This week the folks at Walmart responsible for listing products at a specific time and date are… probably in trouble. A new model Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones were revealed early by a listing on the Walmart store website, well ahead of official release. This is before Sony acknowledges that they exist, much less that they’ll be released soon.
The Sony WH-1000-XM4 over-ear headphones are giant competitors for the biggest and best headphones carried by competitors. For a price of $348 USD, these headphones will roll with a set of features that’d previously leaked courtesy of a Sony app leak. Per XDA Developers, this new pair of headphones will feature a novel “Smart Talking / Speak-to-chat” feature with sound cancellation.
With this new feature – with the app and the headphones connected to your smartphone – the headphones will always be listening, so long as the feature is activated. If the feature is activated, the headphones will allow the user to hear ambient sound (outside the headphones) when a nearby voice is detected. Sound cancellation will re-activate after a time to allow the user to continue listening to music at their leisure.
These headphones will work with with the Sony Headphones Connect app to work with the features outlined above. These headphones work with proprietary wireless connection tech, LDAC, that they suggest “transmits approximately three times more data (at the maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps) than conventional Bluetooth audio.
“Using Edge-AI (Artificial Intelligence) co-developed with Sony Music Entertainment, DSEE Extreme (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) upscales compressed digital music files in real time.” DSEE Extreme could be amazing – we’ve yet to experience the tech in real time. This headset’s 40mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms work with DSEE Extreme tech for Hi-Res Audio Compatibility. They’re capable of “reproducing a full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz”, according to documentation leaked by Walmart.
These headphones have the ability to connect with two Bluetooth devices at once, so you can connect to your PC to play games and have your phone connected at the same time. If you’re playing a game or listening to music on one device, and the other starts to ring (like a phone call, for example), the phone will interrupt and connect.
These headphones will be released soon, more than likely. If they are indeed priced at $348, they’ll only need a well-designed and well-released visual campaign to draw in users to be a success. But how does one compete with a pair of headphones simply called “Beats” when one must sell a pair of headphones called “WH1000XM4”?