The 8 best features on Sony WH-1000XM5 – The Best ANC Headphones

The 8 best features on Sony WH-1000XM5 - The Best ANC Headphones

Introduction

So Sony’s WH-1000XM series is generally their Flagship lineup of active noise cancellation headphones and this one is the Sony WH-1000XM5 the latest in their land Flagship active noise cancellation headphones are second only to truly wireless earbuds in terms of popularity these things do sell out fast.

So last year when Sony introduced the WH-000XM4 that was a very minimal upgrade over preceding WS thousand XM3 the naming scheme is terrible so I’m going to be calling it XM4 and XM3 going forward anyway the XM5 itself is kind of a substantial upgrade over the XM4 and let’s talk about that in this review.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Design

The first immediate change that you will notice is of course the design of these headphones the aesthetic is far more minimal and modern looking in nature and looks better than the preceding WH-1000XM4.

However, there are some functionalities you’d lose out on as a result of the new design so firstly it only folds flat so it cannot fold up entirely like you could on the WH-1000XM4 which means that the case now is much much bigger as well it’s a nice case no doubt but it doesn’t fit in my slim backpack that easily.

The 8 best features on Sony WH-1000XM5 - The Best ANC Headphones

There’s another fundamental problem with the design and it is when you’re not listening to music and you wear your headphones around your neck they don’t close up entirely like they don’t swivel completely flat.

Which means that if you want them sitting flat around your neck you will have to change the orientation and that’s kind of odd because when you’re going to listen to music again you’ll have to do this so it’s not very intuitive also.

Accessories

One more thing I noticed is that the accessories that are bundled with these include that type A to type C adapter for charging of course and the 3.5 mm extension cable for when you want to listen in wired mode.

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But there is no airplane adapter with these headphones which is very essential for any noise-cancellation headphones.

Fit

Now talking about the comfort of these headphones now I am somebody who has a big head, most headphones generally clamp around tightly around my head but that’s not the case with the Sony WH-1000XM5.

The clamping force is not too tight and apart from that the cushioning on the ear pads and the headband itself is extremely soft.

The 8 best features on Sony WH-1000XM5 - The Best ANC Headphones

What that meant for me is that I could listen to music for three hours at a stretch probably even extend it to 4 hours and it didn’t cost me any fatigue at all.

In comparison, something like the AirPods max weighs down on your head and this one is much lighter and so it’s Bose’s headphone as well.

By the way, the headband extension that you have doesn’t have like a step counter of the sort to give you sort of a ridged mechanism it’s like a smooth sort of extension that works well I have no complaints about it.

Controls

The controls on the Sony WH-1000XM5 are both physical and swipe gestures in nature, so you do get two physical buttons one for the power on a function that also doubles up as your Bluetooth pairing mode and apart from that you also get another button for noise cancellation or switching on to the Ambient sound mode.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Controls

As for the gestures they’re all placed on the right ear cup you can swipe up and down for increasing or decreasing the volume or you can swipe forward or backward for changing the tracks.

The latency tuning for this is done well it works exceptionally well every single time so much so that I think that every single headphone if they’re tuned this way should come with gesture control.

Headphones Connect App Features

Now as you can see out here you have the headphones Connect app it is available on both Android and iOS through which you can change a lot of settings and features on the Sony WH-1000XM5.

The problem with this app is that if you’re somebody who cares about security and privacy then this app asks for a lot of data and information from you.

Headphones Connect App Features

Anyway, the first thing you see when you open the app is the Adaptive sound control and this is a feature that works intelligently to figure out if you’re sitting if you’re standing and then accordingly tune the active noise cancellation for that particular situation.

Now I was on a flight and it hadn’t started moving yet so it had recognized that I was sitting or staying and once it started moving immediately it switched on to the moving mode, which means that the active noise cancellation, the level of active noise cancellation had increased.

You can tell because the music pauses for a second but I think it’s a cool feature to have because you don’t have to change it manually.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Features

Now with the Sony WH-1000XM5, you also get multi-point connectivity you can connect two devices to the Sony WH-1000XM5 at one time.

Now I did connect my MacBook Air and of course, a Pixel 7 Pro at the same time but one thing you need to notice is that if you are playing music on one device and if you start playing music on the other device it doesn’t automatically switch to the other device you have to pause the music on the first device for it to sort of play on the other device.

Also if you want to have dual connections active at the same time you will have to sacrifice the LDAC codec capability of these headphones.

LDAC codec Sony WH-1000XM5

Now I’ll talk more about the LDAC codec when I talk about the sound signature. Also, Sony WH-1000XM5 are Spotify tap certified which means that if you double click the ANC button it will immediately start playing music from Spotify where you left off.

Now you can see there is an active headphone and it also has a safe listening option it has this gamification feature which makes it fun to use the headphones themselves because it gives you Badges.

Sound Signature

So now let’s talk about the sound signature, I want to talk about it because by default it’s not that great I’ll use it with the LDAC codec on the Pixel 7 Pro you do not get LDAC codec support on the iPhone and it defaults to AAC.

LDAC is this high-resolution codec that will work well with lossless music and will give you better Fidelity as well, so if you’re using Apple music it’ll give you great-quality Sound.

By default the problem with the tuning is that it’s dark it’s kind of wailed and it is very very boomy, the sub-bass Rumble is way too much.

Now if you’re planning on buying the Sony WH-1000XM5 just do this one thing download the Wavelet App on your Android phone and switch to this EQ which pulls down a lot of the sub-bass and the mid-bass as well and increases the treble too.

Wavelet App

I feel that they are better than the custom EQ that you can do within the headphones app itself, but if you do custom EQing on the headphones app it will retain the EQ and it will work across devices so it will work even with an iOS device.

Now once I EQ them they opened up and sounded so much better with the sound staging and the Imaging, all was good something that you’ve come to expect from a great pair of Bluetooth active noise cancellation headphones.

If you listen to Sober by tool, the Sony WH-1000XM5 does a fantastic job of placing all the instruments in the mix, especially the guitars, the percussions, and even the vocals in the right position for you to have that musical sort of Engagement with the sound itself.

Now if you want more bass you can switch to the default tuning, but trust me to use this tuning you will like it way better and your listening experience will also be far improved.

Having said that even with this EQ limitation of these headphones is the treble response the treble doesn’t have the kind of Shimmer and quality that I come to expect from a pair of 30,000 rupees headphones.

The problem is the sparkle in the treble is missing, so when the symbol hits happen in a Sober by Tool they don’t feel as good as they should this is where wired headphones in this price category will, of course, perform way better and that’s to be understood.

For example, you have the awesome HiFi man Sundara which is an open-back headphone and apart from that you have the Sennheiser HD 660s as well and you have the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x as well. For Bluetooth headphones these sound pretty good no doubt at all I think that they do sound better than the 1000XM4 as well.

It’s a very warm pleasant kind of sound signature which is good for long listening sessions on a flight but if you want the kind of musical bite and enjoyment that you want from a pair of headphones that I think is kind of missing on the Sony WH-1000XM5, but while the sound is good enough these headphones excel at active noise cancellation.

They’re the best out there I have heard the AirPods max extensively on many flights but the Sony WH-1000XM5 does noise cancellation much better and cuts out the higher frequencies much better which is more difficult to do.

The ambient mode on these headphones has been improved they don’t sound as robotic anymore but when it comes to transparency mode Apple still does it way better.
Having said that I do like the fact that you can just cup one of the ear cups and it’ll immediately go into Ambient sound mode and you can hear your environment better.

As for the audio latency when you’re playing videos or playing games it’s not too bad by default and there’s no special game mode for it to become better than anything. Now, remember this if you want lower latency performance then you will have to switch off LDAC.

Battery

Now the battery life on Sony WH-1000XM5 is fantastic, they are rated for 30 hours I got more than 30 hours with ANC on, and if you switch off ANC you can go up to 50 hours as well so that’s good.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Battery

Apart from that they’ve got fast charging as well 3 minutes of charge gives you 3 hours of listening time I noticed that my GaN charger by 65-watt GaN charger could charge these at about 10 watts and 15 watts when the battery was as low as about 20%-30%. But when the battery is about 80%-90% the charging speed goes down which is fine.

Mic

Another thing that’s fantastic about the Sony WH-1000XM5 is the mic. Mic quality has improved so much on these that it’s really surprising how good it is.

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I was using them constantly for video calls and regular calls as well it was that good. Why don’t you guys do a thing take a listen to the sound quality in comparison to something like the Oppo Encore X2 and you will get to know what I’m talking about.

Conclusion

Sony WH-1000XM5 are priced around rupees 30,000 and sometimes they go for lower than 30,000 during the discount season as well but I think they’re completely worth it because of the kind of features and the quality of features that Sony packs in.

If you want better audio Fidelity you have to pick a pair of wired headphones like the Meze 99 Classics or the HiFiman Sundara both of which are available for under Rs. 30,000.

But then you won’t get wireless connectivity, you won’t get active noise cancellation, you won’t get the kind of mic quality that you get with it you won’t get transparency mode, which means you lose out a lot of features so if you can compromise a little bit on the sound.

I think a lot of people will end up picking these instead of a wired pair of headphones if they had to pick only one.

But if you’re someone like me who doesn’t care too much about active noise cancellation and cares a lot about the sound quality itself, then IEMs would probably make more sense if you don’t want a pair of headphones.

For example, something like the Moondrop Blessings 2 has far better-detailed retrieval capabilities compared to the Sony WH-1000XM5, and they sound far better too but you get passive noise isolation with it when you put them in your ears.

For me, the comfort factor alone of these headphones is a big selling point, a huge selling point because yeah I mean on long flights the convenience is unparalleled.

So do you like these headphones let me know in the comment section below. If you’ve purchased one of these do let us know in the comment section below.

If your experience has been similar and it will help somebody else who’s trying to figure out if they should buy these or not?

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