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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Retail packaging images of Sony's highly anticipated next-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones have leaked online, confirming the recently rumored new design and suggesting a launch might not be far away.


Originally shared on a Sony subreddit, the photos show the pictures on the box corroborate the rumored redesign, replacing the shrouded arms that swivel on the 1000XM4's with an exposed arm that has a single contact point at the earcups, which look slightly bigger than on the previous generation.


The images however put one aspect of the rumor in doubt. Last month, Germany-based TechnikNews reported that an anonymous retail source suggested the WH-1000XM5's will have a battery life of up to 40 hours with active noise cancelation on, which is 10 hours longer than the XM4's. Details on the box list though 30 hours of battery life.


One possible explanation is that the 30 hours relates to noise cancelation on when Sony's Hi-Res LDAC audio coding technology is enabled, and this increases to 40 hours when LDAC isn't active, but that's just speculation. Alternately, Sony may have chosen to reduce the battery capacity to reduce overall weight while maintaining battery life due to more efficient components, but again, we won't know for sure until the product launches.

When that will happen isn't clear, but given that the retail packaging appears to be finalized with possible units already in the wild suggests that they could become available sooner rather than later. The short term confidentiality date on the headphones' FCC filings is said to end on August 8, but the XM5's could always debut earlier. For reference, Sony announced the XM4's in June 2021.

Image credit: The Walkman Blog

Notably, a post over on the Korean Naver blog doubles down on the new headphones' improved noise cancelation function and sonics, and suggests that supply chain issues could see a higher price than the XM4's, which retail at $349. Either way, we should know all the details fairly soon and learn just how they stack up compared to what will be their main rival, Apple's $549 AirPods Max.

Update: "Yep," tweeted Jon Prosser in response to this article. The YouTube leaker claims the XM5 headphones have a 30-hour battery, and Sony will announce them on May 12 with a $399 price tag.

Update 2: Sony has begun teasing its XM5 headphones announcement on its websites with a partial image of the new design and an event date of May 12.

Article Link: Sony WH-1000XM5 Retail Packaging Leak Confirms Headphones Redesign [Update: May 12 Announcement Confirmed]
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macrumors member
Dec 15, 2021
With no AirPods Max 2 in sight, I'm looking forward to these to replace my ageing XM2s. Sadly current Max are not a worthy replacement for me. I tried them, but I returned them and kept the XM2s.
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macrumors member
Dec 15, 2021
sony dont support losless on ios devices? so, waiting for the next iteration of Airpods Max, hopefully they will get losless over the air with low latency.
AFAIK there is still no truly lossless BT standard. Even aptX Lossless is not really lossless IIRC.

And it's Apple who chose to not support Sony's LDAC, despite it being open-source and royalty free to use on transmitting side (i.e. phone). It's even integrated into Android's AOSP for every OEM to use freely, so that's a shame.

But I also hope that the whole lossless situation will change with whatever's Apple cooking for us for the next iteration of AirPods Max.


macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2013
I used to be the kind of person that didn’t want to spend much on headphones/earphones but back in 2019 during the Black Friday I managed to snag the XM3s for a very good price (only saw better deals after the XM4s were released) and oh boy… I am spoiled now. The headphones are the most comfortable I’ve used, build quality is great and both sound quality and noise cancelling are top notch. I can wear them for hours just fine. And they are also amazing for MS Teams calls.

I’m not in the market for a replacement right now, but if my current ones break down (knock on wood) I’d get the XM5 without a second thought.
Only thing I’d like to have on the XM3 is the multipoint connection that they added in the XM4, but that’s not worth spending another €300.


macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2009
I returned my XM4’s and got the Airpods Max. I think Sony have taken some design cues from the AirPods, new ones look less plastic ear defenders and more luxury headphones. Look forward to trying them on at some point.


macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2012
Williamsburg, VA
Maybe, but the price is crazy. I have Bose QC25 and I'm thinking of upgrading so this is tempting if the price is right.
Apple went overboard with their pricing so they lost me there.
Having looked at rivals such as B&O and B&W, I think the APMs are priced fine. It'd be nice if they made a model with slightly cheaper materials to compete w/ Bose and Sony (I think Apple would destroy them if they did this b/c transparency mode, software integration, and audio quality are leagues above what Sony and Bose offer).


Sep 26, 2021
My AirPods Max look much better than this Sony baloney.
That’s why you are wearing them on your eye on your profile picture? Sound‘s looking good.

Anyway, a 200 buck design improvement isn’t really what most people are after, you know.
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