By The Verge
It seems like Sony got confused with what it wanted the 1000XM5s to be: they’re a strange half-step between the 1000XM4s and luxury headphones like the AirPods Max. There’s no major new feature or big headlining thing about them. But they’re still damn good noise-canceling headphones.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 are absorbing. Too many headphones with “premium” pretensions lose sight of what music is supposed to be for. In their desire to be accurate and informative, they forget that we came here to be entertained. There’s nothing dispassionate about the way the XM5 sound, and as a result they’re an absolute pleasure to listen to.
The only gripe is the price, which is $50 more than the previous model at $400. But when considering the entirety of what you’re getting, the cost is perfectly reasonable. Sony was already on top, but with the WH-1000XM5, the company put even more distance between itself and the rest of the pack.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 is the big upgrade we’ve been waiting for from Sony’s flagship wireless headphones. The new design and AI makes the noise-canceling stronger while the ambient listening mode is splendidly natural. Audio quality is impeccable too – whether you want to listen to intricate classical music or a rocking action movie, these headphones can do it all.
By What Hi Fi?
Redesigning its premium noise-cancelling headphones wasn’t without risk, but the Sony WH-1000XM5 are a sonic triumph.
As I said, there’s going to be some debate over single-hinge vs. dual-hinge designs and whether the XM4 or XM5 sounds better (I think the XM5 does). But beyond those discussions, the XM5 has some clear upgrades, including a voice-calling experience that’s arguably best-in-class. For those of you who already own the XM4, that’s really the biggest reason to upgrade to the XM5.
Still the best headphones in the world thanks to their class-leading noise-cancelling features and well-balanced audio, a steeper price point and similar functionality to earlier models make the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones an ever-so-slightly tougher sell than before.
If $350 is the absolute top end of your budget, then you’ll likely be satisfied by Sony’s similar WH-1000XM4 headphones. But, if you can spare the extra $50 for the new WH-1000XM5, get them.
The upgrade in audio quality and noise cancelling makes them worth the extra cash. Simply put, these are the best $400 wireless noise-canceling headphones on the market right now.