[Updated] Sony WF-1000XM4 severe battery drain & overheating issues persist months later, potential workaround inside
Here’s the crux of the article in video form:
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on Jan. 30, 2023) follows:
The WF-1000XM4 truly wireless headphones raise the bar in terms of noise cancellation and music quality. They provide an outstanding listening experience that is personalized to each individual listener.
The earbuds recognize when you are stationary, moving, or in a noisy environment and switch to ANC or Hear-through mode for you.
However, some people are having difficulties using them.
Sony WF-1000XM4 severe battery drain & overheating issues
Users began reporting high battery drain on the WF-1000XM4 earbuds issue about 5 months ago. At the time, the culprit appeared to be the 1.4.2 update.
Another alarming symptom noticed by several users was that the affected earphones became hotter than expected while charging in the case.
As their earphones were still under warranty, users contacted Sony and received new devices.
While some people did not experience these problems, there were a few others whose warranty-replacement pair (Which came with v1.5.0) had this issues.
Mine were absolutely fine. They’re about 10 months old. No battery drain or Un-even discharge on any side. About 2 weeks ago i updated to 1.6.1 just to be on the safe side. Then the issues started. My left bud now drains 15-20% faster than the right one
I just got a pair of WF-1000XMFs. I turned them off in the app with 100% battery and didn’t put them back in their charging cradle on purpose, as I wanted to see if the uneven battery issue had been fixed by a reset. However, the next day their battery levels were at 40% (they weren’t touched and the bluetooth on my phone was not on). Later in the evening, they were dead.
Sony allegedly released a new firmware update in December of last year to reduce battery drain issues. But it looks like things haven’t changed much.
Now Sony USA appears to have established a common process for addressing these RMAs with the following list of questions:
1. Have you tried the reset process?
2. Is the unit getting hot while charging?
3. Is the red light blinking on the unit?
Additionally, replacements are being honored outside of the standard warranty period.
A user has proposed a potential fix for this issue that involves downgrading to pre-v1.4.2 firmware. Use this tool to do so:
We hope Sony looks into WF-1000XM4 severe battery drain and overheating issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.
As always, we will keep an eye on the situation and update this space as new information becomes available, so stay tuned.
Update 1 (March 1, 2023)
Update 2 (May 16, 2023)
05:12 pm (IST): Fresh reports suggest that the issue with battery drain still persists and it appears that the only solution is to return the faulty units for refund or replacement.
Update 3 (May 22, 2023)
05:49 pm (IST): A Redditor said that their headphones were not approved for servicing for battery issues due to invalid serial number.
Update 4 (May 23, 2023)
05:14 pm (IST): According to a user, the battery drain issue started to happen after around 400 hours of use.
Update 5 (May 24, 2023)
05:24 pm (IST): In an attempt to address this issue, a user suggests consistently powering off the headphones when they’re not in use.
Daily driving the mx4 for the past 1 year+. Honestly, I charge it like once a week <~20% to full>. Never had the battery drained more than 10% a day <3 hours use a day>. The stats get better after 1 month. But do keep in mind that you should turn off the headphones when not in use to save the charge and protect your headphones.
However, it’s important to note that for some individuals, this method doesn’t provide a foolproof solution, with up to 30% battery drainage still reported.
Update 6 (May 26, 2023)
Update 7 (May 30, 2023)
04:53 pm (IST): Normally, the Sony WF-1000XM4 offer around 6 hours of battery life. However, the units affected by the problem barely offer around 2 hours of use.
Update 8 (May 31, 2023)
02:36 pm (IST): A user suggested that the WF-1000XM4 battery drain issue could be blamed on a software failure and not a hardware failure, causing the earphones to misinterpret the real remaining capacity.
Update 9 (July 5, 2023)
01:38 pm (IST): Some users are suggesting others not to update their devices to prevent the battery drain issue.
Update 10 (July 12, 2023)
01:57 pm (IST): A new firmware update is now available and users can try installing it to see if this issue has been resolved.
A Redditor said that there’s some improvements in the battery after replacing their unit and updating it to the latest firmware.
Update 11 (July 20, 2023)
05:51 pm (IST): The Sony WF-1000XM4 currently relies on Zenipower as its battery supplier.
Nevertheless, discussions are ongoing about the possibility of Shenzhen Grepow Battery Co. Ltd. taking over as the new supplier for the Sony WF-1000XM5.
Update 12 (July 21, 2023)
04:43 am (IST): According to a user, Sony is accepting as old as two years old WF-1000XM4 for repair without charging anything. So it seems that the company is not limiting its attention to warranty time.
Update 13 (July 25, 2023)
10:45 am (IST): Sony WF-1000XM5 have been officially launched with improved fast charging technology as compared to XM4.
Also, TheVerge asked Sony if the WF-1000XM4 battery issues have been fixed in XM5. However, the company hasn’t yet responded on this matter.
I’ve asked the company for a thorough statement on what it has learned regarding the M4 battery drain problems and whether everything’s been squared away for the M5s. As of publication time, there has been no response. (Source)
Update 14 (July 31, 2023)
05:05 pm (IST): A WF-1000XM4 user has shared a potential reason for the battery issue. You can check it out below.
Thanks for the tip: John Navas!
Update 15 (September 4, 2023)
05:10 pm (IST): According to a Redditor, Sony Canada is offering free repair for the customers affected by battery issue.
Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Sony section so be sure to follow them as well.
Featured image source: Sony
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