We have been waiting for the Sony WH-1000XM5 to launch on this side of the globe, and they finally have come. We have been dissecting the past versions of the popular 1000-series of headphones by Sony year on year to be amazed every time. Excited, we took out the hammer and scalpel again to see if there is any chink in the armour this time around. Did it succumb under pressure? Let’s find out in the Sony WH-1000XM5 review below.
Table of Contents
Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Design
This time with the Sony WH-1000XM5 the company has done quite a few changes in the outlook. The headband has become thinner and lighter. The earcups do look similar but are now much sleeker and better looking. It weighs just 250 grams, so users can easily wear them for prolonged times. The headphones come in two colours white and black, and we reviewed the latter.
A nice matte finish runs all over the Sony WH-1000XM5 with premium, soft leather padding on the headband and ear cups. This gives the headphones a very rich, first-class look. The power button, which also doubles up as the Bluetooth button, active noise cancellation key, 3.5mm audio port as well as an LED indicator can be found on the left ear cup. While the right ear cup has the feather touch panel and USB Type-C charging port.
The Sony branding in bronze gold can be found at the end of the headband stem on each side, which adds to the show. In total 8 microphones are located on the Sony WH-1000XM5 for the best-in-class ANC. In the box, users also get a USB Type-C charging cord, 3.5mm aux wire and a very premium carry case, which compresses to about 1.5 to 2-inches to fit in tight spaces of your backpack or carry bag.
Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Performance
Listening to the Sony WH-1000XM5 put an ear-to-ear smile on our face. Yes, these are that good. And here is why. To begin with, these headphones carry a large 30mm audio driver in each ear cup. Combined with dual proprietary Sony processors, one to cancel ambient noise and the other to accentuate resonance at the same time boosting bass. Over that, it is built to give Hi-Res wireless audio too.
Frankly, it just blew us away with its terrific sound. We put all sorts of music and movie genres to the test. We even threw the kitchen sink at it and not once did it duck. It kept standing like a superhero out of a Marvel movie. Our pick will be Wolverine or Iron Man, if you really want a comparison.
But jokes aside, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is definitely something a superhero would wear to hear music on his/her off day. It will bring them immense pleasure after a long fight they just won saving the planet or the galaxy.
The active noise cancellation of the Sony WH-1000XM5 works wonderfully well and has become much better than before. Users can easily turn it on or off by pressing the ANC button on the left ear cup. With that, users also get touch controls on the right ear cup. The same cool stuff comes on to the Sony WH-1000XM5 as well. Double tap to play or pause, swipe to the front or back to skip a track, and swipe up or down to increase or decrease the volume. Press and hold with three fingers and you can hear the ambient sound for the pressed duration.
Tap it with three fingers to enable/disable speak-to-chat. What it essentially does is that even with ANC on, you will be able to hear ambient sounds like important announcements at the airport. Or if you are talking to someone you can converse with them and when you are done talking the music comes back into play after a few seconds. Pretty cool!
Also, the music pauses as soon as you remove them from your head. We took them out for a run and these stayed in place. Not once did we feel that they are coming off or will drop if we are not careful. You can adjust the band to your head type and the sturdy bar will make sure they stick onto your head.
Moving to its battery life, the Sony WH-1000XM5 can provide up to 30 hours of playback, which the company claims. On our test, we got over 29 hours of playback split over a few days. With that, these also support fast charging. In just 3 minutes of charge, you can get 3 hours of audio playback.
To test it further we played a few games like COD: Mobile using them. The audio just (again) blew us away. The shot-to-sound lag is negligible and we would certainly recommend them for high-end and professional gaming. We loved every bit of it. Famous AI’s such as Google Assistant as well as Alexa are supported, too. Here also thanks to the microphone array, we faced no issues. Just pair them with any mobile that has BT 5.0 or higher and you are good to go.
If you are a Spotify buff, then you are in luck. You can customise the Sony WH-1000XM5 with the Spotify and the Sony Headphone Connect apps so that you can resume Spotify music playback by either double or triple tapping the ear cup. There is no need to bring out your smartphone for it.
Multipoint connection is also on point here. The Sony WH-1000XM5 can connect to your laptop and smartphone at the same time, so there is a seamless transition between a Zoom call on the laptop to an audio call on the smartphone. Talking about which, the engineers at Sony have done a mighty fine job in fine-tuning the voice and mic quality. It is by far the best we have heard all 2022 from any wireless over-the-ear headphones.
There is so much happening in the Sony WH-1000XM5. The Japanese major has made these headphones feature rich and we just could not get enough of them. So, at a special price of Rs 26,990 are they worth buying? We have been asked this question at least 10 times in the last week. With each passing day of using them, our yes, Yes, YES! kept getting louder.
If we really have to nit-pick. The only thing Sony could have done better is the placement of the ANC button on the left ear cup. We kept accidentally pressing it when we wanted to put them on or remove them with our left thumb. Rest, everything is perfect. If you can afford them, these are the best out there in terms of ANC, audio and over-the-top features.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Pros
Excellent audio and bass
Sony WH-1000XM5 Cons
The placement of the ANC button could have been better
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