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Sony WF-1000XM5 Review: Upgraded ANC Earbuds with Impressive Sound

Sony WF-1000XM5 Review: Elevating ANC Earbuds with Enhanced Sound and Voice Calls


The landscape of noise-canceling earbuds is evolving, and Sony's latest offering, the WF-1000XM5, aims to set new standards. Priced at $299.99, these flagship ANC earbuds build upon their predecessors with significant improvements.

What's New?

  1. Smaller and Comfortable Design: The WF-1000XM5s feature a more compact and comfortable design, ensuring a snug fit during extended use.

  2. Enhanced Sound Quality: Sony has equipped these earbuds with larger drivers, resulting in improved sound quality, particularly in the lower bass range. The earbuds also boast a superior DAC and lower harmonic distortion for an exceptional audio experience.

  3. Crystal-Clear Voice Calls: Sony has incorporated advanced AI algorithms and a bone conduction sensor to ensure unparalleled voice call quality. These features help distinguish your voice from background noise, offering clarity and precision during calls.

  4. Touch Controls: The earbuds feature touch controls for various functions, including play/pause, noise canceling, and track navigation. While they offer flexibility, some users may find certain functions require a learning curve.

  5. Wireless Charging: The WF-1000XM5s support wireless charging for added convenience.

  6. Spatial Audio and Headtracking: Android users can enjoy spatial audio and headtracking, enhancing the immersive audio experience.

Sound Quality and Performance:

The WF-1000XM5s excel in delivering an impressive and well-balanced sound profile. They handle a diverse range of music genres with ease, from ambient tunes to vibrant hip-hop beats. The bass remains robust without overpowering other frequencies. While Sony's LDAC codec promises high-fidelity audio, its true potential shines with high-bitrate streaming services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal, and Qobuz.


Important Considerations:

1. Price Point:

  • The WF-1000XM5s belong to the premium tier, priced at $300. This places them squarely in the "audiophile" category, catering to those who prioritize top-notch audio quality.

2. Competition:

  • The market offers a spectrum of alternatives, including the AirPods Pro and LinkBuds S, each with unique features and price tags. Your choice should align with your specific preferences and priorities.

3. Noise Cancellation:

  • While the WF-1000XM5s provide effective noise cancellation, some competitors, like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, excel in this department.

4. Call Quality:

  • Despite Sony's commitment to improving call quality, some users may encounter interference and voice alterations during calls.


Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

Like any headphones, you can use Sony’s WF-1000XM5 over Bluetooth without clicking through any agreements. But if you want to use the Headphones Connect app, which is essential for customizing the settings, EQ, and other features of the headphones, you’re agreeing to:

  • Sony’s end-user license agreement

  • Sony’s privacy policy

You can also opt into letting Sony collect data from your usage of the Headphones Connect app, which the company says is for the purpose of improving its products and services.

Together, you get three optional agreements.

In Conclusion:

Sony’s WF-1000XM5s feel like a natural evolution of the company’s flagship line.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 ANC earbuds represent a compelling option for audio enthusiasts seeking upgraded sound quality and voice call performance. However, their premium pricing prompts potential buyers to weigh their specific needs against the backdrop of a competitive market.

As the noise-canceling earbud landscape continues to evolve, the WF-1000XM5s stand as a testament to Sony's dedication to delivering an unparalleled audio experience.

If all you’re after is a great pair of noise-canceling buds that sound rich, immersive, and full-bodied, the $300 1000XM5s won’t leave you wanting for more. But if you’re Sony, the real dilemma is that there might be nowhere left to go from here.


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