Sony XM4 vs Sony XM3 Best Honest Review
This is Sony’s New Flagship Headphone, the WH-1000XM4 and this is Sony’s old flagship headphone, the XM3 Now they’ve had 2 years to improve on this guy and make it even better but the thing about the XM3’s is that even 2 years later, it is still just about the best of the best when it comes to Noise Cancelling headphones No one could beat it in all that time They’re just THAT good. Now this comparison isn’t really about which is actually better I mean it is… but damn I’ll be surprised if Sony took 2 years just to make a worse product That would be crazy But I have seen it happen before but that’s not what this video’s really about though We expect the XM4’s to be better The question is HOW MUCH BETTER is it really? Like when it comes to everything from Sound Quality… (music playing) to Transparency…… to Noise Cancelling…. to extra features….
to see if they’ve been improved and if they’re even more now and to just everything about the devices you know? Alright, let’s get started Let’s talk about sound quality (music playing) By now, you should already know that the XM3’s have had just about the best sound quality available It’s been this way for a while like ever since they were released A few headphones out there could match it but no headphones could really seriously beat it especially when you factor in the fact that with the Sony App you can customize the sound just to your liking Basically, the XM3’s have been just about the best of the best when it comes to sound quality Even two years later Now how do the XM4’s compare though? Or how much better are they? Well…. Not much 🙁 Actually, they sound pretty similar In fact, to my ears, the XM4’s sound almost exactly like the XM3’s Not exactly the same, but almost exactly the same When I used them by themselves individually, I would’ve said they’re exactly EXACTLY the same cause that’s how it seemed but to make this video, I tried them back… to back…. To back… and I noticed there’s just something different about them so I switched between them some more… and if I could put the tiny difference into words, I’ll say the XM4’s sound a bit more clear like the sound is just a bit crisper with them But the XM3’s just have a bit more bass you can feel the boom boom booms a bit more But even that doesn’t sound so right to say, you know? It’s really too close to call With that being said though, The XM4’s are automatically better, kind of, when it comes to sound quality Well at least on Android Why? Cause when you go to the Sony App on Android, you’ll see that now, with the XM4’s, even when you want to adjust the Equalizer settings, you don’t have to switch to a lower quality Bluetooth connection mode with a priority on Stable Connection like you had to do with the XM3’s You can make all your adjustments still with the sound priority mode on sound quality With the XM3’s, it’ll always make you have to switch when you’re using Android. With iOS though, this hasn’t been a problem You’ve always been able to do this At the same time though, with iOS, Apple doesn’t let you use the LDAC Bluetooth codec which is the highest quality codec that both the XM3’s and XM4’s support. So you could argue that it’s better to use both of them with Android, and you’ll have a point But I wouldn’t worry too much or be disappointed if you just use iPhone and iOS, because even I have a very very hard time telling the difference between sounds on these codecs and the Sony hardware is so good past the point that I wouldn’t say it matters much Basically, Sound Quality is pretty comparable on both. They’re very very very similar and I bet you won’t be able to tell much of a difference. Now, how do they sound when you pause the music though? Or how do they sound when cancelling noise? And are the XM4’s much better here? Well, starting with the XM3’s we know how they perform when it comes to Noise Cancelling Long story short, even two years later, they’re just about the best of the best when it comes to Noise-cancelling Well that is until the XM4’s came out So how do the XM4’s perform compared to the XM3’s? Well… long story short…. The XM4’s are very good at noise Cancelling…. And they’re just about the best of the best in the world…. But they’re still on the same exact level as the XM3’s. To my ears, they cancel EXACTLY the same amount of noise. Not much more… Not much less…
I don’t think Sony changed much here when it comes to Noise Cancelling Now when it comes to Transparency tho…. We already know how the XM3’S are by now. They’re… alright I guess. Like when you put them on the highest transparency mode, or ambient sound 20, yes, you WILL be able to hear your surroundings, and the Headphones will be technically transparent…. But everything will sound pretty teeny and not so loud as well. You’ll definitely be able to tell that the microphones are just playing the sound from your surroundings into your ear, and it sounds more like a phone call to your environment… Not like you’re actually listening to it yourself. You switch to the XM4’s tho, and you’ll see that they’re much better when it comes to Transparency. Everything sounds much more natural and realistic. That teeny sound isn’t there anymore and things just sound louder…. And not just like the sound is being played from the microphones, Okay when you take it off, you’ll see that it’s not completely natural sounding when compared to your actual ears, and the fact that it’s using a microphone WILL become more apparent…. But it does a pretty good job overall. And It’s definitely better than the XM3s… See I wanna say that’s because the Microphones are just much better on the XM4s…. But I’m not sure I can actually say that. These are how the microphones on the XM3’s sound and these are how the microphones on the XM4’s sound. Now I expected to hear a significant improvement with the XM4’s…. But after I tested them over and over again and listened to them, I found that they just don’t sound so good. I think I actually prefer the sound on the XM3’s….. and the XM3’s don’t even sound so good to begin with. So… I don’t know what Sony has done exactly…. but you’re hearing it for yourself….. the XM4’s Microphones are still pretty bad. Maybe even worse than the XM3’s…. That’s surprising Anyways, let’s move on and talk about Seamlessness. You know, comfort, fit, and just general usability. This is gonna be a pretty short part cause they’re not very different at all in this area. See They’re built exactly the same. On your head, you can’t tell any difference. Actually, in your hands, you can’t tell any difference except when you look closely, the XM3’s say XM3 and the XM4’s say XM4’s. That’s about it. The only improvement the XM4 has in the seamless category, I’ve found, is that they do some minor little software things in a more polished way. Like with the touchpad, the XM3’s can be abrupt at times like when you want to increase the volume but it’s already at the highest point. With the XM4’s, it handles this in a more smooth and seamless way. This applies to all the little software stuff with the touchpad like this. It also applies to the entire touchpad itself. It’s just a bit more responsive on the XM4’s in general. Sometimes on the XM3’s, you’ll try to do something like skip to the next track… but you’ll move your finger too fast and it just won’t work the first time and you’ll have to do it again but slower and more robotic and intentional. It’s not a big deal, and it’s easy to get used to, but with the XM4’s, you don’t really have to deal with that. You can skip your track… and skip the next one, and skip the next one, and go back to the previous one…. And there’ll be no hassles for the most part. It’s just more responsive than it is in the XM3’s. I’ve found it’s still not perfectly flawless tho, like not as good as a phone touch screen for example, but it is much improved. All in all tho, this is about the only difference between them when it comes to Seamlessness. Now when it comes to the extra Features tho, they do have a few differences. The XM4’s basically have all the extra features the XM3’s do, plus a bit more. They actually don’t have the sound position controls tho, that the XM3’s do to mess with the direction of the sound…. Or the surround settings, to simulate different sound environments… but people didn’t really use that so much. I didn’t either, but they were cool and it was nice to show it off to my friends every now and then. They both have the EQ Settings tho, you know, to mess with the equalizer… I found the XM3 actually gives you more range tho. Some might say too much cause with the XM3’s, you can really push the hardware past it’s limit if you want and have the bass sound very muddy and even raising everything to the point where the XM3’s will basically start screeching. With the XM4’s, Sony has turned it down. I wasn’t able to get the XM4’s to do the screeching thing with the same songs as the XM3’s. They also both have 360 reality audio, and they both give an inconsistent Experience there…. They just have most of the same extra features. If you look on the inside earcups on the XM3’s tho, you’ll see.. nothing. But, If you look on the inside of the XM4’s, you’ll see there’s a new sensor in there. Now all the sensor really does is detect when it’s on your head and around your ears. And then when you take it off, it’ll pause your music for you. It won’t play it back automatically when you put it back on tho… you’ll have to do that manually. The only other extra features the XM4’s have over the XM3’s are the speak to chat feature, which pauses your music, and basically puts you into conversation mode automatically when it hears you speaking. It drains a lot of battery tho. And the last one, and the best and most practical, at least for me, is the ability to connect to two devices at once. Unlike the other extra features, this one’s actually very useful. The thing with all these extra features tho, is they really eat the XM4’s battery. Without the extra features the XM4’s have, both it and the XM3’s have pretty similar, and amazing battery life. They last about 30 hours on paper, but You’re gonna have a really hard time killing them in real life. And even if you do, they charge back very fast anyways. If you use all those extra extra features on the XM4’s tho, especially speak to chat and connecting to multiple devices, the battery life will drop a great amount. I actually had to charge mine daily. It’s not so bad per se…. But I’ve found it’s a good amount worse…. Okay… so now we’ve talked about all we need to talk about, which is a good amount better tho? Nah let’s not do that. We know the XM4’s are better. I mean it really would be embarrassing for them if they weren’t to be honest and it wouldn’t even make sense. But the question is “HOW MUCH BETTER ARE THEY?’ Are they a good amount better? Well, I’ve shown you just about all the differences and improvements in the video and most of them were kinda minor right?. I mean Decide for yourself tho, you know, what’s important to you and all. But see if you asked me what the biggest difference was between these two devices…. I’ll have to say it’s the price. On Amazon right now as I’m making this video, the XM3’s cost about $240 brand new. And the XM4’s cost about $350 brand new. The prices WILL change over time, and they’re links to both in the description below with the updated prices for when you’re watching this… but that’s over a $100 difference…. So we really do have to keep that in mind. Okay…So which device is actually better? Well, price doesn’t really interfere with this…. Sony really did a good job against…Sony… And The XM4’s are the better device here today. I mean… simply put, they’re just everything the XM3’s are…. Plus more. It’s really not that complicated.