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Sony WH-1000XM5 Review

Today, we’re writing our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review to discuss everything about the WH-1000XM5. The product is Sony’s latest release sporting the ANC feature, making it a product worth checking out. 

It’s an upgrade to Sony’s flagship device with a complete redesign to suit everyone’s needs. The WH-1000XM5 is one of the best ANC headphones available, and we spent some time with the product. So here in our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review, we’ll gladly share what we learned about the product’s performance, features, etc. 

Sony WH-1000XM5 Packaging

Our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review starts with the product’s packaging and its contents. The package has a minimalist design, and you won’t find much on it. Sony kept everything clean and pleasing to the eyes, which we appreciate greatly.  

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There are images of the product on the front and rear. Additionally, you’ll find the company and model’s name on the container. It’s interesting to note that the container of the WH-1000XM5 uses recycled materials. 

Inside, you’ll find the headphones in a carrying case, a connection cable, and a USB cable. 

Sony WH-1000XM5 Review – Design and Functionality

The design changes on the WH-1000XM5 are essential, and Sony calls the new style a “noiseless design”. The company attempted to produce a thinner and more seamless pair of headphones. It did this by reworking areas that can provide wind noise. 

The outcome is a product with sweeping, smooth lines and less aggressive corners. The hinges and joints of the headphones experienced an upgrade as well. Doing so allows the product’s earcups to fold smoothly and perfectly away. 

We had to try if it would fold flat to share this information in our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review. And yes, it perfectly folds flat, but it can’t get any smaller than that. 

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Since you can’t fold it into a more compact form, you’ll have to keep it in its carry case. Store the headphones in there if you won’t use them to keep them safe and less vulnerable to damage. 

We love the plastic used for the product since it has a premium feel. It’s made primarily from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – a material utilised on the company’s LinkBuds wireless earbuds. 

Now, its headband uses ABS sliders instead of metal bands. These are great for easier adjustments. Keep in mind that its slides protrude slightly at the bottom, but it isn’t much of an issue. 

The Comfort of the Sony WH-1000XM5 

While writing our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review, we noticed the abundance of memory foam. These were on the faux leather-wrapped earcups and top band to add more comfort when wearing the product. Even if we used it for 8-12 hours straight, it remained comfortable on the ears and head. 

You’ll notice a good balance between its top band, which is sturdy enough to hold the product on your head. You won’t feel any discomfort or pain in the ears, and that’s greatly appreciated. 

Overall, we didn’t have any issues when we wore the WH-1000XM5: its fit was right, and its comfort was excellent. 

Controls and Connectivity

Primary controls on the headphones are similar to the previous models from the series. It makes use of a capacitive touch panel located on the right earcup. Old gestures and functions returned for the WH-1000XM5, and these are the following:

  • Swipe up to increase the volume
  • Swipe down to decrease the volume
  • Swipe forward to move the track forward and  then back to shift the audio back
  • Hold the centre to bring up the Voice Assistant
  • Double tap on the centre to pause/resume your music
  • Cup hand for ambient sound pass-throughs

The WH-1000XM5’s left earcup has two buttons: one for the power and the other for toggling the ANC mode. When you hold down the headphones’ power button, it will switch on the product. Now you can pair things like usual via smartphone or follow your PC’s pairing process.

If you press the NC/AMB button, it will toggle the headphones’ ANC mode. You can choose ANC on/off or ambient sound modes. The latter lets you hear everything around by piping down outside noise recorded by the mic array. 

You can connect the WH-1000XM5 to your source device via a 2.4GHz wireless connection or with a TRS cable.

The right earcup’s bottom features a USB-C port where you can plug in a cable to charge the headphones. 

Key Features of the Sony WH-1000XM5

What makes this product better than its predecessors? Let’s discuss its key features in our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review and find out.

Industry-leading Noise Cancellation Feature

The WH-1000XM5 efficiently blocks mid and high-frequency sounds, including people’s voices and aeroplane noise. The Auto NC Optimiser automatically adjusts the noise cancelling feature based on your environment and wearing conditions.

Multi Noise Sensor Technology

Each earcup of the WH-1000XM5 has four microphones that capture ambient sound accurately and dramatically reduce high-frequency noise. With Auto NC Optimiser, these headphones always deliver automatically optimised noise cancellation.

30mm Driver Unit of the Sony WH-1000XM5

The WH-1000XM5 uses a specially designed 30mm driver unit with a soft edge that enhances noise cancelling. As a result, you can enjoy music that’s full of precision and less ambient noise.

The carbon fibre composite material significantly reduces weight, provides a high rigidity dome, and enhances audio clarity. This material used also improves high-frequency sensitivity to deliver more natural sound. 

Sony uses Fine Sound Resistor to evenly distribute power and a premium lead-free solder with gold for excellent conductivity. These headphones also have optimised circuitry to improve the signal-to-noise ratio to guarantee consistent and clear sound.

Wireless or Wired, Enjoy High-Resolution Audio 

The WH-1000XM5 supports High-Resolution Audio Wireless and High-Resolution Audio. With LDAC, the WH-1000XM5 can deliver exceptional audio quality since it transmits three times more data than standard Bluetooth audio.

Precise Voice Pickup for Industry-leading Call Quality

Precise Voice Pickup Technology isolates your voice precisely with four microphones and an AI-based algorithm for noise reduction. The newly developed wind noise reduction structure minimises wind noise in calls to keep your voice audible and clear.

Multiple Microphones that Focus on Your Voice

Four calibrated beamforming microphones capture only your voice. Its improved signal-to-noise ratio catches every word clearly, even with a lot of background noise.

Noiseless Design of the Sony WH-1000XM5 for All-day Comfort

The WH-1000XM5 are lightweight headphones finished with soft-fit leather. This material fits snugly around the head with reduced ear pressure while keeping out noise in your surroundings.

The noiseless design’s seamless swivel, hanger, and slider make the WH-1000XM5 extremely comfortable when worn.

Adaptive Sound Control

Adaptive Sound Control detects your current activity, location and situation to adjust ambient sound settings based on these details.  When activated, it acquires data on the places you frequently visit and optimises your audio to suit the situation.

Speak-to-Chat for Everyday Convenience

When you start a conversation, the WH-1000XM5’s Speak-to-Chat feature automatically stops your music to let you hear ambient sounds. It’s a handy feature, especially if you want to talk without removing your headphones.

Speak-to-Chat is an intelligent feature that uses the headphones’ built-in microphones and advanced audio signal processing to detect your voice. Once your chat has ended, it automatically plays the music again.

Immersive and Realistic Audio of the Sony WH-1000XM5 

The WH-1000XM5’s sound is highly immersive, thanks to its 360 Reality Audio feature. When we tested it for our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review, listening to music felt like we were at a live concert.

Instant Pause and Play for Convenience

The capacitive sensor can detect when you remove your headphones, so it will automatically stop the music. It will start playing once you wear it again.

Control the Sony WH-1000XM5 with Your Voice

Voice assistant support lets you listen to music, receive notifications, set reminders, connect with friends, etc. Just say “Alexa” or “Hey Google”, and you can control the WH-1000XM5 hands-free.

Multipoint Connection

Pair the WH-1000XM5 with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously for total convenience. When you receive calls, your headphones will recognise which device is ringing and automatically connect to it. A touch of a button lets you switch to the other connected device.

All-day Power and Quick Charging

The WH-1000XM5 comes with a 30-hour battery life, which is enough for long trips. If you need extra battery life, charge it for three minutes with the optional USB-PD compatible AC adapter. The quick charging gives you additional three hours of playtime.

Intuitive Touch Control

The WH-1000XM5 features intuitive touch control settings for ease of use and convenience. Pushing the button on the left allows you to switch from Ambient Sound to Noise Cancelling. The right touch panel lets you play, pause, skip tracks, change volume, etc.


The WH-1000XM5 is a pair of closed dynamic headphones weighing 250g. It has a 30mm driver and neodymium magnets. Additionally, it uses a detachable single-sided cable measuring 1.2m long.

Its impedance is 16-48 ohms, while its frequency response ranges from 4Hz to 40kHz. Also, these headphones have a sensitivity ranging from 100 to 102 dB/mW. 

The WH-1000XM5 has a charging time of 3.5 hours, and its battery life is 30 hours with ANC activated. It can last up to 40 hours with ANC disabled. When using it for calls, its battery life is 24 hours with ANC and 32 hours without ANC.

These headphones use Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity, and their effective range is up to 10m. Its Bluetooth frequency range is 2.4GHz (2.4000GHz-2.4835GHz).

Supported audio formats include SBC, LDAC, and AAC, while its supported content protection is SCMS-T.

Hands-on with the Sony WH-1000XM5

We’re sharing our user experience in our Sony WH-1000XM5 Review for you to know how well the product performs. But before that, we’ll discuss the complementary app.

The Sony Headphones Connect app lets you get the most out of the WH-1000XM. You’ll need to use this software to access features like 360 Reality Audio, ANC optimisation, and a custom equaliser. 

It has a simple interface that allows for easy access to its many features. Also, this app provides the necessary updates to your headphones.

One of the first things we noticed while testing the WH-1000XM5 was the strong bass emphasis. But even with its bass boost, the soundstage was spacious and allowed all elements to breathe and shine. Also, everything was customisable via the equaliser, which allowed us to set it based on our preference.

What we liked about these headphones is the AI technology since it adapted the audio based on our environment’s situation. We heard details clearly, regardless of the genre of music.

We also tested its battery capacity, and the WH-1000XM5 lasted 29 hours with ANC activated. These headphones performed pretty much as expected since they lasted Sony’s advertised 30-hour battery life.

When we disabled ANC, it lasted 40 hours under the same conditions.

The product’s call quality was better than the previous models. Its four beaming microphones with AI technology effectively reduced wind and traffic noise, improving our calling experience. 

The WH-1000XM5’s ANC feature was good. During our tests, it excellently attenuated background noise. Aside from reducing external noise, it provided more isolation than the previous iterations. As a result, it blocked offending blasts of incidental noise, and the audio sounded more immersive.

Since blocking noise is always better than cancelling, we enjoyed our listening experience with the WH-1000XM5. Both isolation and noise cancellation feature worked excellently, enhancing the reproduced audio quality.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Review Summary

The WH-1000XM5 is a pair of all-around headphones you can take to the office or your next trip. It has a premium design that feels comfortable when worn, and it delivers high-quality audio. Plus, it’s rich in features that enhance your communication and listening experience.

In our tests, these headphones delivered great sound quality, excellent ANC, and long battery life. We were satisfied with it, so if you’re looking for wireless headphones, we recommend the WH-1000XM5.

To learn more about the Sony WH-1000XM5, visit Sony’s official product page for more details.