The best gets better: Sony's WH-1000M4 wireless headphones
I was working at my computer desk when I heard a knock on the window.
Frightened that it was an animal—perhaps a feral raccoon—I checked to make sure the window was closed tight before I pulled the shade up. There was my partner, her forehead covered in sweat, banging on the glass pane. I took my Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones off, the noise of the outside world rushing back in like I’d just turned on a vacuum cleaner. “Let me in!” she shouted. “I’ve been calling you for the past ten minutes!”
Noise-canceling headphones usually give me a headache. Clasped so tightly to my ears, most of the units I’ve worn seem to suck the air out of the room and create a plunger-like suction to the two sides of my brain.
They never really cancel the noise; when reruns of I Love New York are playing 10 feet away from my desk in our tiny apartment, I hear every single bleep from my partner’s laptop.
Long have I searched for a pair of cans that truly cancel the outside world. And I’ve finally found them: the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones. They’re so good at extinguishing sounds that you may end up losing track of reality.
They’re like pillows for your ears, but not in a suffocating way.
They’re scary quiet and massively powerful.
Since going to the movies is a thing of the past, any chance to shatter my eardrums with massive, deafening noise feels like a welcome one. You’re going to hear music as you’ve never heard it before with these puppies.
The audio quality is so good, in fact, that Spotify somehow sounds flimsy and cheap; no, you’re going to want to download your damn songs and play them in the highest, most luxurious quality you can find. On these headphones, every little scratch, every twang of the guitar string, comes in loud and clear.
I don’t completely understand the witchcraft behind Sony’s update to the WH-1000XM line, but from what I can gather, these headphones use AI to digitally “upscale” music files, somehow recognizing different instruments, genres, and vocals to deliver the highest possible fidelity in listening.
And not only that, but the units carry multiple noise-cancelling modes (there’s even one for air travel), ensuring that your football stadium-sized sounds come in unobstructed. For those of us trapped inside everyday with roommates and loved ones, these headphones feel like a gift from on high.
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