We’ve been waiting for the Sony WH-1000XM5 to launch on this side of the world and they’re finally here. Year after year, we’ve dissected the past versions of Sony’s popular 1000 Series headphones, never failing to amaze. Excitedly we got out the hammer and scalpel again to see if there is a crack in the armor this time. Has it suffered under pressure? Let’s find out in the Sony WH-1000XM5 review below.
Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Design
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This time the company has made some changes in outlook with the Sony WH-1000XM5. The headband has become thinner and lighter. The ear cups look similar but are now much slimmer and better looking. It weighs only 250 grams, so users can easily carry it for long periods of time. The headphones come in two colors: white and black, and we tested the latter.
A beautiful matte finish runs across the entire Sony WH-1000XM5 with premium soft leather upholstery on the headband and earcups. This gives the headphones a very rich, first-class look. The left earcup houses the power button, which also doubles as a Bluetooth button, an active noise canceling button, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an LED indicator. While the right ear cup has the spring touch panel and USB Type-C charging port.
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Bronze and gold Sony branding is at the end of the headband on each side, complementing the show. A total of 8 microphones are on the Sony WH-1000XM5 for best-in-class ANC. In the box, users also get a USB Type-C charging cable, a 3.5mm aux cable, and a very high-quality carry case that compresses to around 1.5-2 inches to fit into tight spaces in your backpack or to fit your tote bag.
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Also read: Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones review: A good upgrade with useful features
Sony WH-1000XM5 review: performance
Listening to the Sony WH-1000XM5 brought us ear-to-ear smiles. Yes, they are that good. And here’s why. First off, these headphones carry a large 30mm audio driver in each earcup. Combined with two proprietary Sony processors, one to cancel out ambient noise and the other to emphasize resonance while boosting bass. What’s more, it’s built to deliver Hi-Res wireless audio too.
To be honest, it just blew us away with its grandiose sound. We’ve put all sorts of music and film genres to the test. We even threw the kitchen sink at it and it didn’t duck once. It stood like a superhero from a Marvel movie. Our choices will be Wolverine or Iron Man if you really want a comparison.
But joking aside, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is definitely something a superhero would wear to listen to music on his/her day off. It will bring immense joy to them after a long battle they just won to save the planet or galaxy.
The active noise cancellation of the Sony WH-1000XM5 works wonderfully and has become significantly better than before. Users can easily turn it on or off by pressing the ANC button on the left earcup. This also gives users touch controls on the right earcup. The same cool stuff is coming to the Sony WH-1000XM5 as well. Double-tap to play or pause, swipe forward or back to skip a track, and swipe up or down to increase or decrease volume. Press and hold with three fingers and you can hear the surrounding sounds for the duration of the press.
Tap with three fingers to enable/disable voice function. Essentially what it does is that even with ANC on you can still hear ambient sounds like important airport announcements. Or if you’re talking to someone, you can have a conversation with them, and when you’re done talking, the music will resume after a few seconds. Pretty cool!
Also read: Nokia Power Earbuds Lite launched with 35 hours of music playback
Also, the music pauses as soon as you take it off your head. We took them out for a run and these stayed in place. Not once did we feel like they would come loose or fall if we weren’t careful. You can adjust the band to fit your head type and the sturdy bar ensures it sticks to your head.
In terms of battery life, the Sony WH-1000XM5 can offer up to 30 hours of playback, as the company claims. In our test, we got over 29 hours of playback split over a couple of days. This also supports fast charging. In just 3 minutes of charging, you can get 3 hours of audio playback.
To test it further, we played a few games like COD: Mobile with it. The sound just blew us away (again). The shot-to-sound lag is negligible and we would definitely recommend it for high-end and professional gaming. We loved every bit of it. Well-known AIs such as Google Assistant and Alexa are also supported. Again, thanks to the microphone array, we had no problems. Just pair them with any mobile phone that has BT 5.0 or higher and you are good to go.
If you’re a Spotify fan, then you’re in luck. You can customize the Sony WH-1000XM5 with the Spotify and Sony Headphone Connect apps to resume Spotify music playback with either a double or triple tap on the ear cup. You don’t have to take out your smartphone to do this.
Multipoint connection is also popular here. The Sony WH-1000XM5 can connect to your laptop and smartphone at the same time, allowing for a seamless transition between a Zoom call on the laptop and an audio call on the smartphone. Speaking of which, Sony’s engineers did a very good job of fine-tuning the voice and microphone quality. It’s by far the best we’ve heard from wireless over-the-ear headphones in 2022.
So much happens with the Sony WH-1000XM5. The Japanese Major made these headphones feature rich and we just couldn’t get enough of them. So, at the special price of Rs 26,990, are they worth buying? We’ve been asked this question at least 10 times in the last week. With every day we use them, our Yes, Yes, YES! got louder and louder.
When we really have to be picky. The only thing Sony could have done better is the placement of the ANC button on the left earcup. We kept accidentally pressing them when trying to put them on or take them off with our left thumb. Calm down, everything is perfect. If you can afford it, these are the best out there in terms of ANC, audio, and over-the-top features.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Plus
Excellent sound and bass
Sony WH-1000XM5 cons
The placement of the ANC button could have been better
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