Sony WH-1000XM4 Silent White give ANC headphones a rare new finish

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Sony has revealed a new, limited-edition set of its popular noise-cancelling headphones, with the WH-1000XM4 Silent White promising a finish that's more than just eye-catching. A fourth color option, the white joins the existing black, blue, and silver options that have been available until now.

According to Sony, the Silent White finish will "reflect the concept of silence and serenity of the noise cancelling headphones." That seems like a stretch, frankly, but before you start to worry this is all marketing, fear not: there's actually an additional layer of paint, which Sony insists makes the headphones "even more stain-resistant" than their counterparts.

It's a pearlescent finish applied to the topcoat, which helps give the WH-1000XM4 Silent White their crisp, bright appearance. Sony throws in matching accessories too, including a white carry case. The cables for charging and plugging the headphones into a 3.5mm or airplane dual-plug wired audio source are also white.

Unchanged, meanwhile, is everything inside. That means you still get the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, Sony's custom chipset for its excellent active noise cancellation system, and features like DSEE Extreme audio processing for coaxing better sound out of compressed music. You can adjust the levels of that processing within the companion Sony Headphone app, as well as use that to adjust the ANC levels and turn on environment-adaptive ANC which tweaks its performance according to background noise.

There's also the option to have the headphones switch to audio pass-through mode – where external sound is piped into the WH-1000XM4 – for impromptu conversations. Or, you can trigger that manually by putting a hand on the touchpad on the side. There's Multipoint Bluetooth, and onboard Alexa as well as Google Assistant integration.

Sony says the WH-1000XM4 Silent White will go on sale from May 2021, and be available until its unspecified limited-edition stock levels last. At the moment it looks like that'll only be happening in the UK and Europe – where the white finish will be around €430/£400 – though in the US you can currently find the three regular colors online for $348.