Review of Sony’s WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones 

By: Editor in Chief  James Berreth

I do not get the chance to be the first amongst my friends and family to try out new electronic devices, not often anyway. When the opportunity came about for me to purchase the new Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones (from Metro State’s bookstore nonetheless) I jumped at it with both feet and I guess, both ears. I already owned a pair of Powerbeats high-performance wireless Bluetooth headphones, and while the sound quality with those is good and they feel decent while in my ears, they were lacking in volume, noise cancelation, and I’m one of those who can’t use earbuds for very long before they start to irritate and slide out of my ears. Making the switch from Beats to Sony was more than I thought imaginable. So, without further ado, here is my review of Sony’s WH-1000XM5.  

Appearance and Style 

Weighing in at 250 grams (a full 4 grams less than Sony’s previous model), the first thing I noticed was how light they felt in my hand and on my head. With the ear cuff design, the fluid mechanics of the adjustable head strap, finding the right fit and wearing the headphones was easy and comfortable. My only complaint in this area is when I drop the headphones around my neck to talk. Because of the generous size of the ear cups, there isn’t much wiggle room to move your head when the headphones are around your neck. The headphones come in two colors, matte black and matte grey (I chose the grey) which adds to their visual appeal.  

Features, Features, and More Features 

Make no mistake, where the XM5s really shine is in the variety, and quality, of features packed in a smaller design than their predecessors, the XM4. For starters, the noise canceling feature is superb when you are wearing the headphones with or without music using Sony’s Quick Attention mode. To pause music and let ambient sound in, all you must do is hold your hand over the ear cup. Additionally, when you are listening to music, a swipe of your hand forward will call up the next track, a swipe backwards and you go to the previous track, a swipe up or down will adjust the volume accordingly.  

Speak-To-Chat is another feature where, if an individual starts talking to you, all you must do to engage with them is start speaking, and the headphones will pause your music and let sound in.  

Sound Quality and Price Tag 

The most important feature for any pair of headphones is, arguably, the quality of the sound reproduction they can manage. With the XM5, this is no problem. With a more refined bass response compared to the XM4 I have found the XM5 to be capable of delivering music that any audiophile would enjoy. And they come equipped with Sony’s “high definition” LDAC audio codec, which can be utilized with several Android devices, as well as some dedicated music players.  

At a price tag of $400, the XM5 is an investment in the quality of music in your life with a few benefits that will take your concentration to new levels. For those looking for such a device, I highly recommend Sony’s WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones.