Sony announces premium earplugs with ANC

Sony has introduced its new Bluetooth earplugs with active noise canceling. As a competition to the Airpods Pro, they should come up with many comfort functions.

With the WF-1000XM4, Sony has introduced new Bluetooth earplugs with ANC technology (Active Noise Cancellation). The new model takes up the round design of many competing products and thus says goodbye to the elongated housing of the previous models WF-1000X and WF-1000XM3. In the new Bluetooth earplugs, Sony has taken over a practical convenience function from the large ANC headphones WH-1000XM4.

WF-1000XM4 should be easy to understand when making calls

This function is called speak-to-chat and allows you to switch between ANC operation and transparency mode using voice control. As soon as someone speaks, the transparency mode switches on and conversations can be conducted without having to take the earplugs out of your ear. The music will automatically pause and resume when the conversation is over.

Sony also integrates the hang-up gesture of the large ANC headphones: if you just want to quickly listen to an announcement in public transport, all you need to do is place your finger on the left earplug and the transparency mode is activated. As soon as we take our finger off the earplug, ANC is active again. The transparency mode should sound very natural.

WF-1000XM4 are said to have high ANC performance

Sony promises high performance for the built-in Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) for the WF-1000XM4. The noise reduction is said to be the best in the business. Sony has also given its ANC earbuds some convenience features. ANC is used to play a counter-sound that is intended to reduce annoying background noises. With the earplugs, attachments in three sizes are supplied to keep outside noise at bay. If the attachments seal too tightly, it can create pressure in the ear that leads to step reverberation. We then hear every single step as we run as a dull appearance – this is uncomfortable and reduces the enjoyment of music. Sony did not provide any information on whether the plugs have any technology to prevent this. With the Airpods Pro, Apple was the first manufacturer to come up with a solution.

For the ANC technology, the background noise is analyzed using microphones in the plugs, which makes such products susceptible to wind noise. Many ANC products can hardly be used outside because the wind can be heard whistling strongly and disturbs the enjoyment of music. Sony states that a technology has been integrated with which such wind noise can be suppressed.

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Sony’s ANC earbuds are available in two colors. (Screenshot: Sony / t3n)

The Sony plugs should deliver a particularly good sound quality with an intense bass component. They support Bluetooth 5.0 as well as the codecs SBC, AAC and LDAC. The Sony earplugs still do not allow two parallel Bluetooth connections. This means that Jabra remains the big exception in this segment.

The Sony earplugs offer ear detection so that the music pauses when the earplugs are removed from the ear. The music continues when both are back in the ear. The plugs are certified according to IPX4 and are therefore not bothered by splashing water.

The author of the article is Ingo Pakalski.

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