Sony WF-1000XM4 leak reveals killer battery life and noise cancellation

Sony WF-1000XM4 leak
(Image credit: WinFuture)

The newest Sony WF-1000XM4 leak is the biggest and most revealing one yet. Reliable German site WinFuture has reported numerous key details on Sony’s upcoming headphones, which from the sounds of things could be a serious best wireless earbuds contender.

In addition to confirming the return of active noise cancellation (ANC) from the previous Sony WF-1000XM3, WinFuture also revealed the WF-1000XM4’s expected pricing, other features and a new, very official-looking promo image.

The inclusion of ANC isn’t a big surprise, given it was a major feature of the WF-1000XM3 earbuds. But besides the WF-1000XM4’s radically overhauled design, this new model will apparently make big upgrades to build quality and battery life.

Firstly, the WF-1000XM4 will reportedly be water-resistant to the IPX4 standard. That should make the earbuds sweat-proof but not fully waterproof. That's still an improvement on the WF-1000XM3, which doesn’t have any rated ingress protection at all. Battery life, meanwhile, will jump up to 8 hours of ANC-enabled playback per charge, with another 16 hours available from the charging case.

This contradicts the first major WF-1000XM4 leak back in February, which indicated that the new model would share the WF-1000XM3’s battery ratings of 6 hours per charge with 18 in the case. Still, if the total 24 hours is the same but Sony has added more uptime per charge, that’s fine by us.

Sony WF-1000XM4 case leak

(Image credit: @mirai160525/The Walkman Blog)

Eight hours of ANC playback would also be nearly double what the AirPods Pro manages.

And this isn’t the only advantage Sony’s buds could have. WinFuture also reported that the WF-1000XM4 will support Sony’s LDAC wireless tech, allowing for higher-resolution audio than regular Bluetooth allows.

While LDAC still doesn’t allow for true Hi-Res Audio, it’s better for audiophiles than Apple’s preferred AAC format; Apple recently had to admit that its own AirPods range, even the AirPods Max, won’t be able to handle the new Apple Music lossless feature when it launches in June.

The WF-1000XM4’s ANC could also get a boost from the new Sony V1 processor, which WinFuture said will power the earbuds.

And the price for all these upgrades? Allegedly, the Sony WF-1000XM4 will sell for €279 in Europe; no U.S. or U.K. pricing was noted, though it does look like the WF-1000XM4 will cost more than the WF-1000XM3’s $230 launch price.

All that’s really left to know is a WF-1000XM4 release date, though one other recent leak indicated Sony could announce the buds before June 9. This would, in all likelihood, give the WF-1000XM4 a head start on the also-rumored AirPods 3.

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.