4 min Devices

Sony WF-1000XM5 coming soon: smaller, better noise cancelling, better call quality

Sony WF-1000XM5 coming soon: smaller, better noise cancelling, better call quality

With the WF-1000XM5, Sony promises to make the already decent WF-1000XM4 better in several ways.

It’s been about two years this month since Sony came out with the WF-1000XM4. Based on our experiences with quite a few true-wireless earbuds over the past few years, we would say that these are among the best in the market in terms of noise-cancelling and sound quality. In fact, they actually have only gotten better over the years. Sony rolled out an update some time ago that added multipoint connectivity to the earbuds. As far as we were concerned, that was one of the major omissions of the WF-1000XM4. You could only connect it to one device at a time.

Sony WF-1000XM5

With the WF-1000XM5, which Sony is officially unveiling today, the company continues to build on this line. And it’s not just doing a few minor upgrades to the software or hardware. This is a completely redesigned set of earbuds, a choice Sony also made when it switched from the WF-1000XM3 to the WF-1000XM4. What is particularly noticeable is that they are a lot smaller and also a lot lighter. According to Sony, they are about 25 percent smaller and about 20 percent lighter. This should ultimately benefit comfort more than anything else. The newly designed caps on the earbuds should also contribute to this. Interestingly, Sony is including four different sizes, including the Super Small size.

The WF-1000XM5 in Silver

The battery life does not seem to suffer much from the decrease in size and weight, something you might expect. Sony still promises 8 hours with noise-cancelling enabled. You can add 16 hours to that from the included charging case. Sony also added wireless charging to this line for the first time on the WF-1000XM5.

Better noise-cancelling

For Sony, optimal music playback is paramount in the headphones it markets. The company makes that explicit with this latest generation by creating the new tagline “For the Music”. That doesn’t sound very compelling if, like us, you look at it from a more business perspective. Yet that’s not entirely true. Noise-cancelling also plays an important role here. The better it is, the better the music comes into its own. And better noise-cancelling has obvious advantages for the business user.

In terms of noise-cancelling, it is especially notable that Sony has added an extra microphone on each of the earbuds. This brings the total number of microphones to six, three per earbud. Per ear, two of the three microphones deal with noise-cancelling; the third is there for making calls. More microphones generally means more accurate capture of ambient noise and thus better input for the “counter noise” that provides noise-cancelling. Sony calls the addition of this microphone and the processing it does on the microphones’ input the “biggest step ever in noise-cancelling” from the company.

Better call quality

Better noise-cancelling is of course interesting, but what we’re most curious about is the improvements in terms of making calls. We still have some qualms about that when using the WF-1000XM4 earbuds. It was not always as it should be. Obviously, that could have all sorts of causes, but we got more comments with Sony’s earbuds than with those from other brands, so some of it will be because of that.

Sony promises improvements in this area as well. The company says it has developed an advanced algorithm to handle this. According to Sony, this algorithm is based on the output of a neural network and also uses the information from the bone conduction sensors found on the earbuds. Finally, the WF-1000XM5 earbuds suppress wind noise, so it should also be possible to remain intelligible outdoors.

Price and availability

All in all, Sony has again made quite a few innovations in the WF-1000XM5. That makes this line from the company a very interesting one. Despite what the name suggests otherwise, it is an entirely new product every few years. Should you like to purchase it, you can do so starting this August. You must bring a well-filled purse, because the Sony WF-1000XM5 has been given a suggested retail price of 320 euros, including VAT.

Also read: Poly Voyager Free 60+ UC review: ultimate TWS earbuds for business traveler?