Sony WH-1000XM5 Review: Almost two years after its last renewal, Sony officially introduced the WH-1000XM5 the fifth iteration of one of the most iconic helmet families of recent years.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Review
This new model brings, among other things, a noticeable design change. The most pronounced family has suffered since its first model. The arms that adjust the headband are now progressive – instead of having several preset levels – and the different pads have been designed to reduce the pressure that the headphones put on the skull at all times, making them more comfortable.
This design change, yes, comes with a sacrifice. WH-1000XM5 arms cannot be folded for transport, as allowed by previous models. What does not change is the weight. The WH-1000XM4 weighed 254 grams and this new version, around 250.
Up to 50% better noise reduction than the previous model
When it comes to noise cancellation, the Japanese company claims to have made notable progress with this new model. Specifically, they promise cancellation up to 50% better, which represents the greatest qualitative leap in the entire history of the 1000X series.
More specifically, the WH-1000XM5 has two processors and eight microphones that promise an improvement, especially in the cancellation of medium frequencies. To put this data in context, the WH-1000XM4, which was an undisputed reference in the field of cancellation, had a single processor and four microphones.
On the other hand, the first WH-1000XM5 has a feature called Auto NC Optimizer which analyzes and refines the cancellation each time we put on the headphones. Thanks to this system, the cancellation will not be affected if one day we wear glasses or if the environmental pressure has changed – for example, when boarding a plane. Every time we turn on the headphones, these parameters will be analyzed and the WH-1000XM5 will act accordingly.
Refine Audio, Intelligence and Autonomy
As for sound quality, WH-1000XM5 released a new 30mm driver which Sony says offers better quality than its predecessor. These headphones are also compatible with the LDAC codec which enables lossless audio transmission and helps capture the nuances of uncompressed files.
DSEE Extreme technology, meanwhile, promises to intelligently reconstruct parts of songs that, due to compression, may have been lost along the way. The Sony WH-1000XM5 has four beamforming microphones that better capture our voice when we make calls with headphones.
The Japanese company has also made remarkable progress in terms of call quality. The WH-1000XM5 has four microphones beamforming, doubling the number present in the previous model. Plus, they come with a series of AI algorithms that promise clearer, crisper calls in more environments.
As for virtual assistants, these WH-1000XM5s are now able to detect keywords that trigger voice assistants (Alexa Is high google). So now you can just say, “Alexa, what will the temperature be?” without having to press a button.
Another interesting development is that the WH-1000XM5 is compatible with the USB PD charging standard, so they can benefit from that extra energy that some wall chargers are able to provide. In addition, Sony has improved the system that detects when we are wearing headphones.
All this news is in addition to the other functionalities present in the models the previous ones, such as Speak-to-chat, compatibility with Google Fast Pair or Swift Pair or the possibility of connecting the headphones simultaneously to several devices.
Ultimately, the autonomy of the WH-1000XM5 is brilliant, as in previous versions. Without active noise cancellation, the brand promises up to 40 hours of use. The figure is reduced to 30 hours with ANC active.
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