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Sony announces WF-1000XM4 noise-canceling earbuds with LDAC and IPX4 water resistance

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They’re priced at the same $279.99 as Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds

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After a few weeks of leaks, Sony has today formally announced its latest flagship true wireless earbuds. The new WF-1000XM4 earbuds cost $279.99, and the previous WF-1000XM3s, released in 2019, will remain in the company’s lineup at $229.99. The new headphones will be available in either black or light gray — both with gold accenting. They’re available starting today from retailers including Amazon and Best Buy.

Featuring a completely revamped design that’s 10 percent smaller than their predecessors, the 1000XM4 buds also have a new processing chip that results in improved noise cancellation “at all frequencies,” according to Sony.

Image: Sony

Battery life has been upped to eight hours of continuous playback when NC is enabled, which soundly beats competitors like the Apple AirPods Pro, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. The charging case has been significantly downsized and is 40 percent smaller than before. Aside from plugging in over USB-C, it also supports Qi wireless charging.

Sony has also addressed a disappointing omission from the 1000XM3s: these new earbuds are rated IPX4 for water and sweat resistance. The 1000XM4s also have an updated voice call system that uses both beamforming mics and bone conduction sensors to improve performance. But here’s the one standout disappointment: there’s still no support for multipoint Bluetooth connections.

If you’re wondering how all of this shakes out, I’ve been using Sony’s new premium buds for several days. You can read my full review of them right now.