A few days after the leak, the manufacturer has officially unveiled the Sony WH-1000XM5. The premium over-ear headphones feature enhanced active noise cancellation, 40 hours of battery life and the high-resolution LDAC codec.
Sony WH-1000XM5 in detail
Much was known about the successor to the Sony WH-1000XM4 (our review) in advance, and most of the leaks actually came true. For the now fifth generation, Sony relies on a new design with stronger curves and a revised headband. The ear cups of the Sony WH-1000XM5 can be turned inwards, but they are apparently no longer hinged.
While the predecessor was already the king of active noise cancellation, the ANC of the XM5 is said to have been improved once again. Especially higher frequencies are supposed to be filtered out even more effectively, including human voices. An auto-ANC optimizer also adjusts the level of noise cancellation to the environment.
Combined with the V1 processor, Sony’s HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 and special 30mm drivers, active noise cancellation is said to be further enhanced, while providing even better clarity of sound and bass reproduction.
Clear and neutral sound
So although the diameter of the drivers has shrunk by 10 mm compared to the predecessor, the acoustics in the Sony WH-1000XM5 are said to have improved even more. New materials are said to make high frequencies in particular sound even clearer, resulting in a more natural sound.
The XM5s also support the high-resolution Bluetooth codec LDAC, while digital music is upscaled and enhanced in real time thanks to DSEE Extreme. A personal, immersive sound experience can also be presented thanks to 360 Reality Audio certification.
Improvements have been made, especially to the microphones, for even better intelligibility during phone calls. Sony’s Voice Pickup technology picks up the voice with four beamforming microphones and, in conjunction with AI noise reduction, provides voice isolation, even in noisy environments.
Operating the Sony WH-1000XM5
The Sony WH-1000XM5s, like their predecessors, are operated by touch and swipe gestures on the touch-sensitive outside of the ear cups. A dedicated button on the outside can also be used to switch between ANC and Ambience modes.
Speak-to-Chat automatically pauses music playback when you talk with the headphones on, while Ambience mode is set for added security. When you end the conversation, the music continues.
There’s also wearable recognition with auto play/pause and multipoint connectivity. Voice control with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa is also possible. In terms of battery life, the XM5s are said to get 30 hours with ANC and 40 hours without ANC. Thanks to fast charging, 3 minutes on power is enough for 3 hours of music playback.
Price and Availability
The Sony WH-1000XM5 are still expected to make their way to stores by the end of May 2022 (according to Amazon on 5/20). They will be offered in the colors Platinum Silver and Black and that at an MSRP of 419 euros.