Review: Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

Review: Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

Sony continues to deliver stellar wireless audio products, and their latest is the WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless earbuds. We got to try the new flagship earbuds, and here are our thoughts about the new device.

Design
With each generation, Sony succeeds in improving the overall design of the WF series earbuds. The new Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds feature a new design that is 25% smaller and 20% lighter than the previous generation WF-1000XM4 earbuds. Each of the earbuds weighs about 5.9g. The charging case weighs about 39g.

Sony offers the WF-1000XM5 in both Black and Platinum Silver colors. And as you can see, we have received the latter color option for review. The earbuds feature a glossy texture on the outer shell. The Sony branding is located on the sides of the earbuds. These earbuds are also IPX4-certified waterproof devices.

Sony claims that the design of the new earbuds is optimized to fit your ears comfortably and helps to isolate external sounds. We could also wear the earbuds for hours with no strain on our ears. The microphones are located on the outer main shell, along with the touch-sensitive surface for audio controls.

The charging case has a dimension of 64.6 x 40 x 26.5mm. The LED indicator is on the front side of the case, along with the pairing button and the USB-C port on the rear side. The pairing button is also used to reset or initialize the headset. We should also mention that the bottom surface of the charging case features a contact surface for Qi wireless charging.

The WF-1000XM5 comes packaged with a short USB-A to USB-C cable and several noise-isolation earbud tip sizes for different users. Surprisingly, Sony included a black colored USB cable, instead of a color that is similar to the packaging and the earbuds. Speaking of which, the packaging is made of 100% paper materials that are environment-friendly. Sony also mentions that the WF-1000XM5 earbuds and charging case are also made of recycled plastic.


Features
The Sony WF-1000XM5 is designed as a noise-cancelling earbud and the company claims it is the best that is made as compared to older generations. The earbuds are based on a closed and dynamic type design and feature an 8.4mm driver unit. For its sound quality, the earbuds come with a frequency response between 20Hz to 20,000Hz with 44.1 kHz sampling mode, and 20Hz to 40,000Hz when using LDAC 96Hz sampling.

Sony mentions that the 8.4mm driver units, called the Dynamic Driver X, are specially designed to provide wide-frequency reproduction for deeper base effects, finer audio details, subtle vocal audio, and more. Along with its excellent noise-canceling and Ambient Sound mode, the new device uses an AI-based noise-reduction algorithm that helps to pick up your voice clearly, even in noisy environments. There is also the Quick Attention feature that helps users hear the surrounding area when touching the sensor, and the Speak to Chat mode that automatically stops the music playback when you talk.

I was surprised by the effects of the WF-1000XM5’s NC capabilities, and it almost feels like the performance of other high-end NC headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5 that we previously reviewed. Other features that help to improve sound quality include Sony’s DSEE Extreme and the Equalizer with different presets and custom presets via the Sony headphone app.

The earbuds also use Bluetooth 5.3 which has an effective range of 10m. The supported audio formats include SBC, AAC, LDAC, and LC3. When it comes to battery capacity, Sony says that the WF-1000XM5 earbuds are capable of lasting up to 8 hours of music time with NC on, and up to 12 hours with NC off. For communication, the devices can last up to 6 hours with the NC left on. With our mixed usage, the earbuds were able to last for about 5 hours of use with noise-cancelling and ambient sound turned on.

Verdict
If you are looking to upgrade your existing earbuds, or planning to buy the best noise-cancelling earbuds that offer excellent NC, sound quality, and comfortable design, then we recommend the Sony WF-1000XM5. The earbuds now come with an improved, smaller, and lighter design. The devices are also IPX4-certified and come with different sizes of noise-isolating earbud tips. Each of the earbuds weighs about 5.9g, and the charging case weighs 39g.

The earbuds feature 8.4mm Dynamic Driver X drivers for stellar audio and support for frequency response between 20Hz to 20,000Hz/40,000Hz. The earbuds also have support for ambient sound, speak-to-chat, and quick attention feature that helps with the overall experience of using the device. The wearables also come with Bluetooth 5.3 for connectivity, and the battery can last for up to 6 hours of use, depending on the settings, along with support for wireless Qi charging with the case.

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