The Sony WH-1000XM5 is one of the best –
Silence has a high price, proves the Sony WH-1000XM5. The new noise cancelling headphones from the Japanese company have a nice price tag at 420 euros, but in return you get a device that is possibly the best headphones on the market.
This is an abridged version of an extensive review of the WH-1000XM5 on Tweakers.
Sony has become a big name when it comes to noise cancelling headphones in recent years. That reputation is largely based on the success of the MDR-1000X. These headphones, now almost six years old, formed the basis for many of Sony’s newer models.
These types of headphones often have a long life, because older models remain well available for a long time for a sharply reduced price. The small differences between new and older models often keep the latter group attractive for a while.
The first thing you notice about the WH-1000XM5 is its appearance. That differs, for the first time, significantly from the classic MDR-1000X and its successors. Especially the switch from metal to lighter plastic catches the eye.
But the changes are by no means only cosmetic. A doubled number of microphones should improve the noise cancelling and make you more understandable while calling. New drivers, a better Bluetooth chip and the ability to charge faster are also important differences.
The disadvantage is that this progress has a price tag of 420 euros. That is 200 euros more than the WH-1000XM4, the previous model from Sony, currently costs. Is the WH-1000XM5 worth that price?
The Sony WH-1000XM5 is one of the best noise cancelling headphones
Plastic issue of taste
The switch from metal to plastic is a matter of taste. The WH-1000XM5 is upholstered in fake leather and in any case looks clearly different from its predecessors. The editors liked the design. The disadvantage is that the WH-1000XM5 is less easy to fold due to the lack of hinges in the wishbone. You can flatten the earcups, but that’s where it ends. The included carrying case is therefore also slightly larger than you might expect.
Fortunately, the new design does not detract from the comfort. The WH-1000XM5 is an extremely comfortable headphone, which does not clamp even after a few hours of use. The disadvantage is that the ear cushions are not easy to remove, which can possibly get in the way of maintenance in the long term. Also, the WH-1000XM5 is not splash-proof. So watch out if you walk in the rain with this, because buying a new one is an expensive joke.
In addition, well-known functions of the predecessor are again present, such as ‘speak to chat’. With that, the headphones automatically let ambient noise through as soon as the microphone hears that you’re talking, so you can just have conversations. There is also a sensor for wear detection, with which you automatically pause your music when you take off the headphones.
No noise and easier to understand
The WH-1000XM4 is still one of the best noise cancelling headphones on the market. However, the WH-1000XM5 tries to surpass its predecessor with eight built-in microphones instead of four and new algorithms for suppressing wind noise, for example. Optimizing the noise cancelling now takes place automatically and is currently not manually adjustable.
In our tests, the WH-1000XM5 comes out impressively. Low tones are effectively suppressed, better than comparable models from competitor Bose. The biggest improvement point compared to the WH-1000XM4 is in the midtones, where buzz and traffic noise disappear into the background even better. The hiss of the noise cancelling itself, which was softly audible with the WH-1000XM4, has also disappeared.
To test the improved noise cancellation of wind noise, we stood in front of a fan. Here no difference with the WH-1000XM4 was audible. Perhaps that requires stronger gusts of wind.
The biggest point of improvement compared to the predecessor is the intelligibility during calling. This was a recurring problem with previous models, but thanks to the increased number of microphones and the algorithmic filtering out of ambient noise, major steps have been taken. Even during the noisy crumpling of paper bags, we remained clearly understood. Also, calling while sitting right in front of the fan did not cause any problems on the other end of the line.
Features can’t do anything about the biggest stumbling block
The WH-1000XM5 is, just like its predecessors, a fine pair of headphones with an extensive package of features and a pleasant operation. The noise cancelling was already good, but is now better. And by improving intelligibility, Sony has solved a major shortcoming of its predecessors.
The WH-1000XM5 also charges faster, although the battery life has not changed when noise cancelling is on. The sounds also remain warm, rich in bass and easily adaptable for those who prefer a clearer sound.
Still, none of the above can do anything about the biggest stumbling block we experienced with these headphones: the price. The WH-1000XM5 has fine improvements, but it is difficult to justify the 420 euros on that basis when the WH-1000XM4 is available for 220 euros.
Not to mention the WH-1000XM3 and earlier models, which are available for even less. After all, these are still excellent products.
Review: The Sony WH-1000XM5 is one of the best noise cancelling headphones
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK: @ AFRILATEST.COM
JOIN US ON TELEGRAM : @ AFRILATEST.COM
JOIN US ON TWITTER : @ AFRILATEST