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Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Headphones Review: Kings of Comfort

It’s 2022 and in reality there are quite a few wireless Noise canceling headphones Select from. In fact, there are many. But since its release in August 2020 Sony WH-1000XM4 (Called “Sony M4s” by fans) is popular with people looking for the best combination of sound, noise cancellation, features, comfort and price.

But the reign of all kings ends at some point. Sony officially announced the new WH-1000XM5 — Let’s call them “Sony M5s” — and although they are quite similar to Sony M4s, the new cans have been improved in some important areas. Sony has redesigned the M5 to prioritize comfort. The number of microphones has been doubled to improve the clarity of the call. In addition, Sony provided them with additional processors, bringing the total to two. This promises that the M5 has the most powerful active noise canceling feature of any Sony headphones. (And, less attractive, Sony made the M5 $ 50 higher than the M4’s $ 350 price tag.)

Last week I was able to test the Sony M5 and compare it directly to the Sony M4 I already own. This is my idea.

The M5 is Sony’s new noise canceling king.

Sony has raised the bar for the new noise canceling feature of the M5. This is difficult given that the M4 was already an elite. The secret is that Sony has integrated the M5 with two processors, 8 Mike (M4 has only four). These microphones pick up different ambient frequencies in the ambient air and produce opposite sound frequencies. Reverse phase — It cancels them.

Headphone noise canceling is certainly hard to casually test, especially when compared to the Sony M5. Sony M4 — Both noise canceling features are one of the best in the industry. However, according to Sony, the new processing power of the M5 and the addition of microphones will significantly improve the processing power when canceling mid-high frequencies. Basically, it is suitable for canceling people’s voice in a crowded environment. The Sony M5 and Sony M4 are about the same when it comes to the low frequencies you normally experience when traveling by car, train or plane.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 (left) is an improvement over the predecessor Sony WH-1000XM4 (right) released in 2020.

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Like the M4, the Sony M5 has a feature called Adaptive Sound Control that allows headphones to detect the type of environment you are in and adjust noise cancellation accordingly. Sure, I’m not the biggest fan of this. I always want to have full control over the noise-cancelling power of my headphones (and I don’t often jump into or out of a noisy environment these days). However, this is a feature that can be turned on and off in Sony’s companion app. So hey, you do you.

Sony M5s are made for comfort.

The Sony M4 isn’t uncomfortable to wear, but Sony has put a lot of effort into improving the comfort of the M5. The Sony M5 features larger and wider ear cups for maximum chance of fitting the entire ear. The purpose of this was to reduce the chance of leaning on part of the ear. This causes listening fatigue and is less likely to be worn in long sessions. Sony also made the M5 slightly lighter than the M4 — 250 grams compared to 254 grams.

In terms of comfort, all of this makes a difference. After testing the M5 last week, I didn’t feel any discomfort when I wore it for a dog walk, grocery shopping, commuting to the city, or a video call.

Sony headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM5 features a new lightweight design with large ear cups for added comfort.

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One design change that some people may not like: The Sony M5 doesn’t have the same foldable design as its predecessor.The new model folds flat as follows Bose Headphones 700, Instead of folding, that is, it cannot be folded. It’s ideal for slipping into the sleeves or pouch of a bag, but it doesn’t shrink as compactly as other travel headphones.

The Sony M5s sounds as good as the Sony M4s.

other than Apple’s expensive AirPods MaxThe Sony M4 is our choice as the best sounding noise canceling headphones you can buy. It provides crisp mids and treble, bumping bass, and a wonderfully wide sound stage. You will feel like you are experiencing the music you are listening to live. Fortunately, the sound of the Sony Sony M5s is just as good. Boasts the same 30mm driver as the M4 and supports Sony’s high resolution LDAC codecs (although these files are not supported for streaming from). iPhone) And its 360 reality audio truck..

The bottom line is, in my experience, the Sony M5 sounds as good as the Sony M4, not necessarily good or bad. So if you have a pair of Sony M4s and are considering upgrading to a Sony M5, sound quality shouldn’t really be a factor.

Sony headphones

You can see that the Sony WH-1000XM5 (left) is folded flat, but not inward like the Sony WH-1000XM4 (right).

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The Sony M5s are great for phones.

In addition to improving active noise cancellation, another big advantage of using a dual processor and double mic is that the Sony M5 sounds very good on the phone and also very good for others. That is.

Sony uses beamforming technology to separate the audio during a call and AI technology to pick up and cancel ambient sounds (such as the wind or someone talking in the background). And it works great. It was okay for a colleague to listen to me on a video call or to someone else while talking a regular call from my iPhone.

The Sony M5 has the same battery life as the M4, but supports faster charging.

Sony hasn’t really improved the battery life of the Sony M5. According to Sony, the charging interval can be about 30 hours. This is exactly the same as the Sony M4, but a little disappointing. However, Sony does provide a fast charging feature for the M5. It charges via USB-C, but if you charge it for 3 minutes using a USB-C wall adapter that supports power supply (or PD), you’ll get 3 hours of listening time. That’s great, but it’s certainly a slight improvement over the Sony M4, which requires 10 minutes of charging for 5 hours of playback. )

However, there are pitfalls.Like many tech companies these days, Sony doesn’t include what it needs USB-CPD charger Charges M4 at high speed. In fact, the AC adapter is not included. Only the charging cable is included. So if you need this quick charge feature, you’ll need your own USB-C wall adapter to support PD (you can buy it for about $ 30).

The Sony M5 is as packed with features as the Sony M4.

One of the things that distinguishes Sony’s flagship noise-cancelling headphones from almost all other wireless noise-cancelling headphones is the amount of features and customization options they have. Also, Sony M5 has almost the same feature set as Sony M4.

Sony headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM5 (left) has a larger and wider ear cup than the Sony WH-1000XM4 (right).

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You can use the Sony Headphones app to customize the sound EQ and adjust the noise cancellation settings. You can turn various smart settings on and off. Indeed, I prefer to switch off some of these settings. For example, wear detection that automatically starts and stops music when you put on and take off headphones, and “Speak to Chat” that automatically stops music and switches to transparent mode. Headphones detect what you’re talking about — give you more control over your headphones. Fortunately, it’s all easy with the app.

However, Sony M4 doesn’t go anywhere.

With the Sony M5 here, I think Sony is likely to phase out the Sony M4 two years ago. Well, it’s not perfect. In fact, Sony will continue to sell the M4 and continue to be $ 50 cheaper. You have to choose whether you want the new comfort and noise-cancelling power of the Sony M5, and whether it justifies the $ 50 bump.

Of course, when it comes to Sony headphones, the price is weird, as Amazon and other third-party sellers offer discounts shortly after release. A pair of Sony M4s can usually be purchased for about $ 279, but I think the new Sony M5 will be discounted from $ 330 to $ 350 in the near future.


Sony WH-1000XM5

  • The most powerful noise cancellation in Sony headphones
  • New design, improved comfort
  • Increased call clarity
  • Fast charge
  • Expensive
  • Sound quality is not a big improvement over Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Same battery life as its predecessor Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Headphones Review: Kings of Comfort

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