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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Sony's flagship WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and today Sony announced its fifth-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones, boasting a new design and several improvements over the previous model.


The redesigned headphones replace the shrouded arms that swivel on the XM4's with an exposed arm that has a single contact point at the earcups, which are slightly bigger than on the previous generation, and aim to lower wind noise when out and about. The headphones weigh 250g (versus the XM4's 254g), and a click-less slider is included in the synthetic leather headband to help wearers get the right fit.

Like the previous model, the XM5's provide up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge with active noise cancelation on, 40 hours with ANC off (10 hours more than the XM4's), and the headphones will reach a full charge in 3 hours. The XM5's also support Power Delivery, and will give users three hours of playback from just three minutes on a charger.


There are eight microphones (four more than the previous model) which have been moved into a more optimal position for noise canceling – Sony says this makes them better at cutting out high frequency noise. Meanwhile four beamforming mics are built in for better voice call quality, and an NC/Ambient button replaces the "Custom" button found on the XM4's, although the button remains reprogrammable to activate voice assistants including Siri.

A new 30mm driver provides the sonics, and the headphones use LDAC to deliver the high-resolution audio, given the correct source device, while SBC and AAC are also supported, as is DSEE Extreme upscaling for compressed audio. Sony's 360 Reality Audio spatial sound effect is also on board.

Sony has ditched the collapsible foldaway mechanism seen on the XM4's that tuck one cup inside the other, so the rigid XM4 carry case has been replaced with a larger one. The XM5's also come with a 3.5mm heaphone jack cable.


Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones cost $399 – $50 more than the XM4's – and come in white, silver and black colors. They will be available to buy online at Amazon and other electronics retailers from from May 20. Stay tuned to MacRumors for a review of the headphones including a full comparison with Apple's AirPods Max.

Article Link: Sony Unveils Redesigned WH-1000XM5 Headphones With Improved Noise Cancelation


macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2006
Will the Spatial Audio function be compatible with 5.1 / Atmos on MBP 2021 / Apple TV (Netflix and so on)?
Asking for a friend.


macrumors regular
May 16, 2021
When Apple finally gets around to Lossless on AirPods Max 2 it’ll be a day worth waiting for. Noise cancellation tho on the Max is superior to AirPods Pro, I live in probably the nosiest downtown in Canada and can leave the thin windows open for air and still block out enough noise to focus on study/work.
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macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2006
I could be interested in these. The Apple AirPods Max puts too much pressure on my head. So maybe these Sony WH-1000XM5 could be great all day office headphones.
Same problem here. I find them too heavy and they put too much pressure on my head, too. They sound great, but my head/ears hurts after a short while which is a bummer
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Nov 8, 2007
As much as I love my AirPods Max they are inferior to my XM3's as a travel headphone. The AirPods do have better noise canceling, but the cups don't seal as well and I get noise leak when I lean back in an airplane seat. Battery life, an on/off switch, a usable case, USB-C, less weight also make the difference.

I still like the AirPods for sound quality and phone calls, but they are a home/office accessory, not a travel headphone.

I'm really interested to see how the XM5's raise the game. It's nice to see a new design too.


macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2021
I like how they look and the technology sounds impressive.

I am waiting to see what AirPods Max 2.0 brings to the table because I really enjoy the seamless connectivity the W1 / H1 allow between my AirPods, AirPods Pro and Beats Studio 3 and all my Apple devices.
I don't think you will be missing much unless you care a lot about Dolby. The rest is just ease of pairing control and integrated control from the Control Center.
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