Sony WH-1000XM5 Review

Sony WH-1000XM5 Review

With its latest WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones, Sony has managed to up the ante yet again. Despite a slight shift in design, the sound quality leap is undeniable. If you're on the hunt for wireless noise-canceling headphones that deliver both style and substance, look no further than the Sony WH-1000XM5—they're in a league of their own.

Pros Cons
Outstanding noise cancellation Less portable
Exceptional audio performance Lack of water resistance
Easy to use Higher price than older models



The Sony WH-1000XM5 underwent a substantial redesign, coined as a "noiseless design," aiming to refine the headphones for a sleeker appearance and minimized wind noise. This revamp resulted in smoother contours and fewer sharp edges, eliminating several joints and hinges present in the XM4 model's earcups.

Consequently, the XM5 headphones fold flat, akin to the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, albeit lacking further compact folding. While this design change may disappoint those accustomed to compact folding, it necessitates using the provided carry case for protection, as the headphones may feel more susceptible to damage.

The WH-1000XM5 presents a noticeable departure in aesthetics, feeling lighter and featuring a different tactile experience compared to its predecessors. Despite a slightly less premium feel, the headphones maintain comfort with memory foam padding and synthetic leather covering.

Internally, the XM5 introduces a significant component upgrade—a new 30mm carbon fiber composite dome driver, designed for lightweight and rigid performance, promising enhanced audio quality compared to the WH-1000XM4.



Compared to its predecessor, the WH-1000XM4, which debuted in August 2020 at £350, the latest iteration commands a slightly higher price tag. Similar models such as the Bose 700 Bose QuietComfort 45, and Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless also fall within this price range, although they have been on the market for longer and may offer discounts through select retailers.



Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones are the epitome of cutting-edge technology and intelligent design. With a focus on noise cancellation, these headphones deliver a peaceful listening experience by effectively eliminating both low-frequency hums and higher-pitched noises. The new 30mm driver design ensures superior sound quality, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in your favorite music or podcasts without any distractions.

Beyond noise cancellation, the WH-1000XM5 headphones come packed with smart features that enhance convenience and usability. From location awareness that adjusts noise cancellation levels based on your surroundings to speak-to-chat functionality that pauses playback when you start talking, these headphones anticipate your needs and seamlessly adapt to your lifestyle. Plus, the intuitive companion app offers extensive customization options, allowing you to fine-tune your listening experience to perfection.

Overall, the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are more than just a pair of headphones—with their combination of superior sound quality, advanced noise cancellation, and smart features, they set a new standard for what headphones can offer in terms of both performance and convenience.

Battery Life


The battery life of the WH-1000XM5 headphones remains impressive, offering up to 30 hours of usage with both Bluetooth and noise-cancelling functions activated. Turning off noise cancellation extends this to an impressive 40 hours—a two-hour improvement over its predecessor, the XM4. Additionally, a quick ten-minute charge provides five hours of playback, while using a USB PD charger (sold separately) can yield an impressive three hours of usage in just three minutes.

Audio Quality


Moving from the 40mm driver in the WH-1000XM4 headphones to the new 30mm driver in the WH-1000XM5 made some people wonder if the sound would change. But it's all good. The XM5s still sound great. They have a wide soundstage that lets you hear all the parts of a song clearly. Sony uses LDAC codec and DSEE Extreme to make the sound even better, even when you're streaming music over Bluetooth.

The WH-1000XM5s capture the nuances of vocals and instruments, offering a rich and detailed listening experience. With minimal sound leakage, you can enjoy your music fully without disturbing others. These headphones uphold Sony's legacy of delivering exceptional sound quality.

Should I Buy the Sony WH-1000XM5?

For top-tier active noise cancellation and audio performance, choose the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones. Though they don't bring groundbreaking changes, they remain the market leaders, albeit at a slightly higher price than their predecessors.

For those who value smart, AI-driven features, the WH-1000XM5 headphones offer seamless functionality. From automatically pausing playback when removed from your ears to adapting to your surroundings, these headphones anticipate your needs with precision and speed.

Furthermore, if efficiency, health, and sustainability are priorities for you, these headphones excel in those areas too. With rapid charging capabilities and an app that promotes ear health awareness, they prioritize your well-being. Additionally, their design and packaging demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability, making them an ideal choice for eco-conscious consumers.

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