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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Sony’s headphones with the new design deliver even better sound and cutting-edge noise cancellation

The fresh look and cutting-edge call quality make the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones a worthy successor to the legendary series.

Naine kandmas Sony XM5 kõrvaklappe raudteejaamas

Sony has been producing top-of-the-line large noise cancelling headphones of the beloved and award-winning WH-1000XM* series in a nearly identical design for four generations of models. Changes have been minimal and practical, such as replacing the Micro USB port with a contemporary USB-C port or the buttons with a more comfortable shape.

But Sony has now launched the fifth-generation model WH-1000XM5 and, to the surprise of many, it is a total change in both design and features.
Another surprise is that Sony is nor planning to replace the previous model with the new one, but the new design aims to provide an alternative with better features. The older but still excellent XM4 model will also remain available for purchase.

Sony describes the new shape as a “noise-free design”. According to the manufacturer, the new design helps to reduce wind noise. The new design is expressed mainly in the smoother, more streamlined angles. The narrower headband and the adjustable part no longer feature angular hinges. However, this means that the XM5 cannot be folded as compactly as its predecessors. You can turn the headphones to flatten them, but not fold them. This design is also used for the Bose 700 and AirPods Max. Because of their design, the new headphones and their carrying case take one-third more space than the previous model, which means that they can no longer fit in a smaller handbag and they also take up quite a bit of space in an average backpack.

Naine kandmas Sony XM5 kõrvaklappe kohvikus

For some unexplained reason, the new design gives the impression that the new headphones are much lighter, although the weight difference is actually just 4 grams in favour of the XM5. The narrow headband is covered with high quality faux leather, and the same material is also used on the ear pads where it covers memory foam cushions. The pressure on the ears is optimal, being sufficient to ensure high quality noise cancellation but light enough to not cause discomfort.

The updates continue inside the headphones. The 40 mm speaker of the previous models has been replaced with a smaller and lighter 30 mm version, which Sony says has more accurate bass and better overall sound due to greater rigidity.
As usual with Sony, the quality of noise cancellation has gone up another notch. Having focused on the most annoying low frequency noise cancellation in the previous models, the manufacturer has this time also improved the efficiency of cancellation at slightly higher frequencies. To achieve this, the headphones use the special V1 processor familiar from the XM4 model. However, the headphones feature double the number of microphones – instead of the previous four, the new model uses eight microphones, which makes noise analysis more efficient. Noise detection and filtering algorithms have also been improved.
If the previous models required manually activating the optimisation function in the app to make sure that noise cancellation performed the best in different situations, the new model does so automatically. It uses the Adaptive Sound Control function, which monitors the amount of ambient noise. However, the user can always switch between noise cancellation and ambient noise amplification mode at the touch of a button. In terms of sound technology, everything good in the previous model is used in the new one. There is the DSEE solution that helps to restore compressed audio quality and Sony LDAC codec that enables you to transmit CD-quality audio between Android devices through Bluetooth. However, there is still no competing AptX codec.

The Quick Attention mode quickly reduces the volume when the user covers the right headphone with their hand, while Speak to Chat detects when the user starts talking, pausing music and turning ambient sound amplification on. Both features can be turned off in the app if desired. The use detection function that pauses music when the headphones are taken off and resumes it at the paused moment when you put them back on has also been improved. This handy feature now functions even more accurately, reducing the chance that music starts playing at the wrong time. The highly acclaimed Multipoint function that allows pairing the headphones with two devices at the same time has also remained. However, Multipoint does not work when using the LDAC codec.

Mees kandmas Sony XM5 kõrvaklappe raudteejaamas

HXM5 is also a step forward in terms of sound quality. Although the previous model also had very good sound, the new speakers on the XM5 have the advantage of more accurate and specific bass and better detail than before. In addition to sound quality, call quality has also improved again. The headphones use directional microphones and background noise reduction with artificial intelligence support. Good call quality is a very important feature in today’s era of online meetings and conversations.

The battery lasts for a very decent 30 hours with noise cancellation and Bluetooth activated. When using headphones just for noise cancellation, the battery lasts for 40 hours. The headphones also come with fast charging support: a 10-minute charge gives up to 5 hours of use. Using the fast USB-PD standard charger, you get three hours of use with just three minutes of charging. The WH-1000XM5 shows that despite the long and complicated model names, Sony’s engineers have once again taken a significant step forward in almost every direction. The XM5 are the best large noise cancelling headphones in their price range and are ideal for anyone who needs headphones with good sound and call quality and top-of-the-line noise cancellation for everyday use. However, if you spend a lot of time on a plane or train and want headphones that take up less space in the bag and are a little cheaper but still offer good sound and noise cancellation and you do not care so much about call quality, the slightly older XM4 that remain in Sony’s product range are a great option.
Sony Xm5 kõrvaklapid laual