Sony WH-1000XM5 Review: The Best Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM5 is a top-of-the-line wireless noise-canceling headphone that offers exceptional sound quality and noise cancellation. With its advanced technology and sleek design, it is a popular choice among audiophiles and commuters alike.

In this review, we will delve into the features and performance of the WH-1000XM5 to help you decide if it is the right choice for your needs.

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

Key Features

  • Industry-Leading Noise Cancellation: The WH-1000XM5 features two processors controlling eight microphones to provide industry-leading noise canceling capabilities. This ensures that you can enjoy your music without distractions, even in noisy environments.
  • Auto NC Optimizer: The Auto NC Optimizer function optimizes the noise canceling based on your wearing conditions and environment, ensuring that the noise canceling is tailored to your specific needs.
  • Specially Designed Driver Unit: The headphones feature a specially designed driver unit that provides clear and detailed sound reproduction.


  • Exceptional Sound Quality: The headphones deliver rich and detailed sound with clear highs and deep bass.
  • Superb Noise Cancellation: The noise canceling is highly effective, allowing you to focus on your music without distractions.
  • Comfortable Fit: The headphones are designed to be comfortable to wear, with soft ear cushions and a sleek design.
  • Long Battery Life: The headphones have a battery life of up to 30 hours with noise canceling on and up to 40 hours with noise canceling off.
  • Simple and Efficient Folding Design: The headphones have a simple and efficient folding design that makes them easy to carry.


  • Higher Price Tag: The headphones have a higher price tag compared to some of their competitors.
  • Larger Carrying Case: The headphones come with a larger carrying case that may not be as compact as some users prefer.
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The WH-1000XM5 delivers exceptional sound quality, with clear and detailed highs and deep bass. The noise canceling is also highly effective, allowing you to focus on your music without distractions. The headphones are comfortable to wear and have a sleek design that makes them suitable for both casual and professional use.

Technical Specifications

WH-1000XM5 boasts
WH-1000XM5 boasts
  • Weight: 254 grams
  • Size: 17.2 cm x 17.2 cm x 7.8 cm
  • Color: Black, White, and Silver
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 hours
  • Driver Unit: 40 mm
  • Frequency Response: 7 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Noise Canceling: Industry-leading noise canceling with Auto NC Optimizer

Industry-Leading Noise Cancellation

The WH-1000XM5 boasts improved ANC technology over its predecessor, the XM4. Sony claims it utilizes two processors and a new AI algorithm to effectively silence ambient noise, from airplane hum to low-frequency chatter. Reviewers have generally confirmed this, praising the XM5's ability to create a truly immersive listening experience.


Superior Sound Quality

While ANC is a major selling point, audio quality is paramount. The XM5 features high-resolution audio support with Sony's LDAC codec, ensuring detailed and dynamic sound. However, some reviewers have noted a slightly bass-heavy sound signature, which may not suit every listener. Thankfully, the companion Sony Headphones Connect app offers a customizable EQ to tailor the sound to your preference.

Sleek Design and Unmatched Comfort

Sony continues to prioritize comfort with the XM5. The headphones are lightweight and utilize plush ear cups for long listening sessions without fatigue. The design is minimalist and stylish, boasting a refined look compared to the XM4.

Smart Features and Seamless Connectivity

The XM5 is packed with intelligent features. Multipoint connectivity lets you pair with two devices simultaneously, perfect for seamlessly switching between your phone and laptop. Speak-to-Charge allows voice assistant activation with a simple voice command, and DSEE Extreme upscales compressed audio files for a richer listening experience.

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Battery Life fit for Long Journeys

The XM5 boasts an impressive battery life of up to 40 hours with ANC enabled. This makes them ideal for extended travel or long workdays. Additionally, a quick 3-minute charge provides up to 3 hours of playback, keeping you powered up even on short notice.

Sony WH-1000XM5 The Best Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones with Auto Noise Canceling Optimizer, Crystal Clear Hands-Free Calling, and Alexa Voice Control, Black
14,216 Reviews
Sony WH-1000XM5 The Best Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones with Auto Noise Canceling Optimizer, Crystal Clear Hands-Free Calling, and Alexa Voice Control, Black
  • THE BEST NOISE CANCELLATION: Two processors control 8 microphones for unprecedented noise cancellation. With Auto NC Optimizer, noise canceling is automatically optimized based on your wearing...
  • MAGNIFICENT SOUND: Engineered to perfection with the new Integrated Processor V1
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR HANDS-FREE CALLING: 4 beamforming microphones, precise voice pickup, and advanced audio signal processing.


  • How do the XM5 compare to the Bose QuietComfort 45?

Both headphones offer excellent ANC, but the XM5 might have a slight edge. The Bose headphones may provide a more neutral sound signature, while the XM5 offers a more customizable EQ.

  • Is the sound quality better than the XM4?

The XM5 offers improved clarity and detail compared to the XM4. However, the overall sound signature remains similar, with a warm emphasis on bass.

  • Are they worth the price?

The XM5 sits at a premium price point. If you prioritize top-tier ANC, excellent sound quality, and a comfortable design, they may be worth the investment. However, if budget is a concern, consider alternatives that might offer similar features at a lower cost.

Barry Moroney

Hi, Barry here. I'm a tech writer and blogger. I write about the latest technology, gadgets, and software. I also provide the best how-to and guides on the latest sound systems. I'm always excited to share my knowledge with others!


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