Sony WH-1000XM4 leak reveals new features — and a Bose-beating price

Sony WH-1000XM3
The Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones. (Image credit: Future)

Sony's WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones are rumored to cost the same as their predecessors while adding several improvements, which is great news for people looking for a well priced and high-quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

The rumor is based on a now removed Best Buy page that was captured by The Walkman Blog (via TechRadar). This leak not only included several images but also the pricing, which at $349 is identical to the price of the Sony WH-1000XM3.

That would make the WH-1000XM4 $50 cheaper than the Bose 700 noise cancelling headphones and a viable candidate to take the top spot on our best noise cancelling headphones list.

According to the leak, the new Sony's WH-1000XM4 will also reportedly offer improved power usage, improved Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and new voice assistant functionality. 

Sony's WH-1000XM3 headphones have been on our best wireless headphones list since they launched, so we're very excited by the next product in the series. While of course we want some new improvements and features to play with, there wasn't a huge amount that needed fixing. Which is probably why the XM4s look almost identical.

(Image credit: The Walkman Blog)

The XM4s, like the XM3s, will use 40mm drivers, and are compatible with Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa for your voice command needs. It'll also use Bluetooth 5.0, rather than the newer Bluetooth 5.1 standard, but hopefully this is something you'll be able to update.

(Image credit: The Walkman Blog)

The Walkman Blog's comparison photo of the old and new headphones shows that there's not a lot that separates the two. There's some changes to the headband, including a thicker pad at the top, remodeled hinges and seams that should decrease noise caused by moving the headband. Plus there's larger cushions on each ear, which should hopefully help with comfort if not noise cancelling. 

A comparison of the Sony WH-1000XM3 (left) and the leaked Sony WH-1000XM4 (right).

A comparison of the Sony WH-1000XM3 (left) and the leaked Sony WH-1000XM4 (right). (Image credit: The Walkman Blog)

While there are still two buttons on the left cup, the larger one on the XM3s that toggles the noise cancelling mode now reads "Custom" on the XM4. This pretty unambiguously tells us that Sony will offer customizable controls on the XM4 headphones, which is more than welcome, although somewhat unnecessary given that the touch controls already present on the cups are very effective on their own.

Sony's main rivals are the Bose 700 noise cancelling headphones, which tops our best noise cancelling headphone list. While the Bose headphones get everything near-enough perfect, they are more expensive at a $400 list price. If Sony's XM4s are indeed the same $350 price as the previous generation, then it could take away the crown.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.