Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones Review: New Design and Improved Sound Quality

Sony has stuck to the tradition with its latest flagship headphones in that it has amazing sound quality and noise canceling, but the name is absolutely sip. WH-1000XM5 Overear Noise Canceling Headphones(Opens in a new tab) It went on the market in May 2022 with an MSRP of $ 399.99, which is $ 50 more than its predecessor. Sony WH-1000XM4..

The new headphones have been redesigned and upgraded in sound and noise canceling, but if you already have the WH-1000XM4, nothing is irresistible to buy. However, it’s definitely an outstanding headphone for anyone looking to buy a new pair.

Sophisticated design update

The most striking difference between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and WH-1000XM4 headphones is the design. The new model is sophisticated and somewhat similar to Apple’s AirPods Max.(Opens in a new tab).. There is no cage around the earcups, but instead it is connected to the headpiece by an adjustable stem, which allows it to give some movement to the head.

It looks great, but with this sleek design, the headphones can’t be folded and stowed. The carrying case is comically tall, but thin enough to slip into the side of the bag. Instead of occupying most of the bag in the carrying case, I chose to travel with my headphones in my wallet and loose. Even if I take the headphones out of the case, I want to fold them up so that they don’t take up much space.

Headphones in a carrying case

The headphones aren’t foldable, so the carrying case is bigger than you think.
Credits: Molly Flores / Mashable

When it comes to comfort, the headphone earcups and bands are great and cushioned. I didn’t feel any unpleasant head or ear pressure.

Headphones look and feel great, but they are not waterproof or water resistant. This seems to be the norm at this time. Therefore, if you sweat when exercising, these are probably not the best pair of gym headphones.

Invincible sound quality

Woman wearing over-ear headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones have a comfortable fit and up to 30 hours of battery life.
Credits: Molly Flores / Mashable

I’m a person who likes to blow my music away, and the maximum volume of headphones never feels loud enough for me. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case with the 1000XM5 (the name needs to be shortened for everyone). The volume is loud enough even before reaching the maximum level.

The sound itself is also impressive — it’s perfect, clear and feels like surround sound. I’m a big fan of power ballads (choosing music at parties isn’t allowed) and Brandi Carlile’s “on timeSounded like it was intended to be heard on these headphones. All the vocals and instruments shined, and I felt like I was in the studio with headphones. These are probably the best sounding headphones I’ve ever tried.

Sony has added a microphone to this model. This means that voice calls will be clearer.It’s the dissatisfaction I had Other headphones I’ve tested in the past — Excellent call quality both indoors and outdoors. On my way home from the gym, I used the Sony WH-1000XM5s to call her mother, but her mother’s voice was completely heard and I could hear her mother’s voice without any problems. She put me on the speakerphone so I could talk to her and my brother, and again I heard clearly. When I got to the apartment, there was a very seamless transition from the outside to the inside.

Noise canceling that really blocks the sound

Headphones on an orange background

Comfortable ear cushions create a great seal for noise canceling.
Credits: Molly Flores / Mashable

I usually work from home, but when I tried the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, I found that they could withstand the noise of an office in addition to the noise of an apartment in New York City. They completely cut off all the sounds of the air conditioner and the usual offices that others are talking about, but also silenced the construction happening in the next building. In my apartment I was able to work without being distracted by the noisy neighbors next door or the forklifts from the business below. I was impressed with the 1000XM5 because I could hear the faint sounds of construction and power tools on the other noise canceling headphones I tried.

Sure, I had to play music to block out the noise. Simply wearing headphones without playing anything will muffle the external sound, but it will not completely block it. But it’s pretty standard for noise-cancelling headphones, so there’s no real complaint there.

I tried noise cancellation in a very noisy environment and saw how it was maintained. My friends and I went to happy hour, and the restaurant was absolutely blowing the music to the point where we had to scream just to talk to each other. So I tried headphones and I was able to hear the restaurant music at normal volume. This isn’t a typical environment and I didn’t expect the headphones to block out the loud noise of the restaurant, so I’m not going to knock them on for that. I just wanted to experiment.

Customizable controls

One of the things I really appreciate about these headphones is that they’re in a plastic-free package and Sony has reduced the amount of paper in the package. But this means I haven’t received any manuals or guides on how to use headphones. It’s not a big deal because I’ve used headphones before and it’s not too far from the norm, but at first I was a little confused by the controls.

If you have a WH-1000XM4, the M5 (short for its name) uses the same touch controls. I don’t own an M4, so I tapped the right earcup once, thinking of playing / pausing music. However, I found that double tapping controls this function. I didn’t make much adjustments. I had to play with my headphones to see which action controlled what.

Headphone button close-up

The headphones feature a power / Bluetooth button, ANC / ambient sound button, charging port, and headphone jack.
Credits: Molly Flores / Mashable

I love being able to swipe up to increase the volume. Sony headphones have a cool feature that allows you to place your palm on the right earcup and switch to ambient mode. This is great if you need to hear a brief announcement of the train, or if you need to hear your surroundings for a second.

I hate certified ambient mode because I think the white noise gets too loud, but I don’t care about Sony’s ambient sound as it can be customized within the headphone companion app. You can lower the sound level so that white noise does not hit your ears. You can also choose to focus on the audio while adjusting other background noise.

This app is also cool because you can customize the “service” which is a quick access function controlled by the noise canceling / ambient sound button of the headphones. I set it to open Spotify when I double-tap the button. If you want to play with the equalizer or set up 360 audio, there are many other customization options in the app.

How does the WH-1000XM5 compare to the WH-1000XM4?

There is none Huge There is a difference in sound quality, but it stands out when switching between the two headphones. The sound of the WH-1000XM5 headphones is louder and louder (yes, tested at the same volume level). The noise cancellation of the new headphones is also slightly better, but there is no special difference.

The M5 has a more sophisticated design, but the M4 is superior in terms of portability. You can fold them, and their carrying case is smaller than that of the new model. However, the M5 is more comfortable, does not put too much pressure on your ears or head, and has a cushion on the headband.

Need to upgrade to WH-1000XM5?

I was really impressed with the sound quality and noise cancellation of the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones.(Opens in a new tab).. As a person who listens to music primarily on AirPods Pro, Sony Headphones Noise Cancellation is a game changer. I noticed that I was reaching for these headphones via my AirPods and Sennheiser PXC550-II.

If you have older models of headphones and are considering an upgrade, you should use the Sony WH-1000XM5s. However, if you already have a WH-1000XM4, you can wait until the next Sony release.

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