Behold, the first-ever leaked images of the long-awaited Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless buds. And, if they're legit, the tech giant's answer to the AirPods Pro appears to have shed the pounds.
As you can see from the leaked photo above, posted by Reddit user Key_Attention 4766, the buds appear smaller and rounder than their predecessors, the 2019-released, multi-Award-winning Sony WF-1000XM3.
Gold accents pick out the gold 'Hi-Res Audio Wireless' logo on the box, which also appears to confirm battery life – 6 hours from the buds, 18 hours from the case – and the presence of active noise-cancelling. Both are features of the WF-1000XM3.
It should be said that today's leak purports to be a photo of the WF-1000XM4's packaging, rather than the actual buds themselves, and some have questioned why the 'Sony' logo appears to be in the wrong place. Still, if the leak is genuine, it appears to confirm a redesign.
Tech-wise, the WF-1000XM4 are expected to sport improved touch-sensitive controls, support for the Sony 360 Reality Audio format, and the same DSEE Extreme audio chip found in Sony's five-star WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones. Sony has managed to keep its kingly position in the crowded noise-cancelling wireless earbuds arena, courtesy of its class-leading sonics and excellent usability and despite new competition from Bose and Samsung, so any new improvements brought by the XM4 would likely keep it there.
Sony hasn't even confirmed the existence of the WF-1000XM4 yet, but we're keeping a close eye on all the WF-1000XM4 news, rumours and leaks ahead of their launch. Fingers crossed it's sooner rather than later.
Our pick of the best wireless earbuds on the market
Save, save, save: best Apple AirPods deals
Battle of the buds: AirPods Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro