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Sony WF-1000XM4 design leaked? (update 4)

Sony WF-1000XM4

Are we looking at the new design of the Sony WF-1000XM4? The above photo was posted on Reddit by user Key_Attention4766. The photo, posted on Imgur, is described as the "packaging box sleeve of the WF-1000XM4". So is this the real deal?

Update: Key_Attention4766 has posted another photo

Sony WF-1000XM4

This shows the purported battery life, but it is unknown if this is with NC or DSEE HX on/off. Comparing this to the WF-SP800N box which has 9h+9h, that is with NC on, therefore the 6h+18h would also be with NC on. I would imagine this is with DSEE HX off, but perhaps the 6 hours is with Hi-Res support? Anyways, the Noise Cancelling NC logo does match the new one found on the WF-SP800N and new WH-1000XM4.

Update #2: I have received some questions regarding IPX rating. If we look at the WF-XB700, the rating is on the front of the box near the battery life symbol (see below)

Sony WF-XB700
Sony WF-XB700 box - source Ebay

While I have seen the rest of the sleeve (albeit parts blacked out, possibly serial numbers, etc), I do not see any IP rating anywhere on it. So either there is no IP rating, or it is written elsewhere on the packaging, ie the main box, not the sleeve. I can confirm that 2 sets of earbuds are supplied (S, M, L X2) and a USB type C to type A cable (~20cm). This compares to the WF-1000XM3, which came with 2 different sets:

  • Long Hybrid silicone rubber earbuds (SS/S/M/L 2 each)
  • Triple-comfort earbuds (S/M/L 2 each)

So perhaps the earbuds supplied with the upcoming WF-1000XM4 are the Triple-comfort earbuds and not the Hybrid silicone rubber variant.

Update #3

I have been receiving some questions in email and on twitter DM so I will answer them here.

1. Will the headphones support aptX?

  • I feel Sony will stick with Mediatek and the MT2811, which would automatically rule out aptX support. Sony could change to Qualcomm of course but I suspect not, since aptX also requires a fee for its use. So expect LDAC for Hi-Res support, along with AAC and SBC.

2. How big are the earbuds?

  • Good question, not a simple answer but we can try to estimate the size. If the photo is a regular product photo from Sony, then the medium sized tips should be the ones attached in the photo. Of course, if the foam tips are a new design, then that will not help. Regardless, if we are looking at size M for the tips, then the closest in size would be either the WF-H800 or WF-XB700. The size looks more compact than either of the 2 models, but until we get more photos from other angles, it is impossible to get a good estimate of size.
  • Personally for me, the shape reminds me of the WI-1000XM2 earbuds, but I do not expect any Balanced Armature drivers in the WF-1000XM4 due to limited space. But the area where the driver should be, does look a lot bigger than in the WF-1000XM3, so who knows.

3.  What driver size will the new earbuds use?

  • Sony might probably use 6mm again, but as I mentioned above, there looks to be space for larger drivers, so perhaps 9mm?

4.  When will the new WF-1000XM4 go on sale?

  • Considering the model has not appeared on any certification site, it is unknown when these will go on sale. If they appear on the FCC soon, then we might be looking at May-July 2021 release schedule.

5. Why is the Sony logo not on the side?

  • I mentioned in this post that the position of the Sony logo worried me but after thinking it over, it is in the correct spot. Why? Simple, the flat side is the touch sensor for the controls and over the life of the headphones, any logo on the side would rub off or begin to fade.

For additional questions leave them in the comments or contact me on Twitter.

Update #4

There is mention of water resistance in the manual, so trying to find out what the rating is, or if the mention is that there is no resistance, stay tuned.

Let us analyze the photo.

Sony WF-1000XM4

1. The font for the model name has me a bit worried. From looking at all current new packaging designs, the font should be a bit thicker as seen in the collage below. But it does seem to use the same font Sony uses, the SST type face. The light and ultra light seem to match this font in the leaked photo.

2. This part could be the hole for the voice microphone.

3. The gold Sony logo matches the current design on the WH-1000XM4 and WF-1000XM3, but I wonder why is it positioned on the side of the earbud and not the top? This does not match with the current design where the logo is on the exterior surface of the earbud. See point #5 in update 3.

4. I am not sure if these are a new foam tip design, or the same, but they do look different than what is shipped with the current headsets from photos I have seen online. They appear to be filled with a memory foam and are not transparent. My XBA-A3 have a similar memory foam design but the foam is a different colour on the inside, related to the size and there is a green ring around the foam. Maybe Sony has moved away from such different colours? Not sure. (Addressed above in update #2)

5. Finally, the gold accented piece looks to be the external noise cancellation microphone. A nice design touch perhaps to add a more premium design and look to the new earbud?

So are we looking at the new WF-1000XM4? There is a high chance this is the new design. The rounded shape (rather than long and thin) does permit Sony to use a larger battery size and the WF-XB700 does have a similar rounded shape. The gold accents match the current design, and the packaging font while not the same thickness as in current packaging, is the same type face.

But the Sony logo being on the inner side of the earbud and not exterior has me worried. Likewise even though the font is the same type face, it is too thin for the packaging box. Finally the foam tips, if memory foam, they seem to lack the colours that the foam tips I have. Unless someone has these identical Sony foam tips on their new WF model?

So what does everyone else think? Real deal or good fake? If real, do you like the design change or should Sony keep the long thin design? Leave your thoughts below.

One question for any WF-1000XM3 owners, did anyone receive any invitation for any survey or something similar from Sony or some 3rd party firm hired by Sony for users thoughts and comments about the WF-1000XM3 and what could be improved?

Thank you anonymous for bringing this to my attention.


  1. If real, I really like this design, maybe it will be more comfortable and won't fall out as often.

  2. same battery life :( I hope it is better than 6 hours.

  3. @walkman i thought you said the wf1000xm4 wasnt due for just some minor changes

    1. the design, if real, is not a minor change, looks to be completely new along with Hi-Res audio support.

    2. Yeeeeeah!
      Only 3 words - Hi-Res Wireless!
      Yeah, baby :)

    3. Hopefully the battery will be decent with Hi-Res

    4. Yes, this could be a problem. But if they succeed, it will be another hit.

  4. I like the redesign, maybe fits better too hopefully. Fingers crossed this is it and it releases in the next couple months!

  5. I wonder how it will look like in silver. Would be great to have an all white option.

    1. I'm sure they will release in the same colours to match the WH headphone range.

    2. There is a blue WH-1000XM4, I wonder if Sony will have a wf-1000xm4 in that colour as well

  6. Hi! When will Sony update the NW-WS625 sports mp3 players?

    1. Don't believe there are any current plans to update that series unfortunately.

    2. excuse me, why? It's the best mp3 player for sport.
      Or is alternative?

    3. there is no good alternative from sony, maybe some other companies. The trend has moved for people to use their phone as the mp3 player and wireless earbuds for listening.


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