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The go-to noise-cancelling headphone is here — Sony WH-1000XM4

The Speak-to-Chat feature make the headphones automatically pause music when you start speaking
Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4
The Telegraph

Mathures Paul   |   Published 18.09.20, 10:11 PM

The long-awaited Sony WH-1000XM4 is finally making its way to India. The top-of-the-line noise-cancelling headphone can now pair to two devices simultaneously and the updated mics will make for clearer calls. There is also the Speak-to-Chat feature which will make the headphones automatically pause music when you start speaking. We spoke to Mani B, product manager of audio business at Sony India about the new offering.

The WH-1000XM4 is the follow-up to the equally good WH-1000XM3. How much have consumers changed their listening habits between the two devices?

Generally, our product lifecycle ranges between one and three years and the development of the successor model, WH-1000XM4, has been in line with the product cycle. Between WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4, consumers started enjoying more high-quality content than ever before. Since people are WFH, they are consuming lot of high-quality contents from several OTT platforms. Hence, the awareness about various Audio codecs, high-resolution audio has gone up significantly and customers expect a lot more from their audio devices.

Speak-to-Chat. How big a USP is it on the 1000XM4 compared to the audio upscaling featuring via DSEEE Extreme?

Speak-to-Chat is a path-breaking technology. No headphone, as of today, other than WH-1000XM4, can boast of this feature which creates a wow feeling for the user. DSEE Extreme, on the other hand is a very handy technology which will help users to upscale low-quality content to near high-resolution. Although both these technologies are equally important, Speak-to-Chat feature will play a pivotal role in influencing customer purchase decision.

How do you decide on what to release for the Indian market?

We conduct an in-depth market research before deciding which models to introduce in India. Since we are present in every price segment and form factor, we check for the right kind of product positioning in respective segments and decide what models
to launch.

When you buy a phone, usually one gets the cheapest possible headphone in the box. Some think that’s good enough. How do you make people look beyond what’s in the box and go for something like the 1000XM4?

These days most of the smartphone brands have stopped supplying free headphone with the phones so, people naturally have to buy it separately. Besides, for making people to buy a premium headphone like 1000XM4, identifying the right target audience and reaching out to them with the reasons to buy is a challenging task but we have been doing it for couple of years now. We have strong presence in both online and offline channels which helps us to sell our premium range.

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