The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a small leap in quality from its previous model, which is why they are still the best active noise canceling headphones on the market.

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

The only bad thing about the WH-1000XM4 is its name, which I have to check every time to make sure I have spelled it correctly. That and the price, which amounts to 350 euros, something that is far from what many would pay for headphones. Or by mobile.

But with these two elements on the table, let's talk about what are the best noise-canceling headphones on the market, inheritors of its previous model, the WH-1000XM3, which at the time seemed to us the best also to isolate you from noise. around you.

Noise cancellation is a relatively established technology already, but it does not quite reach the most modest headphones and is still associated, by force or not, with the highest-end ones.

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

Specifications Sony WH-1000XM4

Drop down

  • System : Closed circumaural
  • Weight : 254g
  • Price : 379 euros
  • Diaphragm : 40mm Aluminum Clad LCP, Dome Type (CCAW Coil)
  • Connection : Bluetooth 5.0 up to 2 devices, NFC sensor for synchronization
  • Noise Canceling: Sony Noise Canceling QN1 Processor
  • Frequencies : 4 Hz to 40 kHz and 20 Hz to 40 kHz (BT)
  • Processing : Hi-Res Audio, DSEE Extreme, Edge AI
  • Format types : A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP SBC, AAC and LDAC
  • Battery: up to 30 theoretical hours, with USB-C charging

Its operation is very intelligent and is pure science: the headset detects noise in your environment with microphones and the speakers with which you listen to the music emit a sound in the same longitudinal wave to cancel it. It is your brain that actually stops hearing the noise from outside because the headset 'fools' it.

Sound cancellation was a technology invented to help airplane pilots but has later reached common ground. Ironic that I and many others mainly use these headphones to be able to sleep better on airplanes. Before the pandemic, of course.

On a tech level, these headphones are great and they sound great and they have a lot of elements that make for smarter use of noise cancellation.

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

Now, when you take them off, sensors detect that your ears are no longer there and stop the music or movie you are watching. Similarly, if someone is speaking to you, you can put your hand on the right earmuff to deactivate the soundproofing and have the microphones pass the voice of the person speaking to you to hear it great. And if they call you on the phone, those same mikes, which now number five per earmuff on the WH-1000XM4, work like a charm.

Finally, one of the star features of these headphones is the ability to connect them to two devices at the same time, that is, that it is registered in both and you can jump, for example, from the mobile to the tablet without having to reconnect the headphones. It is useful, although I have never seen myself in that situation and prevents you from playing music in high quality formats while there are two active devices.

It is a pity that the gestures to control the music, which are performed in the headphone cup, are still a 'hit or miss', that is, quite random and can be improved. In the end, it is better to take out your mobile to change songs.

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

As with other headphones of the brand, you can download an app to update and activate or deactivate certain technologies of the headphones, as well as to tweak the sound equalization and adapt it more to your tastes. I'm personally pleased with the neutral response, without heavy bass, of these headphones.

There may be other more accurate headphones for listening to music with better reproduction materials, but they are even more expensive and their design is much more outlandish than Sony's WH-1000XM4. To watch series and movies, I think there is no better invention than even.

Speaking of design: they are almost identical to their predecessors except for some details that, unless you have them in your hands, it is difficult to distinguish. The pads are somewhat larger, which makes them somewhat more comfortable for my ears; and they are somewhat more padded on the upper headband. Otherwise, they are still strong and flexible and their black finish is very subtle.

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

But we are in 2020 and beyond the noise of my house, I cannot isolate myself much more. But I'm sure that when I'm taking a long Metro ride or getting back on a plane for a long business trip, I'd like to wear these Sony headphones under my arm to isolate myself from the madding crowd.

At the moment, during this trial period, I am actively using them to not listen so much to the scoundrels of my neighbors who, for the third year in a row, decide to reform their house when they go on vacation, leaving the noise and the dust.

The pandemic may limit the use that can be made of the wonderful technology of the WH-1000XM4, but king on the run, king on. It turns out that as a complement to isolate myself from noise when I telework, they are also very useful. Of course, it's been three times that my girlfriend says something to me and I don't hear her and they knock on the door and I don't even know.

The best noise-canceling headphones are now even better

Sony WH-1000XM4

A nice touch

One thing I like about this range of Sony headphones is that they come with their own case, where they fit perfectly and where you can safely store them, because it is relatively hard. There is also a slot for a charging cable, a cable to connect them to a computer and an adapter for aircraft headphone ports

A bad detail

As always with these complete and high-quality headphones, the price works against it. At 350 euros, it is available to very few. The good thing is that Sony usually lowers them and in a few months they may have been at 300 euros or less. And its previous model, the WH-1000XM3, will almost certainly now go lower.

Perfect for …

In short, these headphones are perfect for those looking for exquisite sound and isolation. If you travel a lot by train or plane, they can also come in handy. And also if you are looking for headphones with a discreet and comfortable design.

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