Sony WF-1000XM5, True Wireless with new HP Dynamic Driver X and active noise reduction

The Japanese manufacturer announces new wireless noise reduction headphones, the Sony WF-1000XM5, significantly improved compared to their predecessors, the Sony WF-1000XM4.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 True Wireless headphones therefore incorporate the new V2 processor, based on the noise reduction performance of the QN2e chip inaugurated by the Japanese firm on the excellent Sony WH-1000WM3 active noise reduction Bluetooth headphones (click to discover the product test by the editorial staff). Sony announces for its WF-1000XM5 a noise reduction 20% more efficient than that of the True Wireless WF-1000XM4 while consuming very little.

Sony WF-1000XM5, active noise reduction via six microphones

The processor is associated with six microphones, three per earpiece (see illustration below), including two feedback specimens intended to optimize active noise reduction on low-frequency background noise. The goal is to perfectly isolate ambient noise to eliminate them completely. In addition, the tips of the True Wireless Sony WF-1000XM5 are more insulating than their predecessors, guaranteeing total immersion in the sound show.

Sony WF-1000XM5, main specs

Compatible with Bluetooth 5.3 (and Bluetooth LE Audio, therefore LC3), the Sony WF-1000XM5 headphones have a battery life of 8 hours and come with a transport and charging case offering two additional full charges for a total of 24 hours of battery life (36 hours without noise reduction). A fast charging function is available: 3 minutes of charging provides 60 minutes of autonomy.

LDAC, high-bandwidth Bluetooth technology exclusive to Sony, is of course present. It allows the headphones to support Hi-Res Audio wireless technology. The new 8.4 mm Dynamic Driver X diaphragms (40% larger than those of the WF-1000XM3) reproduce dynamic and richer sound thanks to a wider frequency response and DSEE Extreme processing is of course in order. The latter, via Edge-AI technology, magnifies the quality of compressed music files.

It is still necessary to specify the certification with the exclusive 360 Reality Audio technology and the presence of the 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer functionality. The latter analyzes the shape of the user's ear to create a perfectly adapted spatial field and an even more optimized sound experience.

Sony WF-1000XM5, Quick Attention Mode

Also worth mentioning is the Quick Attention mode to communicate without removing the earphones. By placing your finger or tapping (up to 4s) on the touchpad of the left earphone, the volume decreases or increases, the next track is selected... It is even possible to associate the desired functions through the customization options present in the free Headphones Connect application. Also worth noting is the Speak-to-Chat function which automatically interrupts the music and lets the ambient sound through to carry on a conversation.

Sony WF-1000XM5, compactness and ergonomics

The WF-1000XM5 are more compact and lightweight: 25% smaller and 20% lighter than their predecessors, without affecting sound quality or battery life. The charging case has also been reduced to fit more easily in pockets. Note an IPX4 waterproof rating as well as plastic-free packaging made from recycled and sustainable materials.

The tactile ergonomics allow full control of the WF-1000XM5: play, pause, track skip or even activation of the Google or Alexa voice assistant. Finally, the Wearing Detection function mutes the sound if one of the headphones is removed from the ear and restarts it as soon as it is back in place. Last precision, the Sony WF-1000XM5 is fully controllable via the Sony Headphones Connect application. And the latter guides the user in choosing the size of the tips using a few quick sound measurements.

Available from August, in black or silver. Indicative price: 320 euros.

Reminder of the key features of the Sony WF-1000XM5:

• Type: 8.4 mm closed dynamic in-ear headphones

• Speakers: dynamic

• Frequency response: 20 - 40,000 Hz

• Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

• Supported Bluetooth profiles: A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP

• Codec s: SBC, AAC, LDAC, LC3

• Certification: IPX4

• Functions: fast charge (3 min charge for 60 min of listening), Quick Attention, Speak‑to‑Chat and Wearing Detection modes

• Active noise reduction: yes

• Voice assistants: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

• Autonomy: 8 hours (continuous connection including playback), 24 hours with the storage case and its built-in battery, 36 hours without active noise reduction

• Charging time: 90 min (headphones), 120 mm (case)

• Weight: 5.9 g for the headset, 39 g for the case