Two years after its predecessor, Sony has just unveiled the Sony WH-1000XM5, their new noise-canceling Bluetooth headset, with a completely revised and refined design.
We had been waiting for it for a few weeks and Sony did not miss its deal. This Thursday, the Japanese manufacturer officially announced its new Bluetooth headset with active noise reduction, Sony WH-1000XM5.
After several weeks of leaks and an invitation shared last week, the manufacturer has just unveiled its new high-end headphones, which have taken over from the WH-1000XM4. And for the first time since the very first MDR-1000X, launched in 2016, Sony has decided to completely renew the design of its new device.
The best noise reduction on the market, according to Sony
It must be said that between the WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4, launched two years ago, the differences were very small on the front. This time, Sony has decided to undertake a major aesthetic overhaul. This especially involves a new design with a much thinner hanger – but still just as padded, we are promised. The company has also revised the system for attaching the headband to the ear cups. Leave the fork system, we are here entitled to a simple branch located in the middle of the earpiece, a bit like what Bose offers with its Headphones 700. Like its American competitor, Sony has also sacrificed itself, since if the ears can rotate, the WH-1000XM5 loses its ability to bend.
Still in terms of design, Sony states that it has reviewed the materials in its headphones, still plastic, but recycled as well as the cushions in soft synthetic leather. The helmet also weighs 254 grams.
It is clear that Sony wants to position the WH-1000XM5 as the headphones that offer the best active noise reduction on the market. If the Japanese manufacturer has previously proven to us how much it mastered this feature, then note that the market has evolved since then and that Apple with its AirPods Max already offers active noise reduction at a very high level.
To achieve this, Sony has doubled the number of microphones on its headset, from four at 1000XM4 to eight at 1000XM5. The manufacturer has also taken the QN1 HD processor that was already present on the previous model and added a V1 chip that is also used on the WF-1000XM4 headphones. What allows on paper a better noise reduction on treble and midrange. An atmospheric pressure sensor is also present to detect when the user is on an airplane, as well as technical fabric on the microphones to filter gusts of wind and prevent them from being transcribed into the speakers.
Since we’re talking about speakers, it’s time to address the sound reproduction. As on the previous generation, Sony offers three Bluetooth audio codecs on its WH-1000XM5: SBC, AAC and LDAC. Enough to allow the headset to display Hi-Res Audio Wireless compatibility. The headset also embeds Sony’s DSEE Extreme algorithm to activate upscaling overly compressed audio files, as well as multipoint Bluetooth compatibility – which will then disable the LDAC codec. On the transducer side, however, Sony has reduced the bearing surface from a 40 mm format to 30 mm diameter transducers. Nevertheless, according to the Japanese company, they are equipped with lighter and stiffer membranes thanks to carbon fiber. A lightness that should ensure a better travel for the bass and a stiffness more adapted to the treble. In theory, we should therefore find the same sound reproduction as on the WH-1000XM4.
The best call quality on the market, according to Sony
If Sony claims that the 1000XM5 offers the best active noise reduction on the market, the manufacturer is also not stingy in terms of call quality. For this use, the Sony WH-1000XM5 uses four beam-forming microphones as well as AI-based continuous learning to best isolate your voice from ambient noise.
Among other notable features, the Sony WH-1000XM5 still benefits from a port sensor – hidden this time – from “talk to chat to pause the music when you speak, press the buttons on the right earpiece with the mode “quick attention», Voice assistants that can be activated directly by voice oradaptive sound controlwhich allows you to automatically control the noise reduction according to your geolocation or activity. Note, however, the lack of Bluetooth LE Audio compatibility, a feature that will come on Android 13 in the coming months and will reduce the waiting time for mobile games.
For autonomy, Sony announces that their headphones can operate for 30 consecutive hours with noise reduction enabled. It recharges in USB-C Power Delivery and can regain 3 hours of playback with 3 minutes of charging.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 will be available in May in France. It is offered in two colors – matte black or silver – at a price of 420 euros. Also note that if the WH-1000XM3 leaves the range, the WH-1000XM4 will always be offered as an alternative, around 300 to 330 euros.
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