Watch out for AirPods. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a long-awaited successor to one of the best wireless earbuds ever – and it could come with two major upgrades. A prototype of an upcoming pair of Sony wireless noise-canceling earbuds, model number YY2948, has been certified by the FCC and Bluetooth SIG. If the code name really matches the Sony WF-1000XM4, some major upgrades may be pending.
The most important of these is the use of Bluetooth 5.2, which gives the wireless earbuds longer battery life thanks to lower power consumption and greater bandwidth for data transfer – which may also result in better sounding audio.
FCC filing for the same Sony earbuds reveals a new MediaTek MT2822S chip inside, which reportedly includes an improved digital signal processor (DSP), hardware ANC, feedforward microphones, voice prompts and a reduced footprint. The FCC documents also include a representation of the housing of the buds. While it doesn’t reveal much, it does appear to be a bit more rounded, as seen with other current Sony offerings like the Sony WF-SP800N.
Choosing MediaTek rather than Qualcomm for the processor could mean that the Sony WF-1000XM4 will once again skip support for aptX and aptX HD. However, the Walkman blog believes the higher power consumption could be an indication of LDAC support – which was a notable loophole on the XM3.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 introduced in July 2019 were praised for their sound profile and effective noise suppression. Understandably, fans were waiting to see how Sony would outdo itself.
We first heard about the WF-1000XM4 in February, where supposed retail packaging revealed a new design and some key specs – like using LDAC – but we hadn’t heard whether or not the earbuds would support aptX.