is amplified when you start talking. If you can't choose between the two models, ask yourself whether these additions are worth the higher price.



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