With the new WH-1000XM5 headphones, Sony is introducing the successor to the WH-1000XM4. Compared to the predecessor, a new design comes into play. In addition, Sony claims to have increased active noise reduction and sound.
Two SoCs and 8 microphones for ANC
Sony uses two processors and eight microphones for the active noise reduction (ANC) of the WH-1000XM5. Sony again relies on the QN1 SoC and the V1 processor already used in the WH-1000XM4. The noise suppression is adapted to the environment via an automatic “NC optimizer”. Four of the microphones are used for telephony, which are intended to reduce ambient noise using AI-based noise reduction algorithms. Sony has also redeveloped the structure with which wind noise is to be reduced so that it is not transmitted so strongly via the microphones.
Smaller, improved drivers
Technically, Sony has made a few changes despite largely identical specifications. The specially developed dynamic driver in the WH-1000XM5 measures 30 instead of 40 mm in diameter, but is said to offer a better sound than its predecessor. According to Sony, a carbon fiber composite material is used for the driver, which should improve sensitivity to high frequencies and thus ensure a more natural sound.
Bluetooth 5.2 with multipoint and fast pair
Bluetooth 5.2 with Google Fast Pair is used for wireless transmission instead of Bluetooth 5.0. Microsoft Swift Pair is supported for quick pairing with Windows 10 and 11. In addition, multipoint is again offered so that you can be connected to two end devices at the same time and switch playback seamlessly between them or, for example, be able to accept calls from your smartphone at any time, even if the headphones are connected to another end device.
LDAC again as Hi-Res codec
In terms of frequency response, there are no changes compared to the WH-1000XM4 with 4 to 40,000 Hz passive or 20 to 40,000 Hz active. The same applies to the supported audio codecs – in addition to SBC, AAC and LDAC are again offered as Hi-Res audio codecs. The latter supports up to 990 kbps, 24-bit and 96 kHz sampling. The headphones can once again be operated both passively and actively via cable in addition to the wireless connection – the 3.5 mm jack connection is therefore retained.
DSEE Extreme and 360 Reality Audio
Sony's already familiar DSEE Extreme, which adjusts music in real time to recover frequencies lost through compression, and 360 Reality Audio are again supported by the WH-1000XM5. Also featured again are features such as Auto-Play/Pause and Speak-to-Chat, which pauses playback when the wearer is talking, and Adaptive Noise Control, which automatically adjusts the sound and ANC to the previously learned location, for example which the headphones are used. Sony's Headphones Connect app is used for customization and configuration.