TLDR: Full video explainer available below!
Sony’s latest flagship noise-canceling headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5, feature a pretty big overhaul in their design. While they’re arguably more visually appealing, are they really worth the upgrade?
To answer this, we not only looked into their new features, but also put them to the test ourselves with the help of some vacuum action. Here’s what we learnt.
Even more noise-cancelling than the last
With two processors and eight microphones, this pair of Sony headphones come with four beamforming microphones with AI-based noise reduction.
Beamforming microphones are designed to locate and track the user’s voice and reduce background noise during phone calls.
We tried using the microphones while someone else was vacuuming in the office, and you can check out the results in the video below.
Made with recycled materials
In line with Sony’s Green Management 2025 environmental target, the WH-1000XM5 is made out of recycled plastic materials from automobile parts.
Speaking of materials, the headband and ear cups have a distinctive memory foam-like feel for that added comfort.
Same battery life, but speedier charging
Although the Sony WH-1000XM5 shares the same 30-hour battery life as its predecessor, it boasts a quicker charge.
A three-minute charge will give you three hours of usage with this pair of headphones. This is faster in comparison to the XM4 pair, which required a 10-minute charge for five hours of usage.
Despite all these pros though, there’s one con for those who are frequent travellers:
Non-collapsible nature may be inconvenient
Unlike the previous model, these headphones are actually not collapsible or foldable, though both ear cups can pivot and turn. This means their case is pretty big, about twice the size compared to the previous version.
In terms of efficient storage, however, the new case has a compartment, accessible through a magnetic flap, that stores the cables and any other small accessories.
What we’ve mentioned are just a few of the various features found in the Sony XM5 headphones. To fully see the Sony WH-1000XM5 in action, check out the video below: