Sony WH-1000XM5 Review: New Design, Premium Quality, Higher Price

In the world of headphones, only a handful of companies have released products worth looking at and Sony is one of the most famous. Today we’re reviewing the latest update to the company’s flagship Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headphones. Sony WH-1000XM5. Completely redesigned, this is one of the best ANC headphones out there, but they are expensive.

This article is updated for the Australian market regularly to include price changes and product updates.

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Sony WH-1000XM5: $548 at →

Sony WH-1000XM5 Review
Sony WH-1000XM5 Review

Similar features but some upgrade

Available in black or silver, the Sony WH-1000XM5’s over-ear construction is sleek and attractive, with a leatherette headband that matches the ear cups in terms of color and matte finish. The cup folds flat and fits easily into the included zippered carrying case. The over-ear fit is extremely comfortable, even during long listening sessions. The only downside is the higher price point compared to previous models some consumers might not like.

PRO: High Quality

  • Noise Cancellation Performance – The WH-1000XM5’s eight microphone array provides powerful, state-of-the-art adaptive noise cancellation. Sit next to a fan, turn your head slightly, and the microphone blocks the noise.
  • Audio Quality – Hugely musical, and entertaining sound. More detailed than the WH-1000XM4. Excellent sense of rhythm.
  • Automatic noise-cancelling optimisation for the first time

PRO: Battery

  • The WH-1000XM5 can last for up to 30 hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancellation on, or 40 hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancellation off. With a ten-minute charge, they can last for five extra hours of playback.

CON: Pricey

  • More expensive than the previous model (WH-1000XM4) at launch. Some rivals offer high quality at lower prices.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Review
Sony WH-1000XM5 Review

CON: Feels less premium than previous models

  • The plastics used are nice to touch, but the previous model feels a bit more premium.

Where to buy the Sony WH-1000XM5 in Australia

It can be difficult for manufacturers to consistently improve the sound performance of their products from generation to generation. But that’s exactly what Sony has achieved with the WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones; and not only that, but while doing a major redesign. Sony’s XM5 headphones may feel a little less premium than older models, but it’s a big leap in sound quality over the previous generation which will force rivals to try harder.

Premium quality / Premium price – If you are looking for high quality noise-cancellation headphones, and price is not a problem, you should consider buying the Sony WH-1000XM5.


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Posted by Nicholas Webb

Nicholas Webb is a Queensland-based Consumer Technology Editor at Techbest focused on connected home and streaming products.