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WH-1000XM4 leak: An upgrade to Sony’s already perfect headphones is incoming

 A new listing on a Brazilian site has revealed that Sony is hard at work on the next generation of phones, imaginatively named the WH-1000XM4.

The new M4s were first spied by Everton Favretto, who spotted the fresh pictures and details on Anatel – the website for Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency. Given how similar these phones look to Sony’s previous headset, its clear that we’ve stumbled across a new member of the XM family here.

The WH-1000XM3 headphones have received a mind-blowing amount of praise since their release. When we tested them out at the end of last year, our reviewer said: “The Sony WH-1000XM3 are – currently – the finest noise-cancelling headphones money can buy.”

Related: Read our WH-1000XM3 review

As such, it’s hard to imagine how Sony can improve this excellent set. But thanks to the new listing, we have a few clues about how the company intends to do it. Here’s what we spotted in the recently uploaded (although sadly incomplete) user manual on Anatel.

Bluetooth connectivity has been upgraded from v4.2 to v5, which should improve connection range. There’s also an improvement in battery power, as you can now squeeze out 40 hours of activity when you have the headphones plugged in and the noise-cancellation turned up. (For comparison, we found that the M3s lasted up to 30 hours when connected via Bluetooth, and with noise cancellation on full.) That extra juice is probably down to the reduction in power consumption, which is now only 2W – a dramatic fall from the previous 8W number.

Related: These are the best headphones for 2020

The most exciting new feature is a ‘Speak-to-Chat’ function. It’s not currently clear what this little extra is, but there’s a good chance it’s an upgrade on voice activation, which would make it easier to chat with Siri et al.

As Sony hasn’t officially announced anything yet we still have to take the above snippets as rumour rather than fact – but given that we previously saw a mysterious FCC listing from Sony last year, we think there’s a good chance that we might see a new headset from the company in the not-too-distant future.

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