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Rumour | Sony WH-1000XM4: Bluetooth 5.0 and 40 hours of battery life with NC on, but no aptX or aptX HD support?

Sony has not released a new WH-1000XM since the XM3 in 2018. (Image source: Gear Patrol)
Sony has not released a new WH-1000XM since the XM3 in 2018. (Image source: Gear Patrol)
The WH-1000XM4 has been a long time coming, with it being almost eighteen months since Sony announced the WH-1000XM3. The WH-1000XM4 was expected to be unveiled at CES 2020 and now a listing for the ANC headphones has appeared on Anatel Certification, the Brazilian version of the FCC. The listing not only offers the first sighting of the WH-1000XM4, but also specifications for Sony's next-generation headphones. Sadly, it seems that there is no room for the aptX or aptX HD Bluetooth codecs.
Alex Alderson,

It has been a while since we heard about the WH-1000XM4, the over-ear successors to the WH-1000XM3. While the former's appearance at the FCC last December prompted speculation that Sony would announce the WH-1000XM4 at CES 2020, that did not come to pass. However, now Anatel Certification, the Brazilian equivalent to the FCC, has offered several insights into the WH-1000XM4 ahead of its release later this year.

While The Walkman Blog stresses that the images below are of a pre-production unit and so do not reflect the "quality of materials" that will grace retail units, the WH-1000XM4 looks remarkably similar to the WH-1000XM3. The WH-1000XM4 appears to have a slightly thicker headband, but the button placement and overall design are identical to the WH-1000XM3.

Sony may have made big internal changes, though. According to the listing, the WH-1000XM4 will consume up to 2 W, which would make them significantly more efficient than the 8 W WH-1000XM3. Sony may achieve this drop in power consumption with a new Bluetooth chip. Last year's FCC listing suggested that Sony could be switching to a MediaTek chip, for reference. Reduced power consumption usually results in better battery life too, with one leaker claiming that the WH-1000XM4 will be rated for up to 40 hours of battery life with NC on, an improvement of 10 hours over the WH-1000XM3.

The listing also refers to a new "speak to chat" function. We are unclear what this could be, seeing as the WH-1000XM series already has Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri functionality. There does not appear to be an additional button for "speak to chat" either, but Sony could potentially implement this via the touch-sensitive earcup.

The switch to a new Bluetooth chip will allow the WH-1000XM4 to support Bluetooth 5.0, another step-up from the WH-1000XM3. Sadly, it also means the end of aptX and aptX HD support for the WH-1000XM series. Instead, the WH-1000XM4 will continue to support SBC, AAC and LDAC.

There is no word on pricing or availability yet. Last year's FCC listing did hint at a June release, though.

Sale off - Buy Sony WH1000XM3 Premium Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones now on Amazon

(Image source: @mirai160525)
(Image source: @mirai160525)
(Image source: @mirai160525)
(Image source: @mirai160525)
(Image source: The Walkman Blog)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Sony WH-1000XM4: Bluetooth 5.0 and 40 hours of battery life with NC on, but no aptX or aptX HD support?
Alex Alderson, 2020-03- 9 (Update: 2020-03- 9)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.