We are getting our first look at the Sony WH-1000XM4, the sequel to a fantastic pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones and the best alternatives to the Bose 700 and QC35 II.
Anatel, Brazil's equivalent to the FCC, uploaded photos of the highly-anticipated headphones, which were later posted to Twitter by Everton Favretto (via The Verge).
The images aren't exactly high-res but they show us the general design of what we suspect are the WH-1000XM4. As you can tell from these images, the forthcoming model looks practically identical to the previous WH-1000XM3. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- the cans look fine -- but competing headphones offer a more premium look and feel.
The housings on the WH-1000XM4 appear slightly bulkier than those on the WH-1000XM3 but we'll need to see them in person to confirm. Like the previous model, these headphones have a USB-C charging port on the bottom of one side and a 3.5mm headphone jack (for wired listening) on the other side. There are two buttons on the left side of the headphones -- one for power and another for pairing.
Sony WH-1000XM4 specs
Even more revealing is a user manual included in the filing. Before we go any further, we should caution (as The Verge pointed out) that this is a draft document, and many of the specs are X'd out.
Based on the info provided, the WH-1000XM4 will support Bluetooth 5 (upgraded from 4.2), and its power consumption sits at 2 watts (down from 8 watts). The latter should improve the cans' already class-leading battery life from 30 hours to 36 hours with ANC on or 40 hours when wired.
We're most interested to see what the "speak to chat" feature is all about. If we had to guess, it's a hands-free method for summoning voice assistants like Siri and the Google Assistant.
We'll have to wait for a review unit to see if Sony made more pressing changes to the new model. At the top of our wish list are better call quality (the mics on the WH-1000XM3 sound terrible) and less creaky plastics.