Sony WH-1000XM4: Leaked product listing confirms design changes, Bluetooth 5.0, and 40 mm drivers; no support for aptX or aptX HD expected though
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After almost eighteen months since the release of the WH-1000XM3, it seems that the wait for a successor is almost over. Having been spotted at certification agencies in recent months, pricing details and pictures of the WH-1000XM4 have now appeared online.
Firstly, a picture published on Reddit shows alleged Walmart pricing for the upcoming headphones. Posted by someone who claims to work for the company, the photo shows the WH-1000XM4 priced at US$348.00.
While not much evidence in its own right, the price correlates with a product listing that Best Buy briefly made public. According to a cached version of the page, Best Buy will sell the WH-1000XM4 for US$349.99, the same price for which it currently sells the WH-1000XM3. The latter has dropped to under US$250 on retailers like Amazon, though.
The cached webpage also contains links to high-resolution images of the WH-1000XM4, confirming several subtle design changes from the WH-1000XM3. Based on our observations, the WH-1000XM4 differs from the WH-1000XM3 in the following ways:
- Thicker headband
- Thicker and/or more rounded arms
- Redesigned hinge mechanism around earcups
- No silver/colour contrasting trim below headband area
- NFC logo black on both colours
- "Custom" button instead of NC/AMBIENT button
The black and silver colours of previous generations of the WH-1000XM series are returning, too. Although the Best Buy listing does not offer much in the way of specifications, it does confirm that the WH-1000XM4 has 40 mm drivers and supports Bluetooth 5.0.
The latter is line with Anatel Certification documents published earlier this year, which also revealed that the WH-1000XM4 would be powered by a MediaTek chip. On the one hand, this means that the WH-1000XM4 will be considerably more efficient than the WH-1000XM3, possibly resulting in up to 10 hours better battery life with noise cancelling on. On the other hand, the presence of a MediaTek chip means that the WH-1000XM4 will not support aptX or aptXHD. Instead, the WH-1000XM4 will support SBC, AAC and LDAC. While the latter is a high-resolution codec, past WH-1000XM headphones have been unable to use Sony's EQ when set to LDAC.
Crucially, Best Buy did not include a release date for the WH-1000XM4 on its product page. However, the fact that Best Buy briefly published the listing suggests that Sony must be on the verge of making an announcement.