Sony has struck a winning formula that has seen it manufacture some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. Each iteration looks exactly the same as the last, and it’s the gradual improvements in sound quality, noise-canceling, and call quality that have kept the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones line of headphones a step ahead of the competition.
So, when we saw the official pictures of the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones, we were a little surprised. We wondered whether it was a wise move to give a major redesign of one of Sony’s biggest success stories in recent memory.
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Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Review: The Best Wireless Headphones for Music Lovers
The Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones have one of the most revered family trees in modern audio history. Following two best-in-class over-ear noise-canceling predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones land with a level of anticipation that is unusual in the world of personal audio.
we have the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Sony WH-1000XM4 top marks in their respective reviews, and so the expectation is that the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones will follow in those perfect audio footsteps.
In terms of specs and performance, they mostly do follow in their predecessors’ footsteps (a little too closely) but in terms of design, the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones cans represent the biggest departure that the line has seen since its conception. But are the differences in design enough to raise the already-high bar Sony has set for itself?
The design changes made to the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones are significant. Sony refers to the new look as a “noiseless design,” which sees the company attempting to create a thinner, more seamless pair of headphones by reworking areas that may be contributing to wind noise.
This has led to smoother, wider lines and less aggressive edges. Importantly, several joints and hinges that allow the XM4’s earcups to fold up are also given the boot.
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As a result, the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones fold just flat, like the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, but don’t fold up any smaller. This is bad news for those of us who like to fold our headphones into a ball and throw them in a rucksack without a second thought.
Immediately Sonys feel a little more vulnerable, and we feel obligated to use the supplied carry case, which, even though it’s been revamped, still takes up valuable space. Compared to previous generations, the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones not only look very different but also feel different. On the hand, they feel light, though the scales suggest there are only four grams between them and the XM4s (254g versus 250g).
Are the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones worth the price?
It is undoubtedly at the upper end of the ‘mainstream’ over-ear headphone market and is heading towards the ‘luxury lifestyle’ territory where the likes of Bang & Olufsen, Apple (with its AirPods Max), and Montblanc take over. Certainly the XM5’s most obvious competitors – from the likes of Bose and Sennheiser – are all fairly cheap.
It looks like Sony won’t be maintaining this price tag for that long, though. Each previous 1000XM model has been launched with a top-end price tag attached, and each previous 1000XM model has become significantly more affordable in no less order. So unless you enjoy being first-time adopters (and don’t mind paying for the privilege), it’s definitely worth hanging around a few times to see which discounts come to light.
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You might be torn when it comes to the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones predecessor, as the XM4 is still available, and for as little as $50 less. Our Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones vs Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones face-off will help you choose between them.
Most definitely. Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones possess all the elements that have made the previous generations class leaders at the money, including that effortlessly musical sound. But this latest generation manages to deliver even greater clarity and a more open presentation. It’s actually quite a jump.
Besides noise-canceling, Sony has also gradually improved the call quality of its WH-1000 range over the years. And the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones deliver the best experience so far. They feature Sony’s Precise Voice Pickup technology, which uses four beamforming mics and AI-powered noise-reduction, plus wind-noise reduction to help your calls sound as clear as possible.
The combination of all these technologies means your voice comes through the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones clearly and without distortion. The Sonys do a great job of suppressing general noise and any gusts of wind that can threaten to drown you out when using lesser headphones.
One of my favorite legacy features of the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones, which has been carried over to the fifth generation, is the intuitive touch controls.
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For example, on headphones, you can swipe up (or swipe up and hold) to turn up the volume, and you can swipe your finger forward or backward to skip between tracks. can do. Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones also have a Quick Attention mode, where if you cover the right ear with your hand, they’ll mute your stuff, and let in ambient sound so you can hear an announcement or have a conversation.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones can even sense when you take them off and, when you do, pause your content. The previous generation could do this, and this function used to have a visual sensor in the ear cup, but now it is hidden.
In our opinion, the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones range always has the most incredible noise-canceling available. And in the latest version, it only got better. It really deserves praise.
With a more powerful noise-canceling processor and now eight built-in microphones, Sony says its noise-canceling capabilities are about 50 percent better than the previous generation. And we think it has improved.
There’s also an adaptive noise-canceling mode that optimizes the amount of cancellation based on the sounds around you, which we found to work really well.
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And we must say, now it seems challenging to travel without Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones while on a plane. They drown out an odd amount of aircraft noise while offering excellent high-resolution audio.
One Sony feature we are delighted to see return is the ability to pair the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones to two devices simultaneously. It can come in extremely handy if, say, you are listening to audio from a laptop but need to be connected to a mobile phone so you don’t miss any calls.
Having this ability can be a godsend and it works seamlessly enough, once you have enabled the feature in the Headphones app. Be aware, though, that you can’t use this feature and stream music wirelessly using LDAC at the same time; you need to pick one or the other.
Their battery life is also impeccable, which makes them great for travel. These have a crazy quick charge feature, where just 3 minutes of charging (with a compatible USB-C wall charger) can give you three hours of playback. And it really is amazing.
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And overall, when fully charged, the headphones deliver 30 hours of battery life. It’s certainly accurate, because for all the years we’ve used any version of the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones, and now M5s we rarely need to charge them, which is a world Very refreshing where you are always charging something.
Should you buy Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones?
In all honesty, we can still pack our M4s on the M5s when traveling light, but hands down, we can say, that these headphones are the most comfortable headphones we’ve ever used, given their seriousness. With cushioned foam ear cups. And the noise cancellation is top-notch. However, we wish they were still bent and hope that the rotation of the ear cups will be changed.
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We admit that we think they’re expensive for the average consumer, costing $548/- on Sony’s website, but we think they’re worth every cent as much as any Sony WH-1000XM wireless headphones model.
So if you’re loving the look of these, are satisfied with all of our review points, and have the cash, we can safely say they’re seriously awesome. This is a value-for-money product.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Release Date
The Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones and Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones are on sale later this month. Available for pre-order through Sony’s website (opens in a new tab), Amazon, and Best Buy. Other Retailers. For those living in Australia, the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones are available to pre-order directly from Sony.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Pros & Cons
- Light and comfortable.
- 30-hour battery life.
- More balanced, tighter sound.
- An app you’ll actually want to use.
- Even better active noise cancellation.
- Pairs with two devices at the same time.
- Quite pricey at launch.
- Don’t fold away completely.
- The design is very plasticky for $400.
- No major upgrades over 1000XM4.
- More expensive than the M4.
- Occasional audio issues on macOS.