We've been waiting for a Sony WH-1000XM4 release date ever since an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) filing from Sony revealed the model number of what could be a brand new pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
While we don't have a release date just yet, we have been given our first glimpse of the new cans, which are set to follow on from the success of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones – our best headphones of 2020.
- Sony WH-1000XM4: what we want to see
- The best Sony headphones in 2020
- Read our Sony WH-1000XM3 review
According to The Verge, photos of the Sony WH-1000XM4 were discovered by Twitter user Everton Favretto in an Anatel listing – Brazil's version of the FCC.
If these really are the Sony WH-1000XM4 – and it's important to note that Sony hasn't confirmed their existence, yet alone the legitimacy of these photos – they look incredibly similar to the Sony WH-1000XM3. Practically identical, in fact.
Longer battery, better Bluetooth
While we can't glean much from the photos, a user manual that was included in the listing does reveal a little more information. It's worth noting, however, that this user manual seems to be a draft document, and therefore the details could absolute differ when the final product is released.
That being said, it does suggest some of the ways the WH-1000XM4s will improve upon their predecessors, including and upgrade from Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5, which should bring a longer wireless range, more stable connectivity, and speedier data transfer.
Power consumption seems to have dropped from 8W to 2W, which could make the headphones last longer; indeed, battery life also appears to have increased from 36 hours to 40 hours.
There also appears to be a new feature called 'speak to chat', which could allow you to summon your voice assistant of choice (whether that's Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri) by uttering a wake word. Right now, you have to press a button on the WH-1000XM3s to ask your voice assistant to do your bidding.
Hopefully those extra features won't come at a premium. At this stage, Sony hasn't even confirmed that it will be releasing the 1000-XM4s, let alone the price – however, we can hazard a guess based on previous Sony headphones.
The new cans will probably be at least as expensive as the WH-1000XM3, which cost $349 / £300 / AU$499 at launch, as did their predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM2 – and if they can keep to this price or even undercut it, it's likely that Sony will remain the king of wireless headphones for the foreseeable future.