The WH-1000XM5 has plenty of bells and whistles, but Sony still gets the basics right. Despite some flaws, the WH-1000XM5 are ambitious headphones. These cans, for example, point to some features that have proven popular in other headphones, such as support for Find My Device via Android and Fast Pair.
Sony WH-1000XM5: Price
With the current market conditions, we have seen quite a few price increases throughout the industry. The Sony WH-1000XM5 hasn’t escaped a slight increase, coming in at £380 / $399 / AU$549.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 has undergone major design changes. Sony refers to the new look as a “quiet design”. The company has attempted to create a thinner, more seamless pair of earphones by reworking areas that can contribute to wind noise.
The cavity for its ears is also shaped slightly differently, a stubby ovoid rather than the oval of the WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4. Although we haven’t put them to the test, the slide-in extension points feel sturdier than previous designs, with fewer pressure points to break. A common complaint about well-used older models.
Firstly, the curvier design is intended to reduce wind resistance through the ear cups. Which may cause annoying distortion in noise canceling performance when you are out and about on a windy day.
A more streamlined design here should help reduce that effect. While we haven’t run into the path of a hurricane head-on, that statement held true on a blustery London day exploring Greenwich Park.
Also read: Sony WH-1000XM4: price, design and much more
Sony’s noise-canceling technology has consistently wowed us over the past few years, and the WH-1000XM5 claims to be the best in the business. After focusing on low-frequency noise cancellation in previous models. Sony has tried to improve noise cancellation beyond the frequency range in the XM5.
The XM5s are great at blocking out everything from traffic noise to trains, replacing it with a soothing blanket of silence. There is nothing better. ANC is joined by an ambient mode, which amplifies outside sound. Allowing you to hold conversations while wearing headphones or hear your surroundings when crossing the street.
There weren’t many areas where the Sony WH-1000XM5s could have outperformed their 1000XM4 predecessors, so many expected battery life to be one of them.
Sony claims a two-hour improvement over the WH-1000XM4 here, with 30 hours with noise cancellation on, matching the predecessor, and 40 hours with noise cancellation off.
When charged via the USB-C input on the right earcup, the XM5 takes 3.5 hours to charge from “no charge” to full charge and can retain an hour’s worth of power after about 10 minutes.
However, unlike the product it replaces, the XM5 does support USB-PD. When charged in this way, it can provide three hours of power in just three minutes.