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Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones Review

The first headphones of the series went on sale in 2017, they were called Sony MDR-1000X. And even then it was clear: Sony created an amazing model for its time. Yes, noise-canceling headphones were far from new then – Bose QuietComfort appeared much earlier. Another question is that the Bose QC is a rather utilitarian thing: the noise presses perfectly, but not everything is cool with the design and features. Relatively speaking, this is a product function – you buy it, you sit in silence, and that’s it.


Sony WH-1000XM5 offered a different look at such a device – leather trim, LDAC support, and a bunch of other chips. Here, read my review. Well, consumers also liked the trick of putting their palms on the cup – the volume decreases, microphones cut in, and you can calmly talk to a person and then continue to practice. It is gratifying that in the fifth version of the headphones this feature was left, but something was taken away. Let’s take a look at the most curious gadget of the summer of 2022 together.

Design, construction



Apparently, some kind of focus group was assembled at Sony: the design of the “thousandths” remained practically unchanged from the first version, and nameless consumers for some reason decided to redraw the entire concept anew. Instead of leather – plastic. and Instead of metal – more plastic. Instead of a folding structure, the design is conventional. How to justify it – I do not know. I guess many will decide to continue to stay with their fourth or third-series headphones.

Now the model is available in two colors, it is black and light beige. To be honest, I like the latter much more. On the other hand, black headphones are practical – prints are invisible, thanks to the material.
According to the new doctrine of Sony, now important products are used cool packaging, I call it “from g#vna and sticks.” This is what the official photos say:

No, don’t think. Recycled materials is a very good idea, it’s just that it’s quite an expensive device and not all consumers will be happy and understand. The material is dirty in itself, but on the way, it becomes even saltier.

Inside — case, headphones, charging cable, documentation. It turned out to deal with the use of headphones without problems, the purpose of the buttons is clear, but even a baby can handle the sensor on the right cup. The cover is huge.

To be honest, I don’t really regret the hinges – in any case, you needed enough space in your bag or backpack to carry it. And the hinges could loosen over time, creak, cling to hair, there are no such problems here.

As I said, the headphones retained all the smart stuff. Home – put his hand on the right cup, talked comfortably, and listen to music again. He took off his headphones, the music automatically pauses – the sensors are in place. Adaptive noise reduction can be turned off, as well as the chip with the activation of the transparent mode when you start talking – over time it just tires.

In general, the application has a lot of settings – and even the touch panel can be cut down. Does it seem that why is this necessary? But wisely: if you decide to lie on the pillow, the sensor can spoil the whole buzz from the audiobook. He turned a little, touched the fabric with the sensor, and the playback paused.

The fifth version is very pleasant to wear – like other headphones of the thousandth series – these are just house slippers among headphones. Moderately soft ear pads, nothing presses or rubs, you don’t feel the weight – after AirPods Max, it’s a real pleasure. At the same time, the operating time is excellent – with noise reduction turned on, it is 30 hours. And they also retained the 3.5mm audio cable jack!

As before, you can try 360 Reality Audio with headphones. It seems to me that there is a bit of frenzied marketing in this: you will try for a very long time to take a picture of your ears and go through all hell with registration, but the application for 360 Reality Audio does not work. And do not worry about this – you will lose a little if you never try the function.

sony xm5

Be sure to install the Sony app for working with headphones, but you can forget about 360 Reality Audio. By the way, the optimization of pressure in the headphones has disappeared somewhere – in previous models, there was such a feature.

In the screenshot, you can see the Quick Access function, if you set it up, Spotify quickly turns on. You understand that in the current realities there is no point in Quick Access.

Noise-Canceling and More


The headphones, as in the fourth version, still use a special QN1 processor. He is responsible for noise reduction. There are two innovations: now a V1 coprocessor has been added, it is also responsible for noise reduction (supposedly at other frequencies) and they gave the headphones more microphones (the XM4 had five, there are eight).

In Sony’s place, it would be worth explaining how the bundle works, what is responsible for what and what Mediatek MT2822 has to do with it. In no way am I belittling the company’s abilities – it’s just that these are not Apple chips developed independently from scratch, but thoroughly finished other people’s products. Do not think, and this “finishing” is also a very painful and difficult process – both QN1 and V1 do an excellent job of noise reduction, data transfer to a smartphone, and sound processing. And all branded features like DSEE, surround sound, equalizer, and so on were hung here.

By the way, I found an interesting accessory for headphones: using the Sony WLA-NS7 adapter, you can transmit sound in Dolby Atmos format to headphones – and this works both with Bravia TVs and with models from other companies.

Now about noise reduction. Perfect! In the office you can not hear anything but music, on the street too, Sony WH-1000XM5 manages to almost completely dampen the noise of an arriving train in the subway. Walking down the street is just scary: cars, people on scooters, cyclists – all this seems to be gone. If the music is not playing, the voices from the next room leak out a little, but just a little bit.

You can switch between modes using the button on the left cup – at your disposal is transparency mode. Noise reduction, or normal mode when everything is turned off. You can give the switch to automation, but this is not my way. The application has a lot of all sorts of options – turning on noise reduction with reference to location, exploring frequently visited places, detecting actions, and so on.

In general, I have only one complaint: the ear pads turned out to be hot, even in an air-conditioned room, after an hour of wearing, you want to ventilate your ears.



You can and should use the Sony WH-1000XM5 for conversations – even in the office, even on the street, the sound is quite decent, I liked everything. In terms of sound quality, the setup of the new drivers is very reminiscent of past models. A good sound for the majority, a little viscous, without bright accents. You can turn in the equalizers here – the application will help you. But even without equalizers, everything is cool.

I’ll recommend that you focus only on your feelings when choosing headphones. I’ve been living with the Sony WH-1000XM5 for a week already with the main headphones and getting high.

As for codecs, SMC, AAC, and LDAC are supported, that is, Sony WH-1000XM5 works equally well with Android and iOS. Bluetooth version 5.2, the range of work in the office is about five to six meters, then the sound began to be interrupted.



Sony WH-1000XM5 is not officially delivered to Russia yet, the guys from Big Geek helped us get the headphones – the price was wild. I don’t even want to voice it. I suppose that in official retail they will cost about 40,000 rubles.




However, let’s talk about the pros first. Of course, this is the quality of noise reduction, sound quality, ease of fit, control – everything is top here, I really like it. Weightless headphones save you from colleagues in the office, you sit like in paradise. The operating time is ok, the application is sensible, and there are many functions. I really like the weight – you can wear headphones for hours, just a top.

Now the cons. I don’t know which marketer decided to simplify the appearance of the headphones – it was clearly not worth doing. Yes, the folding design is not the most reliable thing. But people got used to it. It was also not worth changing. It would be better if they reduced it, tightened it, left leather and metal, and added chic – an expensive thing. They buy it for a long time, so why infuriate respected consumers? Don’t be clear.

In the end, it’s not clear. It seems like the headphones have been modernized, electronics have been added, and drivers have been updated. But somehow it’s not THE SAME “thousandths” that are familiar to past generations. Therefore, I advise everyone to at least evaluate the headphones in the store before buying


Syed is a tech blogger and content editor of best wireless Bluetooth headphones dot com

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