Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review

Sony WF-1000XM5 review

The Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds have created quite a buzz in the market with their promise of improved sound quality, better noise cancellation, and enhanced comfort. Priced at $299.99, these true wireless earbuds are the latest addition to Sony’s flagship lineup. In this review, we’ll dive into the various aspects of the WF-1000XM5, including their design, software and features, sound quality, call quality, battery life, and how they compare with the competition.

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Pros

  • Improved sound quality
  • Effective noise cancellation
  • Smaller and more comfortable design
  • Advanced features
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Glossy finish
  • Pricey

Design and comfort

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
The earpieces are now 25% smaller, making them more suitable for extended wear (Image credit: Enobong Etteh)

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The WF-1000XM5 earbuds have undergone a redesign from their predecessor, the WF-1000XM4, with the goal of offering a more comfortable fit. The earpieces are now 25% smaller, making them more suitable for extended wear. We love the upscale aesthetics, with the earbuds available in matte black with brass accents or a stone-like beige with gold accents.

Additionally, the four pairs of eartips provided (XS, S, M, and L) offer an excellent in-canal fit, striking a balance between silicone and foam material for optimal comfort and isolation. However, the fit might not be super secure for certain ear shapes.

Software and features

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec, provides higher-fidelity audio when used with compatible devices (Image credit: Sony)

Sony has equipped the WF-1000XM5 earbuds with several features to enhance the user experience. The earbuds support Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec, providing higher-fidelity audio when used with compatible devices. The onboard controls have also been improved, offering more flexibility.

The earbuds come with effective noise cancellation that rivals over-ear headphones, blocking out distracting background noises even in busy environments. It’s worth noting that the noise-canceling capabilities have been partly attributed to the use of polyurethane foam ear tips.

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
The Sony Connect app (available for Android and iOS) has four menus: Status, Sound, System, and Services (Image credit: Enobong Etteh)

Sony’s WF-1000XM5  earbuds are powered by real-time audio processors that work in conjunction with the specially designed driver unit, Dynamic Driver X. This combination ensures wide frequency reproduction, deep bass, and more detailed vocals for an immersive sound experience

Sound quality

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
The WF-1000XM5 uses new sensors and spatial sound technology to deliver immersive sound for Augmented Reality (Image credit: Sony)

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One of the standout features of the WF-1000XM5 earbuds is their top-notch sound quality. The earbuds deliver robust lows and crisp highs, along with excellent support for the high-end LC3 and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. They are Sony’s most accomplished and analytical wireless earbuds yet, offering class-leading levels of detail, clarity, and musicality. However, compared to some rivals, the WF-1000XM5 earbuds may produce slightly less bass.

Sony WF-1000XM5 Earbuds review
Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e and Integrated Processor V2 are a match made in heaven (Image credit: Sony)

Tucked inside the WF-1000XM5 is the Integrated Processor V2 which unlocks the full potential of the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e. This unique combination of technology controls six microphones, across both ears, to deliver unprecedented noise-cancelling quality that can be adapted to provide the best performance for your environment.

Call quality

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
You can tap on the left earbud to change from Noise Cancelling to Ambient Sound (Image credit: Sony)

The WF-1000XM5 earbuds provide clear voice calls, outperforming many of Sony’s previous flagship earbuds in this aspect. However, there have been some instances where the voice can be distorted during calls, which might be addressed in the full production models.

Battery life

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
The Sony WF-1000XM5 offers excellent battery endurance (Image credit: Sony)

Sony’s WF-1000XM5 earbuds offer great battery life, making them reliable for all-day use. The exact battery life can vary based on usage patterns, but they generally offer hours of playback time on a single charge, and the charging case provides additional power for extended listening sessions. The case itself is compact and easy to carry, ensuring the earbuds stay charged on the go.

Competition

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds review
Sony’s WF-1000XM5 faces stiff competition from other reputable brands like Bose, Apple, Samsung, and more (Image credit: Enobong Etteh)

In a highly competitive market for noise-canceling true wireless earbuds, the WF-1000XM5 faces stiff competition from other reputable brands like Bose, Apple, Samsung, and more. Sony’s offering has been commended for its improved noise cancellation, sound quality, and comfort, but it’s essential to consider factors like personal preferences, ecosystem compatibility, and pricing when comparing with other models.

Some competitors, like the Apple AirPods Pro, may offer seamless compatibility with Apple devices, while the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II have been praised for consistently effective noise cancellation.

Wrap-up

The Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds bring notable improvements over their predecessors, offering better sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort in a more compact form factor. They have been well-received for their detailed and clear sound signature, making them an excellent choice for audiophiles. While there might be some minor downsides, like the glossy finish that affects grip during handling, the WF-1000XM5 stands as a strong contender in the premium true wireless earbuds market.