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Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Change comes at a price

Assessing what has been consecutively one of the best headphones on the market in terms of noise cancellation (ANC) and sound quality has been common here at 4gnews. and the new ones SonyWH-1000XM5 they are not an exception to the rule.

Released earlier this summer, Sony’s new high-end headphones bring a different design proposition to the market than their predecessors. Sony left comfort behind and changed the look of the new model. Will it be a winning bet? That is what I will try to explain to you in this analysis. SonyWH-1000XM5who came to Portugal to €449.90. They’re worth it?


Unboxing and first impressions

Taking these headphones out of the box, we immediately realize that Sony has taken a different approach with this model. It moves away from the 3rd and 4th generation models, and brings a design closer to the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700.

That’s when the first complaints begin. The storage box is larger than previous generations and that has an explanation: unlike previous models, these do not fold to take up less space in the box.

This means that when you travel, you will need more space in your suitcase to carry them. In addition, by placing them in headrest mode, they have the pillows face up, without the possibility of lowering them.


Aside from these details (which may be “biggest” for some), the good stuff arrives. It shows that it is a robust product, and that it will last even if you use it a lot. And by putting them on we forget about the complaints.

Sony WH-1000XM5 design and comfort

The design, as I said above, divides opinions. This is because it loses the portability of yesteryear. But when we get into the realm of comfort, there are plenty of good things to say. The adjustability is better for those with a larger head (like me), making them more comfortable.

This is also noticeable in the material of the ear pads, which are more comfortable. After using the previous generations (and continuing to use the WH-1000XM3 on a daily basis), I can tell you that the new model is more comfortable.


Sound quality of the Sony WH-1000XM5

While there may be criticism of some of the design changes in these headphones, it’s the audio that really counts. And there it can be said that the new Sony WH-1000XM5 are truly irreproachable.

You can count on a full-bodied sound, well populated with powerful bass as Sony has accustomed us. But there is still a good balance, with the presence of medium or low tones. And if the audio isn’t quite to your liking, Sony’s Headphones Connect app equalizer will definitely help make that happen.

Transparency mode and noise cancellation Sony WH-1000XM5

In this model you can count on excellent active noise cancellation. I had the opportunity to test them on two plane trips against my WH-1000XM3, and you can see the evolution.


Low frequencies are less and less noticeable, and that makes them the ideal headphones for those who want to disconnect from the world. For a plane ride or other public transportation, they are a real blessing.

The new V1 processor combined with no less than eight external microphones make all the difference. Even with a few people at home and the washing machine in the background, you’ll have peace of mind with these headphones on and the music at half volume. The best you will find on the market.

It should be noted that the transparency mode is getting closer to excellence. It has a less robotic feel and is ideal for listening to your surroundings without removing your headphones. And we can activate it by placing our hand on the right earphone.


Sony WH-1000XM5 Autonomy

The brand promises us 30 hours of battery life with noise cancellation activated, or 40 hours without it. I’ve always used it, and I can tell you that Sony’s numbers aren’t far off the mark.

It is an autonomy that gives you guarantees to last long trips, of more than one day. And after all, you can easily use them for almost a week without worrying about charging. And when it does, fast charging promises 3 hours of playback with just 3 minutes plugged in.

Sony WH-1000XM5 call quality

They turn out to be a good headset for making calls. This model shows evolution compared to its predecessors, with better microphones where the quality is noticeable on the other side. Even in the busiest places, you will have no problem being heard.


The main features of Sony WH-1000XM5

Like its predecessors, you will only find two buttons on this model. One is to turn the headphones on or off, but also to activate Bluetooth Pairing or to know the battery life. On the other hand, you can switch between noise cancellation or transparency mode.

The remaining controls are done, and well, with taps or swipes on the ear cups. There you can pause or restart the music, change tracks or simply turn the volume up or down. Note that you can activate the “speak to chat” feature, which activates the transparency mode with your voice.

Codecs and pairing

It should be noted that the Sony WH-1000XM5 has the best multipoint Bluetooth I have tested. You can connect them to two devices at the same time (eg computer and smartphone), and it always works perfectly that way.


It should be noted that in addition to the more colloquial SBC and ACC codecs, this product has the LDAC high-fidelity audio codec. In addition, it is good to note that you can connect them by cable, since they have a 3.5 mm jack input.

Conclusion on the Sony WH-1000XM5

It can be said that it is an improved version, in the most important, of its predecessors. Better audio, noise cancellation, transparency mode, call quality and comfort.

However, if you prefer the design of the predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is still a good option at the time of writing. They also have Bluetooth multipoint or LDAC, if that’s important to you, for a Lower price.


But if you can handle the new design of the new Sony WH-1000XM5, it’s probably the choice in your price range. €449.90 (at €382 at the time of writing). Wanting to spend a little less, his predecessors are still quite competent at the time of writing.

Strengths of Sony WH-1000XM5

  • Superior noise cancellation
  • The best sound quality on the market
  • Very fast multipoint Bluetooth
  • Battery for several days

Weaknesses of Sony WH-1000XM5

  • The inability to fold the headphones worsens portability
  • The price has increased considerably compared to the previous generation.



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