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Sony WF-1000XM4 full design and potential release date leaked

Sony WF-1000XM3
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's WF-1000XM3 made quite the splash when they launched, topping our list of the best wireless earbuds and remaining in pole position to this day, thanks to their top-notch noise-cancelling and audio quality.

Rumors of the earbuds' inevitable successors – the Sony WF-1000XM4 – have been steadily growing over the past months, but now we've been given a good idea of what they'll look like and even when they'll land (early June) thanks to The Walkman Blog.

Sony WF-1000XM4 leak

(Image credit: The Walkman Blog)

While the images shared on the blog are of prototype models, they're very likely to reflect the final design (albeit with a slightly more rough-and-ready appearance) and they line up with the leaked images we saw in February this year, giving the legitimacy of the leak further weight.

If these leaks are legitimate, it seems like the longer pill-shaped form factor of the WF-1000X series' previous iterations has been done away with here, instead moving for a much more compact yet bulbous bud shape. 

Current speculation around the cylindrical protrusion is that it could be a housing for the external microphones needed for noise-cancellation, ambient sound, and voice calls.

Sony WF-1000XM4 leak

(Image credit: The Walkman Blog)

The Walkman Blog also revealed leaked imagery of the WF-1000XM4 charging case, noting that its slightly higher output rating (5V at 140mA rather than 120mA) could hint at a slightly faster charging rate for the buds when housed in the case.

There's also speculation that the case could be wirelessly charged by Sony's upcoming Xperia 1 III flagship smartphone.

Using the USB-C port as a guide, The Walkman Blog has estimated the size of the new charging case to be roughly 60x38x28mm (LxHxD), which is a good deal more compact than the WF-1000XM3 case, which measures 78x62x28mm.

Launch date?

We've had a hint of what the redesigned buds will look like before, but this is the first time we have an idea of when we'll actually get them in our hands.

The original FCC filing 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.

While this is in no way an official date from Sony, based on past releases and how they have been handled in FCC filings, we have a fairly good reason to believe that we'll be seeing the Sony WF-1000XM4 get announced in the first half of June – not long to wait to find out for certain.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.