In recent years, Sony has been difficult to beat when it comes to the best noise-cancelling headphones. Its WH-1000XM4 provided outstanding ambient noise suppression, clever hardware controls, and a comfortable fit – not to mention great sound – with premium features that, although not inexpensive, didn’t break the bank in the manner that other high-end headphones may.
The WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds were similarly outstanding, with precise sound, a comfortable fit, and good noise cancellation for the size factor.But no technological hegemony can persist long. Fortunately for Sony, the WH-1000XM3 headphones’ main rival is their own successor, the Sony WH-1000XM4. They‘re clearly superior to the WH-1000XM3s, since they make significant upgrades to the existing product specs while adding some all-new features and flair. Do they, however, warrant an upgrade if you already own a set of WH-1000XM3s? And what if you dislike over-ear headphones and prefer the flexibility of in-ear headphones?
Beyond the apparent form-factor variations, read on to better grasp the fundamental differences between the WH-1000XM4 and the WH-1000XM3.
What’s good about the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones?
Improved noise cancellation: The noise cancellation algorithms employed in the WH-1000XM3 headphones were already highly effective at keeping the outside world from interfering with your music.
Comfortable fit Lighter than their predecessors, the WH-1000XM4 headphones are pleasant to use for extended periods of time.
Excellent audio quality: The 40mm drivers haven’t changed since the WH-1000XM3 cans, which is a good thing for the WH-1000XM4 follow-up.
Location-aware noise cancellation: If you allow Sony to track your movements, the headphones perform an excellent job of adjusting the noise-cancelling settings according on your location.
Multipoint connectivity: Are you tired of having to switch between various devices to which you wish to connect? The WH-1000XM4 offers a function that allows you to connect two devices to your headphones at the same time.
What’s good about the Sony WF-1000XM3 headphones?
Small, lightweight form factor: It’s not always feasible to use a huge, bulky pair of over-ear headphones. True wireless earbuds, such as the Sony WF-1000XM3, eliminate the need for cords by using just unobtrusive inserts in your ears to stream music.
Solid battery life: 32 hours of battery life (with the buds and case together) isn’t quite class leading, but it’s certainly respectable.
More exercise-friendly: We like the WH-1000XM4, but we wouldn’t advocate wearing them while working out because the over-ear style and headband aren’t practical for a sweaty, rough workout.
Earbuds with excellent sound and noise cancellation: It’s no longer fair to compare a set of true wireless earbuds to the significantly larger drivers of specialised over-ear headphones.
Which one should buy?
In many respects, choosing between the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Sony WF-1000XM3 is more of a lifestyle decision than a product comparison. They’re both at the top of their respective headphone categories, and neither purchase will let you down.
If audio quality is important to you, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a simple pick with its improved speakers and noise cancelling. It offers a delicious tone and a luxury finish. All of its additional linked capabilities and sophisticated controls are frosting on the cake.
However, if you’re on the run or feel claustrophobic with a set of cans connected to your head, the WF-1000XM3 buds are significantly more portable and deliver excellent audio performance for the size.
Price may be more of a deciding factor. Despite being slightly older, the WF-1000XM3 (depending on your country and related currency) may frequently be purchased for less than half the price of the WH-1000XM4. If price is a major consideration, Sony’s in-ears are an excellent choice.