The battery life of Sony's earphones 'WF-1000XM4' suddenly became short, so I summarized the steps to get a free replacement, zero shipping and repair costs, even if the warranty has expired

Sony's completely wireless earphones `

`WF-1000XM4 '' are masterpieces with high-performance noise canceling and external sound absorption functions. I have been using the WF-1000XM4 almost every day since I purchased it in September 2021, but a few months ago I started to see a big difference in the battery life between the left and right earphones, and finally the left earphone's battery died. It only lasted about 2 and a half hours. Since the one-year warranty period had already passed, I was about to give up on repairs, but on Sony's official website , I found out that the remaining battery power of the headphones (WF-1000XM4) is extremely different between the left and right sides (L side and R side). I found a page that was completely applicable. I followed the instructions on the page and was able to get my earphones replaced for free, so I've summarized the procedure in detail. Updated at 9:46, September 27, 2023: As of 9:46, September 27, 2023, you could no longer reach the free replacement information page even if you followed the steps in this article, so please see the details at the end of the article. I added.

The remaining battery power of the headphones (WF-1000XM4) may be extremely different between the left and right sides (L side and R side) (Operating time may be extremely short) | Sony JP

·table of contents
◆1: Check symptoms
◆2: Inquiry with zero waiting time
◆3: Repair procedure & shipping
◆4: Receiving & repair results look like this

◆1: Check symptoms
First of all, here's how I noticed the symptoms of battery deterioration. Since I purchased the WF-1000XM4 in September 2021, I have been using it for about 4 hours a day, but a few months ago I noticed that even if I put the earphone back in the case, only the left earphone would charge to 100%. The following symptoms have started to occur: Then, a few weeks ago, I experienced a problem where only the left earphone ran out of battery after about 2 and a half hours. For my purpose, I want it to operate continuously for 4 hours, so this is a pretty difficult situation.

When you check the page entitled 'The remaining battery power of the headphones (WF-1000XM4) may be extremely different between the left and right sides (L side and R side)', you will see 'Volume: Median', 'Codec: AAC', 'DSEE If you play music under the conditions of 'Extreme: OFF', 'Noise canceling: ON', 'Other functions: OFF', and 'Fully charged', it was written that if you can play music for less than 3 hours, please contact the customer service center.

The following is the result of playing music with the settings as instructed on the Sony official page and recording the remaining battery power every 15 minutes. The left earbud could only be charged to 81% even if I kept it in the case overnight, and the battery level dropped to 1% at 150 minutes, and the battery died at 155 minutes. In other words, it could only be played for less than 3 hours.

◆2: Inquiry with zero waiting time
I was able to confirm that the playback time was only 3 hours or less under Sony's specified conditions, so I decided to inquire from the link below.

Contact Us | General Support/Inquiries | Sony

Inquiry methods included LINE, chat, email, and automatic responses. This time, I clicked on the automatic answer that seemed to be the quickest way to contact me.

When the product category selection screen is displayed, click 'Headphones/Headphone Amplifier'.

A chat with the AI will begin, so click 'Start inquiry'.

Click 'Trouble/Repair Consultation (Failure Diagnosis)'.

There is a perfect item 'Battery drains quickly on either the left or right side' so click on it.

Click 'WF-1000XM4'.

You will then be shown how to determine if there is a problem. This part is the same content as the official page I first viewed, and I have already verified whether there is a problem, so I just scrolled down.

Click on “Customers staying for [less than] 3 hours”.

You will then be shown instructions on how to update the firmware or initialize settings.

You will be guided through the firmware update procedure, but since you have already installed the latest firmware, click 'Next step'.

Next, you will be shown how to reset the touch sensor settings, but since I was using the default settings, I clicked 'Next step.'

You will be shown instructions on how to reset or initialize your headphones, so try resetting or initializing them by following the steps. Even if I tried, the battery life remained short, so I clicked 'I tried the solution but it didn't improve.'

Next, after purchasing the WF-1000XM4, you will be asked to confirm the period and warranty status. This time, more than two years have passed since I purchased it, and I did not subscribe to the extended warranty, so I clicked on the option at the bottom.

An explanation was displayed that said, ``Sony is investigating the issue of shortening battery life,'' ``We will repair it at no cost to the customer,'' and ``Estimated repair time is 2 weeks,'' so I answered ``Yes. Click 'Proceed to repair instructions.'

Then, a link was shown to an inquiry page dedicated to WF-1000XM4 battery-related problems. Click this link to proceed with the repair process.

◆3: Repair procedure & shipping
When you access the repair procedure page, read the terms of use carefully, check the box to agree, and click 'Proceed to customer information input'.

Enter your name, address, and phone number correctly.

A payment method selection field will be displayed at the bottom of the input page, so select cash on delivery or credit card payment and click 'Next'. Please note that this payment method selection field is for specifying the payment method when a paid repair is required, and payment does not occur immediately. Also, in my case, it seems that the above symptoms were observed, and there were no repair costs or shipping costs.

The staff member will come to pick up the WF-1000XM4 for free, so specify the date and time you want to pick it up and click 'Next'.

Check the content and click 'Apply with this content'.

``The courier will come with the packaging materials, so please hand it over without packaging,'' so I didn't pack the WF-1000XM4 and waited for the courier to arrive with the earphones in the case. I did. In addition, I had already disposed of the paper package that came with the product at the time of purchase, but it is OK to hand over the case naked, so there is no problem.

The courier came on the specified date and time. When I handed over the WF-1000XM4, they quickly packed it up and took it with me.

◆4: Receiving & repair results look like this
The WF-1000XM4 was returned to me 7 days after I handed it over to the courier.

Inside the box was a billing statement and a WF-1000XM4 wrapped in bubble wrap.

The contents of the billing statement are as follows. It said, 'Due to a problem with the left earphone and right earphone, we have replaced them,' and the bill was 0 yen.

The original scratches on the case were still there, so it appears that it has not been replaced.

The earpieces were still the same, but only the earphones had been replaced with clean new ones.

Sony seems to be aware of the battery-related issues with the WF-1000XM4, and they even replaced it with a new one for free, even if it was out of warranty and without a warranty like this one. If you are worried about the battery deterioration of your WF-1000XM4, we recommend that you do not give up and contact us.

Updated at 9:46 on September 27, 2023:
At the time of writing the article, if you followed the steps in the article, you would be directed to the following free replacement procedure page.

However, as of 9:46 on September 27, 2023, the page had been changed to ``

Confirm estimated repair fees and apply for repair ''.

When I tried accessing the URL of the free replacement procedure page, I found that the displayed content had changed significantly since the time of writing the article, and the link to ``

Check the estimated repair fee / Apply for repair '' was displayed in a large size. Ta.

A forum related to this article has been set up on the GIGAZINE official Discord server. Anyone can write freely, so please feel free to comment!

• Discord | 'Tell us about your good or bad experiences with gadget repair!' | GIGAZINE

in Hardware,   , Posted by log1o_hf