Sony WH 1000XM4 is a great headphone model. It provides high-quality sound, fantastic noise canceling, and has an impressive battery life of up to 30 hours. But none of these great features matter when you can’t charge your headphones.
There are several fixes you could try when your Sony WH 1000XM4 headphones are not charging.
In this post, I will list all the potential solutions you could try to fix your headphones and make them charge again.
Note that some of the suggested fixes include opening your headphones and replacing internal components, which you shouldn’t do if the headphones are still under warranty.
- Various things can cause your WH 1000XM4 to refuse to charge.
- Things that are easiest to deal with are incompatible or damaged charging equipment (USB cable, power adapter) and firmware glitches. Replacing the cable/adapter, resetting the headphones to factory default settings, or updating the headphones should fix these issues.
- Things that are harder to fix are internal component failures. Luckily, Sony WH 1000XM4 headphones are easier to service than most other headphones. If you have the right tools, you can replace the battery, charging port, or power board easily.
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Why Are My Sony WH 1000XM4 Headphones Not Charging?
If you are lucky, your WH 1000XM4 headphones are not charging because of incompatible or damaged charging equipment or some firmware glitch. Or, maybe, your battery is over-discharged and requires longer charging to wake up. Another issue that can be fixed quickly is a dirty charging port.
If you are not that lucky, the reason behind your headphone charging issue is a faulty or damaged internal component. It could be a dead battery, damaged charging board, or a damaged/dead/fried power board. The good news is that WH 1000XM4 headphones are easily serviceable, even if you are not very experienced. All you need is patience and some tools.
How to Fix Sony WH 1000XM4 that Won’t Charge?
Depending on the issue causing your charging issues, different fixes will help you bring them back to life. If there’s no visible damage on your headphones and you can’t smell burnt plastic, start with less invasive simple fixes. If they don’t help, we will move on to more complicated, more invasive fixes.
Over-Discharged Battery – Charge the Headphones for Some Time
If you don’t use your headphones for quite some time, the battery will discharge. It doesn’t matter if they were turned off. If it’s been too long since the last charge, the battery may over-discharge. So, when you connect the charger, you will see no indication of charging. The charging LED won’t turn on.
For starters, leave the headphones charging for a few hours. At some point, the battery might wake up and start charging.
Usually, I would suggest that you leave the headphones charging overnight, but due to some known issues that will be addressed later on, I can’t recommend leaving the headphones charging without supervision.
Try Charging Headphones While They Are Turned On
Usually, you would turn the headphones off and then connect them to the charger. Due to a firmware glitch, they may refuse to start charging if they are not turned on. Or even turned on and paired with your phone.
Some users reported that charging the headphones while they are turned on, or turned on and paired with a phone fixed the issue. However, I’m not sure this is a permanent fix.
Since this issue is caused by a firmware glitch, you could try updating or resetting your headphones once they are charged. Scroll down to read step-by-step reset and update instructions.
Check the Charging Equipment
It is absolutely crucial to use equipment compatible with your headphones to charge them. If the equipment is not compatible, the headphones may refuse to charge. And that’s the best-case scenario. Your headphones may also get damaged.
Sony has very detailed instructions on how to charge your SONY headphones and a long list of things you shouldn’t do.
Do Not Use Damaged Cables and Power Adapters
Damaged cables, power adapters, or damaged power outlets should never be used to charge your electronics. Not only are they bad for your headphones, but they are also a fire hazard.
Use Different Charging Cables
First, it would be best if you could use the original cable – the one that came with the headphones. If the cable is broken, I would recommend buying an OEM charging cable. If the headphones are not charging, try using different cables.
Use a Different Power Adapter
Sony recommends that you use a power adapter that can supply at least 1.5A. If your old adapter can’t supply that much or if it’s faulty, the headphones won’t charge. Most of today’s power adapters are compatible with your SONY WH 1000XM4. Try multiple adapters to rule out the possibility that your adapter is causing this charging issue.
Try Using a Bluetooth Speaker or a Powerbank to Charge the Headphones
Instead of charging the headphones using a power adapter, try charging the headphones through a powerbank. If you have one of those Bluetooth speakers with a USB charge-out port, try charging the headphones through the speaker’s USB port. Apparently, some users have managed to charge their WH 1000XM4 using their Bluetooth speakers. Other methods failed, but this one worked. I have no idea why.
Try Using a USB Data Blocker
This is another fix I found on Reddit. Apparently, it also worked for some users. USB data blockers are designed to provide safe charging and prevent hacking, but they might wake up your battery when your headphones refuse to charge.
Make Sure the PC is Not in Standby Mode
When using your PC to charge the headphones, ensure the PC is turned on. If the PC is in standby mode, the headphones will refuse to charge.
Your PC’s Operating System is Not Updated
If your PC is not up to date, the headphones may refuse to charge. You could either try to update your PC or use any other charging method. If the headphones don’t charge, try other tips.
Check the Charging Port – Clean It If Necessary
If your charging port is dirty or wet, your headphones will not charge. Even worse, the headphones might get damaged badly if you try to charge them.
Several people complained on Reddit that their WH 1000XM4 USB-C port melted while charging (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4). Some of them confirmed that sweat and water probably caused a short circuit and sent a huge amount of current to the headphones. Since the USB-C port on your headphones can’t handle such a high current, it gets warmer, and melts along with plastic around it.
If sweat/water enters the charging port, it can also cause corrosion of the USB-C port and other electronics. Corrosion inside the USB-C port will prevent your WH 1000XM4 from charging.
So, before charging the headphones, check your charging port and clean it if it’s dirty. Use compressed air to remove dirt and debris. If it’s wet, leave it to dry off before charging.
If the charging contacts are dirty/corroded, try spraying the USB-C port with WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner (NOT regular WD-40) and see what happens.
Cleaning a USB-C Port
Update SONY WH 1000XM4
If the charging issue is caused by a firmware glitch, you have three options – update, reset, or restore to factory default settings. There’s a chance that some of these fixes won’t work if you can’t charge the headphones, but you should try them anyway.
Let’s start by updating the headphones’ firmware to the latest version.
When you open the app, you should see a message at the bottom if there’s an update available. Tap on it, then tap on START to download the update. Finally, tap on START again to install the update.
If you don’t get the message, you can check the current firmware version and see if there are any updates available by tapping on the three dots in the top-right corner and then selecting the WH-1000XM4 Version.
Updating SONY WH 1000XM4
Reset Your Headphones and Restore Them to Factory Default Settings
Sony makes a distinction between resetting the headphones and restoring them to factory default settings. This can be confusing since most people think resetting and restoring to factory default settings are the same thing. I’m one of those people. But, according to Sony, these two procedures are different. It’s like a SOFT RESET and HARD RESET.
To reset the Sony WH-1000XM4, you need to connect them to the charging cable. Then, while the headphones are charging, you need to press and hold the POWER and CUSTOM buttons.
Resetting Sony WH 1000XM4 (Soft Reset)
If resetting the headphones doesn’t help, try restoring them to factory defaults. To do this, you don’t have to connect the headphones to the charger. You just need to turn the headphones off and press the POWER and CUSTOM buttons for about 7 seconds. Hold the buttons until the LED next to the POWER button blinks blue 4 times.
Resetting Sony WH-1000XM4 to Factory Default Settings (Hard Reset)
Recalibrate the Battery
If external factors and firmware glitches are not causing the charging issue, the only thing left is an internal component malfunction. It could be a malfunctioning or dead battery, faulty/damaged charging port or charging board, or a damaged/fried power board. Luckily, all these parts are replaceable. You need some skills and tools, but it’s not that difficult.
Before buying new parts, let’s open the headphones and try one more thing. I’ve heard people calling this process “battery recalibration”. Basically, you need to disconnect the battery from the PCB and Charging port and wait 10 minutes. Then, reconnect the battery and see if it charges. This will reset the internal battery manager and potentially fix the issue.
The internal battery manager tells the battery when it’s full and when it needs charging. If it malfunctions, it may tell you to charge the battery when the battery is actually full, or it may refuse to charge the battery because it thinks the battery is full.
If your charging indicator turns on when you connect the charger, but then turns off shortly after, it could be because this internal battery manager is causing the issue and preventing the battery from charging.
Let’s open the headphones!
We only need to open the right earcup. That’s where the battery is located.
Replace the Battery
If you notice that the battery is bloated or smells weird, the battery is most probably damaged/dead and needs to be replaced. There’s no need to reconnect the cables and recalibrate the battery – it won’t help. Instead, start looking for a replacement battery. You can find a new one on Amazon.
Since you have already reached the battery and disconnected the cables, you just need to remove it. Use a pry tool and pry from the top end.
Pry up gently and pull the battery out. Then, grab your new battery and put it inside. Make sure the orientation of the cables is the same as it was on the old battery. Finally, reconnect the cables, and put the earcup back together.
Sony WH 1000XM4 Battery Replacement
Replace the Charging Port/Board
If the battery seems fine, but the charging port is corroded, or the contacts are damaged, replacing the battery won’t help. You need to replace the charging board.
The charging board is also inside the right earcup. To get to the charging board, you need to remove all the screws from that black plastic plate protecting the internal components inside the right cup. So, not just those 4 silver screws holding the earcup cover in place – you need to remove all the black screws as well.
Once you do that, you will be able to pry out that plate. It won’t be easy, and you have to be careful, but it will eventually pop out. Don’t pull off this plate – you will damage the speaker wires if you do so.
You just need to remove one screw holding the board in place and disconnect it from the ribbon. Then replace it with a new charging board and put the earcup back together.
Sony WH 1000XM4 – Charging Port Replacement
Replace the Power Board
If your battery is fine and your charging port doesn’t seem corroded or damaged, you could try replacing the entire power board. To remove it, you first need to remove the battery. After that, you have to disconnect all the cables and remove two screws holding the power board in place.
Sony WH 1000XM4 Power Board Replacement
Contact Sony Customer Support
If your headphones are under warranty, opening them and replacing parts is not an option. After trying all the basic troubleshooting steps, contact Sony customer support and ask for help. If the headphones are not damaged, and the port is not corroded, you will probably get a replacement unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Why is my Sony WF 1000XM4 not charging?
- Answer: Your Sony WF 1000XM4 may refuse to charge for several reasons. Some are easily fixable, like incompatible charging equipment, firmware glitches, and a dirty charging port. More serious reasons include dead battery, corroded/damaged charging port, damaged/dead power board, etc.
- Question: How do I fix my Sony headphones that won’t charge?
- Answer: Some issues can be fixed by using different charging equipment (charging cable, adapter, different charging method). Firmware glitches can be fixed by updating, resetting, or restoring the headphones to factory default settings. Internal component failures can only be fixed by replacing the faulty parts.
- Question: How do I know if my Sony WH 1000XM4 is charging?
- Answer: The red LED indicator will light up when you connect the charger. It will glow red until the headphones are fully charged. The LED will turn off automatically when the battery is fully charged.
- Question: Why is my WH 1000 XM4 blinking red light?
- Answer: The battery indicator will flash red when the battery is low. When you connect the charger, the LED will glow red steadily until the battery is fully charged.
- Question: How do I reset my Sony WH-1000XM4?
- Answer: Sony makes a difference between resetting and restoring to factory defaults. I prefer to call these two processes soft and hard reset.
- To soft reset your WH-1000XM4, press the POWER and CUSTOM buttons while the headphones are charging and hold them until the charging LED turns off and back on.
- To hard reset your WH-1000XM, press and hold the POWER and CUSTOM buttons while the headphones are turned off. Keep them pressed until the POWER LED blinks blue 4 times.
- Question: What is the battery life of WH-1000XM4?
- Answer: The max battery life (without ANC) of WH-1000XM4 at moderate volume levels is 30 hours.
- Question: Does the red light stay on when charging Sony headphones?
- Answer: Yes, the red light stays on until the battery is charged. When it’s charged, the LED will turn off.
Dealing with headphones that won’t charge can be frustrating. Luckily, this issue is often repairable. I hope this guide helped you diagnose the problem and figure out a way to fix your Sony WH-1000XM4 that won’t charge.