While we've already seen images of what appeared to be a prototype of the Sony WF-1000XM4, the frequency of these leaks suggest that a release date could be coming very soon indeed.
Sony WF-1000XM4 pic.twitter.com/Z4j7YTVbDiMay 20, 2021
Based on the renders and previous leaked images, it looks like the Sony WF-1000XM4 will have rounder housings than their predecessors, which were more oval-shaped.
It doesn't look like there's a specific touch-sensitive area on the outside of the earbuds, which means the entirety of the housings could be used to control your music playback, summon your device's voice assistant, accept or reject calls, and enter Quick Attention mode.
The gold Sony logo has also changed slightly, now appearing on the side of the earbuds rather than on the top. Meanwhile, a gold accented piece on the outside of the earbuds could be an external noise cancellation microphone, as The Walkman Blog has speculated.
It also looks as though the charging case will be much sleeker and smaller than the previous model, though the silver and black color options have been retained.
- Sony WF-1000XM4 price, release date, and rumors
- Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review
- The best wireless earbuds you can buy today
What features are we expecting?
The Sony WF-1000XM3 have been our pick for the best true wireless earbuds you can buy since their launch in July 2019 – and the time is ripe for a new version to potentially take that crown.
According to an FCC filing that emerged earlier this year, for an upcoming pair of wireless noise-cancelling earphones from Sony – likely the WF-1000XM4 – the next-gen earbuds could come with some substantial upgrades.
Chief among them is the usage of Bluetooth 5.2, which could give the true wireless earbuds better battery life thanks to its lower power usage and a wider bandwidth to transmit data – potentially allowing for better-sounding audio, too.
Meanwhile, packaging images posted to Reddit at around the same time suggests a return of the active noise cancellation technology that made the WF-1000XM3 so popular, and it’s likely that the Ambient Sound and Quick Attention modes will also make an appearance.
The packaging also includes a Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification, which means they could come with support for Sony's high resolution LDAC codec, alongside the AAC and SBC codecs already supported by the XM3.
The steady flow of leaks and rumors could mean that Sony is looking to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Sony WF-1000XM3's launch by announcing the new model – though they could launch even sooner.
The FCC filing that we think refers to the Sony WF-1000XM4 originally listed a date of September 27 as the time at which "short term confidentiality" would cease – a typical indicator of when a product gets officially revealed by the company – but now that date has been updated to June 9. Whenever they launch, here's hoping they live up to our expectations.
- Amazon Prime Day 2021: what you need to know