It’s not a secret that Sony produces the majority of the finest headphones available in the present The WH-1000 series is now the benchmark to use for headphones that are over-ear for ANC. It’s been five generations in the WH-1000 series, and sporting a new design and styling and a new design, the Sony WH-1000XM5 does looks like a huge improvement from the 2020’s model WH1000XM4..

The appearance aside The XM5 aren’t any improvement over the XM4 although there wasn’t a lot missing from the XM4 that Sony can fix in the upcoming release. The WH-1000XM5 isn’t an important upgrade over the XM4 however they’re excellent headphones. They’re my top choices for traveling.

The WH-1000XM5 aren’t attractive, but they’re a significant shift for Sony. Four generations ago, headphones seemed to be the same and had a similar design, the XM5 made a change with a modern and sleek style. 

The headband and arms that connect to the ears are smaller and more rounded than earlier models. Additionally, the headphones don’t fold for storage or travel, instead , they sit on their own in their cases. In the end, it’s a compromise in terms of design. The XM5 are a bit less suitable in terms of travelling than XM4 were. The larger size does not take up this much space inside a bag as the XM4s did.

The XM5’s earcups are made of a very pleasing matte plastic, available in silver or black (it’s more of lighter gray) and faux leather padding in the cups as well as across all of the headband. It’s an elegant and low-key design however the headbands of the XM5 are extremely contemporary and stylish compared to previous models.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are quite comfortable. The faux leather padding feels plush and soft and the headphones weigh light enough to weigh just under nine pounds. 

However, every time I noticed that the headband was sitting on upper part of my head, in a manner I haven’t experienced in other headphones. This could result in some discomfort. But it’s not painfuland the fix is straightforward it’s just a matter of having to adjust the band little. You may still be tempted to fiddle on the XM5 to maintain a comfortable shape.

There’s no water resistance rating in this model, which isn’t ideal considering the price. These aren’t headphones that you’d take for exercise however it’s nice to be able to rest assured that rain or sweat showers will not ruin your headphones for $400. When you’re using them for everyday the issue shouldn’t be a problem however it’s a strange error that I’m hoping Sony can fix with the new version.

The XM5’s case is as smooth as the headphones, with a tough, comfortable fabric and plenty of interesting angles and lines which don’t have any purpose other than looking stylish. 

Since the WH1000XM5 headphones don’t fold down as the other models did The case is slightly bigger. If you frequently travel and are really interested in optimizing space, this case might be a problem in your back.

Yet, I was able to squeeze the XM5 inside a packed carry-on with no problem. Inside, there’s an electronic door that conceals a compartment which includes the USB-A to USB-C cable as well as a 3.5-millimeter accessory cable.

Audio quality and ANC

There are several versions of the series of headphones that are renowned for their audio quality and ANC, Sony WH-1000XM5 has excellent sound and a top-quality noise cancellation. Even with LDAC off (more about it in a minute) the XM5 has a crisp and precise, especially in the mid and high frequencies.

I was hoping for a bit more low-end power but. From the beginning bass and sub-bass doesn’t offer the deep, bouncy sound that you’d expect from headphones like those. Sony’s Headphones Connect app has the five-band EQ and an additional slider that is that’s called Clear Bass. 

Adjusting the slider’s last setting to about +6 (out of a maximum +10) can get the sound just the way I like it however, if you’re looking for a rumbling, serious bass, cinema-style it won’t be quite the experience you want in this case.

If you’re looking to squeeze the highest quality sound from Sony WH-1000XM5, you’re in luck. Sony WH-1000XM5, they can be used with the LDAC codec from Sony However, there are a few caveats. First, you have to turn off Bluetooth multipoint within the Headphones Connect app in order for LDAC to function.

Additionally there are a few music services that provides streaming in a high-quality that is able to take advantage of the higher bitrate of LDAC’s. Qobuz along with Amazon Music are among the few that do, whereas Spotify as well as YouTube Music do not. LDAC also requires an additional batteries compared to SBC and AAC.

 I’m not a great listener and can’t discern the subtleties between various codescs, and I’m more a fan of Spotify and AAC, so I’ve not gotten much out of LDAC. ANC on the Sony WH-1000XM5. However, it is a great. It can handle the typical sounds like low hums aircraft cabin noise, all that kind of thing as well, or even better than other headphones in the market and more complex sounds such as background music or conversations are effectively muffled. 

The headphones don’t completely eliminate background noise but when you turn ANC enabled, you’ll be able to hear my music quite well at a moderate volume using gas-powered leaf blowers. That’s wild.

ANC is present in XM5 is powered with the same integrated processor V1 Sony that is in the WH-1000XM4 however, this time there are two processors working together. It’s not double effective ANC over the previous generation and the noise cancelling is excellent.

during my time with my time with XM5.

The quality of the call is robust, as well. While listening to recordings made using the WH-1000XM5, my voice is clear and clear, with a muted background. I’ve used headphones for a variety of video calls and meetings and haven’t had any complaints that my voice is unclear or distant.


Sony did not skimp in bells or whistles when they designed the WH-1000XM5. It has Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, even when in the absence of LDAC (which is fast becoming a necessity in premium consumer audio gear). They also have Fast Pair as well as hands-free accessibility for Google Assistant and Alexa.

It is possible to switch from ANC or transparency settings by one quick push of the NC/AMB buttons on the left ear cup or, if you want to hear something fast you can place your finger on the earphone’s touch-sensitive right cup. This will lower the volume of your media and activate transparency in the event that you keep your hands there. I am awestruck by this feature. it’s easy to use, performs well and is much less awkward than removing an earpiece off your face when you want to hear an announcement on the flight.

Sony’s Speak-to-Chat feature will pause the music and turns transparent when headphones notice that you’re speaking. It’s pretty good however, in my experience it could take just a few seconds of speaking before it kicks in and, in general, it feels uncomfortable to operate.

I’d rather turn the headphones off when I have to speak to someone for a long time or, in the event of a need I’ll place my hand over the right earpiece to extend the conversation. Speak-to Chat is an option and is disabled by default, which means it’s not a problem when you don’t need to use it.

It’s a good thing that the Headphones Connect app offers an Adaptive Sound Control feature that examines your behavior and adjusts the ANC/transparency settings according to aspects like time of day , and the location you are. Moving between both modes manually takes just one click of a button. the concept of automating the process is a bit nebulous however this is an optional feature which doesn’t get in the way if you do not choose to utilize it.

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