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Sony WF-1000XM5 Review | Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

Sony continues the success of the WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless, introducing an improved model this year, the WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless. The new pair of earbuds boasts a slight upgrade over their predecessor, thanks to minor tweaks to both design and performance.

Sony WF1000-XM5

Physically, these high-quality earbuds employ memory foam ear tips and a thinner, more rounded design to passively filter out a great deal of ambient noise. Not everyone will be a fan of the fit and comfort, particularly those with smaller ears. They have also retuned the sound to compensate for the earlier model's muted treble and their active noise cancellation (ANC) technology has gotten better.

Sony WF-1000XM5

At just 6g per earbud, the WF-1000XM5 is Sony's lightest and most comfortable earbud to date. They feature an ergonomic design that contours to the ear well and the included ear tip options, which come in extra-small, small, medium and large sizes. help ensure a comfortable and secure fit for most ears. The glossy plastic exterior has an IPX4 water-resistant rating for light splashes or sweat. The compact charging case is also 15% smaller than its predecessor for added portability.

Sony WF1000-XM5

The Integrated Processor V2 unlocks the capabilities of the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e. A special combination of technologies controls the six microphones placed across each ear, providing exceptional noise-cancelling quality that adapts to your surroundings. In my tests, the ANC was able to reduce low-frequency noise, making it extremely effective at blocking out persistent sounds like air conditioning units or loud coworkers. Whether I was commuting on public transportation or working in a busy cafe, the noise cancellation helped me stay focused and be in my zone. The earbuds feature 8.3mm drivers with LHDC, SBC and AAC codec support. Bluetooth is version 5.2, enabling a stable wireless connection. Other specs include eight hours of battery life per charge, with an additional 18 hours coming from the charging case, allowing an entire workday of use without needing to recharge in the case.

Sony WF1000-XM5

The WF-1000XM5 utilises a 6mm OLED touch display on each earbud to indicate battery and connection status.

In terms of sound quality, the earbuds produce a wide soundstage with excellent clarity and separation across all frequencies. While the low-end is boosted out of the box, the Sony Headphones Connect app does allow users to create custom EQ profiles and tune the device to their own preferences. With DSEE Extreme upscaling, wireless streaming quality is on par with high-resolution audio. Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity also supports dual device pairing, which is a nifty feature for those who plan to use the earbuds for multiple devices. An IPX4 rating also means the buds can withstand light rain or sweat.

Sony WF1000-XM5

Pricing and Availability

Sony WF-1000XM5


The Sony WF-1000XM5 is available in a Black and Grey. For audiophiles seeking top-notch noise cancellation and audio fidelity in a truly wireless form factor, the Sony WF-1000XM5 certainly delivers and earns its premium price tag. Its lightweight comfort and wide feature set make it a great choice for travellers, commuters and anyone wanting to tune out noise in almost any environment.

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