Meet the Sony WH-1000XM5: the follow-up to the best headphones in the world

Meet the Sony WH-1000XM5: the follow-up to the best headphones in the world

Trending 4 months ago 33
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Audio Visual
The noise-cancelling Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones
(Image credit: Future)

After weeks of speculation, Sony has yet lifted the lid connected its latest brace of flagship over-ear headphones. The Sony WH-1000XM5 prime up wherever the fantabulous WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones near off, with the institution making improvements to the progressive sound cancellation, design, and artillery life.

The caller headphones volition commencement shipping connected May 20, and volition acceptable you backmost $399 / £380 / AU$650. That’s a small pricier than their predecessors, which outgo $349.99 / £349 / AU$549 erstwhile they launched successful 2020 - but from the looks of things, Sony has made capable improvements to its class-leading headphones to warrant that terms hike. 

In the past, Sony hasn’t fixed its flagship scope of wireless headphones monolithic plan overhauls - but the WH-1000XM5 look rather antithetic from their predecessors. They’re overmuch much streamlined, the headband is adjusted via seamless sliders, and the earcups and the points of articulation wherever the earcups conscionable the headband are little clunky. They’re inactive generously padded, truthful they should consciousness comfy each time long.

Smart features

Aside from the plan changes, Sony seems to person fixed a large absorption to the progressive sound cancellation technology, with 2 processors controlling 8 microphones to trim the mid-high frequence dependable successful your environment. This works successful tandem with an Auto NC Optimizer, which adjusts the level of sound cancellation depending connected your determination - truthful you should beryllium capable to perceive your euphony successful comparative bid whether you’re successful a quiescent cafe oregon a engaged train.

As for the sound? Sony claims the WH-1000XM5 are “setting a full caller modular for precocious prime audio”. Inside the headphones are 30mm operator units, with a airy and rigid dome made from a c fibre composite material. Apparently, this improves the precocious frequence sensitivity for a much earthy sound. 

The noise-cancelling Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones

(Image credit: Future)

It’s astonishing that the drivers are really smaller than the 40mm drivers wrong the Sony WH-1000XM4 - possibly Sony has recovered a mode to replicate the almighty dependable of larger drivers that tin displace tons of aerial wrong a smaller package. That would astatine slightest partially explicate the new, sleeker look for the XM5 - but that’s not the lone crushed why. 

The streamlined plan of the XM5 seemingly has a manus successful improving the sound cancellation and telephone quality, by allowing gusts of upwind to smoothly walk implicit the earcups. This means you should perceive little upwind portion listening to music, and your dependable should dependable clearer connected calls, with the second being helped additionally by beamforming microphones and an AI sound simplification operation that tin isolate your voice.

Hi-res audio and upscaling

Hi-res audio enactment comes via Sony’s LDAC codec, portion the company's DSEE Extreme upscaling exertion allows little prime euphony files to beryllium “restored to precocious scope sound” successful existent time. We’ve ne'er been 100% convinced that you tin genuinely upscale debased prime sources successful this way, but we ne'er had immoderate issues with the mode the Sony WH-1000XM4 sounded, which besides utilized this technology. Like their predecessors, the XM5 enactment 360 Reality Audio, truthful you tin acquisition virtual situation dependable if you person a compatible device.

In fact, determination are rather a fewer features carried implicit from the Sony WH-1000XM4. You’re inactive getting Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-To-Chat, multipoint pairing, Google Fast Pair, Quick Access for accelerated Spotify playback, and integration with the Sony Headphones Connect app. Saying that, determination is 1 nifty caller diagnostic for 2022: you tin present summon your device’s adjunct utilizing their aftermath words (‘Hey Google’ oregon ‘Alexa’, for instance). 

The artillery beingness has besides seen a (minor) upgrade. While you’ll get the aforesaid magnitude of playback clip erstwhile utilizing ANC arsenic you did with the WH-1000XM4 (30 hours), you’ll get 40 hours of artillery if you crook this diagnostic off. That’s an summation of 2 hours compared to the erstwhile exemplary - and portion that mightiness not dependable similar much, an betterment to an already-decent fig is ever welcome. 

We've been playing with the headphones for a fewer days now, truthful our afloat verdict, cheque retired our Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones review.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia is TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based successful TechRadar's London offices, she's a fashionable euphony postgraduate who worked successful the euphony manufacture earlier uncovering her calling successful journalism. She's antecedently been interviewed connected BBC Radio 5 Live connected the taxable of multi-room audio, chaired sheet discussions connected diverseness successful euphony festival lineups, and her bylines see T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine.  In her spare clip Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her feline Ethel and aureate retriever Dora.