Road testing the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds with WhatGear

What does one of the UK’s biggest tech YouTubers look out for when trying new earbuds?

28 Oct 2021

Looking for a new pair of true wireless earbuds to take your soundtrack on the road? When you’re trying out earphones for the first time, there’s a couple of boxes you’ll want to tick off…

Of course, first impressions are everything – do they suit your style? Do they feel sturdy? Do they look comfortable? Equally important is the connectivity – how easy is it to link them up to your phone or music device? Lastly, there’s the sound – are you a bass-lover, or do you prefer balanced ballads with the vocals front and centre?

Put these things together and you’ve got a winning pair of headphones. They’re also what tech vloggers like Troy, from WhatGear, look out for when reviewing audio tech. We think the Sony XM4s do a great job ticking those boxes, so we invited WhatGear along with us to road test these noise-cancelling earbuds in the heart of London. Let’s see how they got on:

We caught up with Troy after filming to get his thoughts on the Sony XM4s, who they’re best suited to, and his top tips for budding tech vloggers:


What's the first song you play when you test new earphones?

“Post Malone - 'Wow', mostly because I like the beat and the heavy bassline. It's a great way to gauge how the earbuds are tuned. When the baseline drops, if they’re’s certainly a 'wow' moment.”


You review plenty of headphones for your YouTube channel, WhatGear. What's the first thing you look out for in a pair of earbuds?

“The look and feel are critical, maybe more important than the sound. I say this because many people will happily sacrifice sound performance for a well-known look & brand name. No names mentioned!”


What's your favorite thing about the Sony XM4s?

“The adaptive active noise cancelling. It is one of the best you can get in true wireless earbuds right now. Not only does it block out more noise than most, but it goes up a level when connected to Sony's incredibly advanced Headphone app. The Sony WF1000XM4s offer the best adaptive ANC features that I've seen yet.”


How would you describe the sound signature?

“My personal opinion is that the WF1000-XM4 straight out of the box is tuned for much younger styles of music. They're perfect for tracks that focus on deep bass and punchy mids.

With that said, the sound stage and clarity are impressive too. With a few EQ adjustments in the app, you can bring down the bass and make the XM4s perfect for more classic styles of music as well.”


Is there a particular genre you think stands out when listening with the XM4s?

“I’d say pop and hip-hop. Few earbuds can deliver deep bass tones without losing details like the Sony WF-1000XM4.”


Who do you think these earbuds are suited to?

“These are well suited for younger listeners. They’ll love the sound signature straight away and they'll also enjoy all the techy personalisation features that Sony offers in the app. Older listeners who commute a lot will also appreciate them.”


Have you got any tips for people who are new to noise-canceling tech?

“It's important to know that ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) is designed to block out low-frequency sounds. For example, an air conditioning unit's rumbling or travel noises like car engines, trains, and planes. High-pitched sounds, like babies crying, might still get through. It certainly is still a riddle for tech brands to solve… I hope they can figure it out!” 


What advice would you give to new tech vloggers getting started with their own channel?

“The best advice I can give is to know your tech specs and get your bullet points ready. Then, just start filming. You can start with only your phone if you don't have cameras and mics. The truth behind making successful videos is, all you need to do is try and inspire a reaction. If you can do that, it's a win. Once you win, double down on that content. That's the best way to start.”


Like what you hear? Check out WhatGear on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds are available right now. And if you’re still looking for a new earphones, or have questions of your own to ask, why not chat to one of our tech experts in-store or on ShopLive? They’d be happy to help you find your perfect pair of earphones.

Zone in with your own Sony XM4s

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