Successor to Sony's Flagship WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones Spotted in FCC Filing

by

Sony could be about to launch the next generation model of its popular WH-1000XM3 over-ear noise-canceling headphones, if a new FCC filing is anything to go by.

sony wh 1000xm3 review 4
The company's WH-1000XM3 cans, which we reviewed back in March, are considered by many to offer some of the best noise-canceling in the business, providing great sound, excellent comfort and long battery life.

Now it appears that Sony wants to go one better with news that the company has filed for certification for the next model in the series.

The new "WH-1000XM4" headphones aren't actually named as such in the filing, which doesn't reveal any specs or pictures either. However, The Verge notes that the product ID gives a good indication that the version number will be XM4. (The last two models had the version numbers of M2 and M3.)

With so much going for the current model, it's difficult to know what improvements Sony is aiming for in the XM4's. Having said that, the XM3 cans don't support dynamic switching between audio sources.

Bose's QC35's and 700's have no trouble pairing with two devices and automatically switching between them based on which one is transmitting an audio signal. We think it's baffling that the 1000XM3's lack this ability given how convenient the feature is, so hopefully Sony has been listening.

The filing offers no hint as to when the new model will be out, but the Consumer Electronics Show is coming up in January, so maybe Sony will announce the headphones then.

In the meantime, the WH-1000XM3's are still a top choice if you're looking to get some wireless noise-canceling cans for the holidays, and you can find places like Amazon and Best Buy selling them at around $280, which is a decent discount on their original $349.99 RRP.

Tag: Sony

Top Rated Comments

ZeroFill Avatar
13 months ago
Hopefully the mic will be improved too.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SBlue1 Avatar
13 months ago


Brit here, cans is typical informal for headphones.

Ok. Sounded more like 12 year old speak but thanks for the info. :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pismo Avatar
13 months ago
These headphones are fantastic. I wore these on an 11 hour flight from Boston to Honolulu and the noise cancellation and battery life were excellent. Plus, the audio quality was excellent when listening to music or podcasts. The only things that I did not care for were the touch controls on the side and the microphone. I found changing the volume or skipping tracks cumbersome and always used my phone instead to change volume or skip tracks. If I got a phone call wearing them around the house, the person on the other end told me they could barely hear me.

I bought my wife AirPod Pro's for Christmas so I'm waiting to try those on a flight to see how the noise cancellation is. She's flying to Florida next month for a conference so I'll ask her how they perform. The carrying case for the Sony's isn't too bad to pack in a carry-on but I'd prefer the AirPods Pro's for their compactness. The Sonys would win for battery life though.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pismo Avatar
13 months ago


Do you notice any hiss on the right side when enabling noise cancellation on the XM3’s? I just returned a pair as as soon as I had NC enabled there was a really distracting hiss and only from the right ear cup.

Not sure if it a fault or just the way the NC works on the Sony.

I know there is a very feint hiss on NC headphones, but as soon as you start with music or a podcast it is fine.

But the hiss was very distracting in audiobooks or quiet sections in songs.

I don’t have this issue with the AirPods Pro or QC 35s.

As well as annoying it almost affected my balance as it was only in one ear.

Very odd.

Returned them to try and figure out if it the Sony thing or just a faulty set

There is a slight hiss which is the noise cancellation but mine are about the same on both sides. When I wear them, I usually don't use them just to block out noise like the jet engines and not play anything. On my long flight, I was pretty much listening to music, podcasts, or watching movies the entire time. Once something is playing, I do not hear any hissing. I've never had an issue with them. You will definitely want to Sony app on your device so you can manage the headphones and get firmware updates. Mine are on the latest version and they perform beyond my expectations. My bother-in-law has a pair of QC-35's and the Sony's sound so much better.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coachingguy Avatar
13 months ago
I'm always surprised when people hammer on the build quality of the 1000xm3's... Mine have survived multiple drops, being tossed around in a gym bag or backpack as well as the fact that I've got a huge melon... LOL
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
inkhorn Avatar
13 months ago


Cans? Non American here. Is this slang of any kind?

Brit here, cans is typical informal for headphones.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple top apps games 2020

Apple Shares Top 20 Most Downloaded Games and Apps of 2020

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:38 pm PST by
Alongside picks for the top iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps and games of the year, Apple today shared charts featuring the Top Games of 2020 and the Top Apps of 2020, revealing the most popular free and paid apps and games during the year. Among Us! was the top free game of 2020, followed by Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, and Subway Surfers. Ink Inc. Tattoo Drawing was the number four free app,...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Developer Delves Into Reasons Why Apple's M1 Chip is So Fast

Monday November 30, 2020 1:57 pm PST by
Apple's M1 chip is the fastest chip that Apple has ever released in a Mac based on single-core CPU benchmark scores, and it beats out many high-end Intel Macs when it comes to multi-core performance. Developer Erik Engheim recently shared a deep dive into the M1 chip, exploring the reasons why Apple's new processor is so much faster than the Intel chips that it replaces. First and foremost,...
iphone8guide b

iOS 14.2 Quietly Added FaceTime 1080p Support to iPhone 8 and Later Models

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:21 am PST by
Back in early November, Apple released iOS 14.2 and announced with it a slew of new features for iPhones, but one thing it didn't mention was the apparent addition of support for 1080p FaceTime calls on iPhone 8 and later devices. The little-known fact was discovered by MacMagazine, which found that Apple quietly updated the specs pages for devices like iPhone XR shortly after the release of ...
apple briefcase

AppleCare Memo Hints at Potential Hardware Announcement Next Tuesday

Thursday December 3, 2020 9:12 am PST by
Following a busy fall season in which Apple hosted three events in as many months, the company may have one more product announcement in store this year. In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source, Apple informed service providers that it has AppleCare-related changes planned for Tuesday, December 8 at approximately 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Specifically, Apple ...
best apps of 2020

Wakeout! Named Apple's Best App of 2020, While Zoom Earns the Title for Best iPad App

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:26 pm PST by
Apple today shared its App Store Best of 2020 winners, highlighting its picks for the top iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps and games released over the course of the year. Apple's iPhone App of the Year award went to Wakeout!, which is a family friendly exercise and movement app that encourages people to complete easy exercises while at home. Apple's iPad App of the Year was Zoom, which soared in...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Kuo: Two Redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and New MacBook Air in 2022, All With Apple Silicon and Mini-LED Displays

Wednesday December 2, 2020 5:46 am PST by
Apple plans to release two redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and a new MacBook Air in 2022, all with mini-LED displays and Apple Silicon chips, according to TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an all-new form factor design are expected to launch in 2021, and a new "affordable"...
iOS 14

Apple Releases Third Betas of iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday December 2, 2020 10:04 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 updates to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the second betas and a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 14.2. iOS and iPadOS 14.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed. The iOS 14.3 update brings the...
homepod mini amazon echo size

$99 Speaker Showdown: HomePod Mini vs. Amazon Echo and Google Nest Audio

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:12 pm PST by
Apple recently released the HomePod mini, a new $99 version of the original HomePod that's smaller, cuter, and, most importantly, competitively priced. At $99, the HomePod mini can better compete with affordable smart speakers from companies like Google and Amazon. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The HomePod mini has been praised for its high-quality sound at its...
Mac Mini 2018

Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Monday November 30, 2020 9:01 pm PST by
As AWS re:Invent kicks off, Amazon Web Services today announced new Mac instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing AWS customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time. Amazon says that the new feature extends the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers as those creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple...
magsafe duo charger

MagSafe Duo Charger for iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Now Available for Purchase

Tuesday December 1, 2020 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the MagSafe Duo Charger that was announced alongside the new iPhone 12 models back in October. Priced at $129, the MagSafe Duo offers a MagSafe charging puck for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, along with an Apple Watch charger. Though the accessory was announced in October and was listed as coming soon, it was not clear when it would launch. Orders...