The Sony WH-1000XM5 want to go up another level in wireless headphones with ANC and they come with a completely redesigned headband design, improvements to audio, microphones, battery life, and noise cancellation.
Sony makes some of the best headphones on the market, especially their wireless models with ANC, as sales of the previous model, the 1000XM4, confirmed. Now the new generation arrives, well renovated as the leaked information said.
Sony WH-1000XM5: design, sound and ANC
Given the enormous popularity of the WH-1000 series, Sony had been reluctant to change headphone design for several generations. However, the entry of large competitors such as Apple has forced profound changes. And at first glance we like it. The overall look is sleeker and more modern, with a refined design that we’ve seen lately from Apple and Bose.
Sony has also made structural changes to the product in the form of a stem-style rotating and continuous slider. It is made of a plastic material (not metal) and its own design will not allow it to be folded for transport like the previous ones. Apart from that, the headphones also debut a new material in synthetic leather for the headband. These changes are intended to make the headphones more comfortable while also taking some pressure off the wearer’s ears. The controls, however, remain, touch on both earphones and a physical button for ANC.
Noise cancellation has become a must-have feature from the mid-range up and the Sony WH-1000XM5 promises to be one of the best in that section, with a second processor to handle mid-range and high-frequency noise, and four dedicated microphones from the eight available. This QN1 processor joins the main integrated V1 and will also allow the headphones to automatically optimize noise cancellation modes based on surroundings and ambient noise.
Sony has introduced a new 30mm driver inside each earphone. It may seem like a downgrade compared to the 40mm on the top model of the 1000XM4, but Sony says it’s a step up in “clarity of sound, natural tones and unrivaled enhanced bass reproduction”. As for the microphones, they use beamforming technology and AI noise reduction algorithms to improve voice clarity.
The company promises 30 hours of battery life with ANC enabled and 40 hours without it. They are charged via a USB-C port and will fully recharge in about three hours. The Sony WH-1000XM5 will be available for pre-sale starting May 20 for a official price of 399 dollars. The firm has raised the launch price of the Sony WH1000XM4 by $50, a superb model that you can still buy on sale, currently for 281 euros.