Sony introduced its latest flagship noise-cancelling headphones, the WH-1000XM5, which comes as no surprise considering previous leaks. They will be available for $399.99—an increased price over the $284 predecessor WH-1000XM4s—on May 20th.
With the addition of a second processor to the new headphones, Sony claims to have taken its already outstanding active noise cancellation to new heights. According to the company’s news statement, the enhancements are particularly noticeable in “mid-to high-frequency noise.” This includes things like regular city street noise and human voices.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 features a distinct design from its previous predecessors. Sony has gone for a cleaner aesthetic, using a stem-style slider and relocating the microphones (there are eight of them now) around the ear cups’ perimeter. The 1000XM5s also have a new type of synthetic leather on the headband, which is somewhat thinner than on previous models. However, the controls remain the same. You can still control audio using touch and swipe motions, and there’s a physical button to toggle between ANC and ambient modes.
Internal components of the headphones have also been altered. Sony has replaced the 1000XM4s’ 40-mm drivers with new 30-mm drivers that, according to Sony, sound more natural and “improve sound clarity and bass reproduction.” One of the 1000XM4s’ flaws was fuzzy bass, which Sony appears to have addressed with the updated model.
Sony also emphasises the improved voice call quality achieved by four beamforming microphones and AI noise reduction techniques. All of Sony’s distinctive features, such as LDAC, DSEE Extreme upscaling, 360 Reality Audio, Speak to Chat, and so on, have gained a foothold in the 1000XM5s.
Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity with multipoint connection, Google Fast Pair and Windows Swift Pair compatibility, ambient noise mode, gesture control, wear recognition for play/pause, and Google Assistant/Alexa support are among the other features.
The WH-1000XM5 has a rated battery life of 30 hours with ANC turned on and 40 hours with ANC turned off. The headphones are charged using a USB-C port.
Update: The WH-1000XM5s are now available to purchase on Amazon.