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Sony’s Noise Canceling WH-1000XM5 Headphones Have Arrived and Bose Needs to Worry

Building on the foundation of the very popular WH-1000XM4, the new Sony WH-1000XM5 arrive with some physical and performance enhancements for $399.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Silver Lifestyle

Summer is rapidly approaching and so are airline trips with the kids to see family in Florida and Canada; which makes it the perfect time for new wireless ANC headphones from Sony. Sony, Apple, and Bose have dominated the category for years and we think the new Sony WH-1000XM5 might be a big problem for Bose and Apple. A really big problem.

Sony WH-1000XM4 vs. WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony WH-1000XM4 (left) vs. Sony WH-1000XM5 (right)

The previous WH-1000XM4 were excellent wireless headphones and Sony took a big piece of the market with them; Apple still trails the Sony in the sound quality department and the new Sony WH-1000XM5 have us thinking that gap is about to widen.

The following is an overview of what to expect. 

Improved Noise Canceling 

The WH-1000XM4 already provides excellent noise reduction, but Sony isn’t resting on that success. The WH-1000XM5 ups the ante over the XM4 with two processors controlling eight microphones that further reduce mid- to high-frequency noise and automatically optimize noise cancelation depending on the environment. 

The processors also take into account other factors, such as head size, whether the listener is wearing glasses or if hair is covering their ears. Sony’s Integrated Processor V1, combined with a QN1 HD noise-canceling processor (carried over from the XM4) and 30mm driver improves sound clarity and bass reproduction. Sony claims that the WH-1000XM5 can support an immersive listening experience even in a noisy environment.

Physical Design

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Silver Angle
Sony WH-1000XM5 in silver (also available in black)

Sony’s physical design for the WH-1000XM5 has changed from the XM4. Instead of a 40mm driver, the XM5 has a smaller 30mm driver (mentioned in the previous section) that has a light and rigid dome that uses carbon fiber composite material that improves high-frequency sensitivity for more natural sound. Other construction materials include premium lead-free gold solder excellent connectivity and optimized circuitry that ensures users are experiencing clear, consistent sound.

Hi-Res Audio and More

Similar to the XM4, the XM5 supports High-Resolution Audio via wired or wireless connection via LDAC. All digital music files are upscaled in real-time using the DSEE Extreme technology. 

Sony 360 Reality Audio is also supported for an immersive listening experience.  If you are looking for 360 Reality music sources, nugs.net and PeerTracks have recently released 360 Reality Audio mixed music videos.

Using the Sony Spatial Sound Personalizer App (Android/iOS), you can optimize your TV listening experience with the WH-1000XM5 (this requires a WLA-NS7 transmitter connected between the headphones and a compatible Sony Bravia TV). 

Tip: Dolby Atmos headphone listening is also supported.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Black on Desktop

Phone Calling 

In addition to great music listening, phone call improvements have also been made to the XM5 over the XM4. The Precise Voice Pickup technology in the XM5 uses four beamforming microphones and an AI-based noise reduction structure to isolate the user’s voice, while a newly developed wind noise reduction structure minimizes wind noise during calls.

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Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Silver Calling

Comfort

One of the problems with headphones is that after a period of time, they become uncomfortable which can be a major distraction when listening to music, making a phone call, or participating in online meetings. 

Refining the design of the WH-1000XM4, the WH-1000XM5 introduces features a new design that includes a newly developed soft fit, synthetic leather with a stepless slider. The synthetic leather fits snuggly around the head taking pressure off the users’ ears and blocking out external noise.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Black Lifestyle

Control

The WH-1000XM5 incorporates Adaptive Sound Control. This automatically tailors sound to suit a specific situation, recognizing most frequented locations and adjusting the ambient sound settings accordingly.

Additionally, the WH-1000XM5 headphones integrate With Quick Access. This allows users to configure the headphones to resume Spotify music playback with two or three taps – no need to touch their smartphone.

Sony also helps users to listen to their music safely with the Sony Headphones Connect app, comparing sound pressure data recorded by their headphones with the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO). Through the app, you can receive notifications when listening levels are too high.

The Speak-to-Chat feature allows users to stop for a quick conversation and their headphones will automatically stop the music and let in ambient sound. Once the chat is over, the music plays on. With the help of instant pause, their personal soundtrack will stop playing as soon as they take the headphones off.

Tip: The WH-1000XM5 also has Google Assistant and Alexa built-in. To activate, just say “OK Google” or “Alexa” and you are set to go. Siri control is also available through compatible iOS devices. 

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Fold Flat Silver in Travel Case

Easy Pairing

WH-1000XM5 headphones use multipoint connection with Bluetooth® technology. This simplifies the pairing process with two devices at the same time. When receiving a call, these headphones know which device it’s coming from and instantly connect the consumer to the right one. Users can also quickly switch between devices via a quick touch of a button.

Google Fast Pair: This makes it easy to pair with Android devices as well as makes it easy to locate where you set down your headphones. 

Swift Pair: This feature supports easy WH-1000XM5 pairing Windows 10 or 11 laptops, desktop PCs, and tablets.

Power and Portability

The WH-1000XM5 supports up to 30 hours of battery life. In addition, when using USB Power Delivery, three minutes of charge can provide up to three hours of use.

The WH-1000XM5 headphones come with a collapsible travel carrying case that has room for the headphones, a 3.5mm audio cable, and a USB charging cable.

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Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Black Travel Kit

Sony+Khalid

To promote the launch of the WH-1000XM5 headphone, Sony has partnered with global superstar and Sony Music Entertainment artist, Khalid on storytelling around how WH-1000XM5 headphones provide premium listening for music.

“As an artist and music fan, quality listening is important to me and Sony’s new WH-1000XM5 headphones deliver quality music experiences in a big way,” says Khalid. “The noise-canceling really makes you feel closer to the music and hear all the details in a song, transporting you to a different world which is how I love to experience music.” 

Environmental Impact

There is no plastic in the WH-1000XM5 headphones packaging. The product box is made with recycled and sustainable materials. The WH-1000XM5 headphones also use recycled plastic materials from automobile parts.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones Black Front

Pricing & Availability

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are available in black and silver for $399.99 or less and are available for pre-order at Sony.com, Amazon, and Best Buy beginning May 20, 2022.

International pre-ordering is also available from: Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk

Tip: The Sony WH-1000XM4 remains available for $349.99 or lower price, also at Sony, Amazon, and Best Buy as well as internationally at Amazon.ca

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Silver with Suitcase
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Darwin

    May 14, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    This reads like an ad not a review.
    Pretty much everyone says the AirPods sound better than the XM4s by a wide margin. I certainly do since I thought the 4s sounded awful.

    • Ian White

      May 14, 2022 at 2:49 pm

      Darwin,

      It’s a news article not a review. Our sample is forthcoming.

      I’ve never met a single reader who thinks the AirPods sound better than the XM4s. Not one.

      Best,
      Ian White

  2. ORT

    May 14, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Yup. This is fAd Copy but as stated else where, this ain’t a review and I trust the writers here to do more than what I call a “freeview” when they do get a pair of these beauties. Leave the “freeviews” to the typists (and believe me, their kind are legion on the interwebs), I know the difference when I read it. I have no need to kiss ass, I trust the folk here and at least one other site to be honest and would not say so were it not true.

    Now then…

    Other than Sony paying some idiot (con)artist to be their sellebrity, these appear nice enough and unless Sony tries to farce that sellebrity connection down my throat, I may get a pair to test out and either buy them and give them away to a family member or return them.

    I own QC45s and that is after purchasing and using the Sony XM4s and two different Sennheister models. The Bose were simply better and so I kept them. I also gave some Bose ‘phones to my brother and his wife and just sent his wife a nice pair of Bose sunglasses.

    I may give these new Sonys a look but in all honesty, I am happy with I have. But as I said, that does not mean I will not look into them and should I buy a pair I will test them out and either return them if I find they wanting or give them to a relative.

    And I do not give junque to my family. I may ask them to try some thing inexpensive out but I also do that my self. Sony makes some good equipment. I would imagine these are very nice.

    Sad that Sony finds it necessary to hire an idiot as their spokeswoke. Yeah… The way of this world is pathetic now and companies will do what ever they feeeeel is needed to be competitive. I NEVER buy any thing because a sellebrity “endorsed” it. And if I am disgusted by a spokeswoke? I eschew (the kiddies will have to ask a “boomer” what that word means, LOL!) said company for as long as I deem necessary.

    Monetarily speaking, any one is a target for these ‘phones because a great many folk buy what they feel makes them look cool/hip/woke/fill-in-the-blank. 🙂

    Humans have always been human. 😉

    ORT

  3. ORT

    May 14, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    I just read that these have “touch” controls. No thank you! Those things sucked on the XM1000XM4s and both of the Sennheiser models I bought and tested. Vague does not begin to describe them and on a headphone that has more than enough room, buttons are preferable. To me.

    ORT

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