Sony WH-1000XM5 Evaluate: Higher, Comfier, Pricier Wi-fi Headphones

We choose all headphones and earbuds on a scale of 10, analyzing the classes we expect are most essential: sound, consolation, design, battery efficiency, and, if relevant, particular options. This is how the Sony WH-1000XM5 wi-fi headphones stack up.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 wi-fi headphones are simply probably the most thrilling pair to debut this 12 months, bringing a recent tackle the very best Bluetooth cans within the enterprise. The brand new iteration has a completely revamped design, next-level audio efficiency and name high quality, higher noise cancellation, and a $400 price ticket that’s $50 greater than its predecessor’s.

Sony Sony WH-1000XM5 Wi-fi Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony Sony WH-1000XM5 Wi-fi Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony’s range-topping wi-fi headphones have been an trade benchmark since 2018’s legendary WH-1000XM3. The WH-1000XM4 sequel solidified the streak of excellence in 2020 with significant design and {hardware} upgrades, so I launched into testing the fifth era of the product with sky-high expectations. After every week of scrutinizing the Sony WH-1000XM5, here’s what I found concerning the headphones’ design and real-life efficiency.


Sound: 10/10
Consolation: 9/10
Design: 8/10
Battery Efficiency: 9/10
General Rating: 9/10


  • Implausible sound and noise cancellation
  • Extra dependable for calls than previous iterations
  • Lengthy battery life and quick charging

SOUND 10/10

Given their sticker and Sony’s lengthy historical past of constructing nice headphones, I anticipated unbelievable sound from the WH-1000XM5. Fortunately the cans delivered it in spades, producing a lavishly detailed and harmonious sonic expertise with vibrant treble, supremely balanced mid-range, and deep bass out of the field.

Sony outfitted its newest flagship headphones with 30-millimeter audio drivers, which, imagine it or not, are smaller than the 40-millimeter items of the WH-1000XM4. Designed for uncompromising constancy in greater frequencies, the brand new audio drivers produce a extra pure sound that discerning audiophiles will immediately like.

sony wh 1000xm5 and sony wh 1000xm4 headphones

Sony WH 1000XM4 (left) and Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones (proper)

Stefan Vazharov

I put the cans’ audio {hardware} to the take a look at by streaming a Hello-Res Audio recording of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto by Vladimir Horowitz — one of many biggest pianists of all time — on Qobuz. The true-to-life sound presentation of the WH-1000XM5 made me really feel like I used to be a part of the viewers within the iconic Lincoln Heart live performance corridor.

When you’re questioning why bigger audio drivers don’t assure higher sound, that’s often the case for headphones no matter their kind issue. The supplies used within the elements’ making, mixed with tuning and extra audio processing tech, are additionally essential. For instance, the Sony WF-1000XM4 wi-fi earbuds have best-in-class sound high quality regardless of rocking smaller drivers than many rivals.

You possibly can customise the sound by way of the headphones’ companion app. And in case you are a full- or part-time bass head like I’m, there’s a separate setting for tuning their low vary.

The noise cancellation of the WH-1000XM5 is arms down the very best I’ve skilled from a pair of headphones but. Because of a brand new processor and eight onboard microphones, the headphones immersed me in full silence whereas testing them. Their capacity to stamp out ambient noise is a step above the earlier era’s confirmed excellence and higher than the stellar noise cancellation of big-name, high-priced rivals just like the AirPods Max and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

Whereas testing the most recent Sony cans, I lucked out by having an much more difficult state of affairs than suppressing the unending visitors din from the busy Manhattan road beneath my front room. Over 3 days, a crew made constructing roof repairs, leading to extra noise proper above my fourth-floor condo. The WH-1000XM5 expertly eliminated all of the hubbub, permitting me to give attention to music and work.

You don’t must fiddle with app settings to attain optimum noise cancellation both. A characteristic dubbed adaptive sound management can seamlessly alter the expertise primarily based in your location utilization habits.

The decision high quality of the most recent Sony headphones is as distinctive as their noise cancellation, courtesy of 4 microphones. Contributors in telephone calls and digital work classes heard me nicely each time I examined them out. Bluetooth 5.2 — probably the most futureproof wi-fi connectivity — allowed WF-1000XM5 to hyperlink flawlessly with a Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely and a Sony Xperia 5 III throughout my testing.


Remarkably, the WF-1000XM5 is even comfier than the superb product that precedes it, although it weighs about the identical. I spent total workdays with the cans with out feeling any fatigue.

Sony pulled the above feat by treating its new headphones to cushier ear pads and a redesigned, noticeably thinner, and extra versatile headband. The last-mentioned bit is commonly a weak ergonomic spot for wired and wi-fi headphones, inflicting discomfort by urgent towards the person’s head.

sony wh1000xm5 wireless noise canceling headphones on headphone stand

Stefan Vazharov

person wearing sony wh1000xm5 headphones


A standout characteristic is Converse-to-Chat, the super-convenient performance that lets you pause playback and activate ambient sound mode upon detecting your voice, so that you received’t must take away the cans for fast dwelling and workplace conversations. Plus, whenever you take your headphones off, put on sensors mechanically cease the playback at your service.

The suitable ear cup’s touch-sensitive quantity and playback controls are passable however (once more) not as handy as tactile buttons. You possibly can disable the pane to forestall pointless interactions by way of the companion app.

DESIGN: 8/10

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones have a extra minimalist design than the earlier product generations, headlined by the slimmer headband I already talked about and back-facing vents. The 2 headsets that precede Sony’s newest have vents with contrasting copper accents on their ear cups. The tech big opted for extra delicate branding with the identical shade end this time round.

sony wh 1000xm5 wireless noise canceling headphones

Stefan Vazharov

The headphones have a strong construct and good tactility, however I anticipated extra given their $400 price ticket. Equally priced cans just like the Bowers & Wilkins PX7, the AirPods Max, and the V-Moda M200 ANC have fancier high quality with steel, cloth, and carbon fiber elements. Such supplies carry extra sense of event whenever you work together with them.

I just like the redesigned storage case that includes a barely greater footprint however a slimmer profile and collapsible design with characterful accents. My favourite half is the cable inside compartment with a canopy, which is a useful bit that was lacking in previous merchandise.


The 30-hour most battery lifetime of the Sony WH-1000XM5 has remained the identical as its predecessor’s and continues to be as wonderful as ever. Excessive-profile rivals just like the AirPods Max and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 can solely ship 20 hours’ value of tunes between costs.

sony wh1000xm5 wireless noise canceling headphones with cables

Stefan Vazharov

I tip my hat to Sony for making the headphones’ charging course of even sooner this time round. Relying in your charging adapter, you possibly can rise up to three hours of playback after simply 3 minutes of charging.


Sony’s WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth headphones are the brand new gold commonplace in an insanely aggressive product class. Their improved noise cancellation and name high quality justify urgent the “purchase” button alone.

The improved acoustic proficiency can be thrilling should you’re obsessive about audio constancy as a lot as I’m. That stated, you received’t discover the audio high quality bump until you are at all times listening to lossless content material. When you not too long ago invested in a pair of WH-1000XM4 and name high quality just isn’t a precedence for you, there’s in all probability no have to rush upgrading.

You possibly can order the WH-1000XM5 in black or silver with an identical case. Sony will proceed providing the WH-1000XM4 headphones for $50 much less and sometimes at an extra low cost.

Store Sony WH-1000XM5

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Senior Expertise Editor

Stefan is the senior expertise editor for , the place he’s been overlaying the tech trade and testing the most recent devices since 2015. He has greater than a decade of expertise overlaying client tech merchandise, particularly smartphones, tablets, laptops, and audio gear. He was beforehand the US editor for ; his work may also be discovered on Widespread Mechanics and different Hearst publications.Within the uncommon moments when he’s not taking part in with a brand new gadget, Stefan likes to look at reside Premier League video games or hang around along with his cat and rabbit. He’s additionally an espresso snob.