Sony headphones leak reveals new model to follow the WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-1000XM4 leak
(Image credit: @mirai160525/The Walkman Blog)

The Sony WF-1000XM4 seems likely to launch in 2021, judging by how thoroughly the design has leaked. Now, a filing with South Korea’s version of the FCC has suggested it may not be the only new pair of Sony headphones coming soon.

As reported by the Walkman Blog, Sony filed with the Korea Communications Commission for a new “low power wireless device,” using a similar codename scheme as the WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds.

Specifically, this new device has the product code YY2952. Sony headphones have previous uses produce codes with an “HDX” prefix. But this apparently changed for the WF-1000XM4, which we know from previous leaks to have the codename YY2948.

And while the filing doesn’t specifically mention headphones or earbuds, phrase “low power wireless device” could easily mean it uses Bluetooth connectivity as opposed to a more power-hungry wireless system like Wi-Fi. The filing also calls the product a “wireless device for wireless data communication system,” which could refer to how wireless headphones can be used as calling headsets when paired to a phone.

Combined with the product code similarity to the WF-1000XM4 and it’s a pretty safe bet that this is a new pair of wireless headphones. Given Sony made the application on May 17, that leaves plenty of time for a release in late 2021.

Sony WF-SP800N

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

However, it’s not clear exactly what kind of wireless headphones this device would be. We’re already getting the WF-1000XM4 as Sony’s flagship earbuds and likely AirPods 3 competitor, so perhaps it could be a follow-up to a cheaper pair like the Sony WF-SP800N. It could even be a replacement for the Sony WH-1000XM4, our top best headphones pick, though given Sony recently launched a new white version this seems less likely.

“YY2952” sounds like it could directly follow the budget on-ear Sony MDR-ZX220BT, which has the product code HDX-2852. But this might not be how Sony’s new coding scheme works, as the WF-1000XM4’s YY2948 code has little in common with the preceding Sony WF-1000XM3 code of HDX-2916.

We’ll have to wait and see for this one, though at least the WF-1000XM4 looks a lot more imminent.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.