1694516230 One month with the Sony WF 1000XM5 and this is my

One month with the Sony WF-1000XM5 (and this is my conclusion)

Since the beginning of this month, the Sony WF-1000XM5 has been in stores with a suggested retail price of 319 euros. WANT editor-in-chief Mark Hofman was shocked by that price, but after a month of using the earbuds understands exactly what Sony means by it. In this article, he tells the story and shares his experience with this magisterial audio product.

Four tens. That’s the difference between the Sony WF-1000XM5 and the XM4 from two years ago. A significant difference that makes for a price tag of over 300 euros. But you also see that reflected in the product you end up buying. Let me explain it to you.

The big three of the Sony WF-1000XM5

The Sony WF-1000XM5: a set of earbuds that should give users a better user experience than any earbuds on the market. That, of course, is every manufacturer’s goal, though it is interesting to note that Sony is looking back at its previous generation of wireless earbuds in particular. From that, the Japanese company draws the conclusion that the WF-1000XM5 can distinguish itself in three main areas. The big three, I also call it.

This big three consists of best noise cancellation, premium sound quality and best call quality ever. A challenge, as Sony has set the bar pretty high in that area in recent years. Four weeks ago, I placed the earbuds in my ears for the first time and dove in to find out exactly what the difference is.

A month later, I draw the following conclusion.


The name is pretty…logical?

Sony’s product names: we could write a book about them by now. Although they are annoying to pronounce and look like complete randomness, there is really good logic behind them.

WF stands for Wireless Free and indicates earbuds
1000X is a serial number and stands for Sony’s flagship series.
M5 stands for Mark V, which simply indicates the generation of the product.

#1: The best noise reduction

The best noise reduction: it’s something that Sony has been delivering for years, in my opinion. Yet the company thinks it has found the formula to take it to the next level and improve performance by 20 percent. Frankly, I think that’s quite a promise.

There are a total of four different factors involved. Here we have to think about the Multi Noise technology, which is accompanied by two additional microphones, two new processors (IP V2 and HDNC QN2e), the Dynamic Driver X and a smaller ear tip option.

Sony provides better noise capture with this combination, with the WF-1000XM5 then being able to generate better counter-noise to better exclude mainly low sound waves. In theory, the noise reduction should be able to shield you even more than the previous model already did.

To be perfectly honest, I do notice a difference. The low sounds play such a big role that you can probably really feel a lot more disconnected. Whether I myself might have expected more from the 20 percent improvement or whether Sony is mostly betting very high, though, I don’t know. Because while the quality is still very good, I personally don’t think I think the difference is that great. Maybe you should temper your expectations a little bit in that area. One month with the Sony WF-1000XM5 (and this is my conclusion)

#2: A premium sound quality

That does not apply to premium sound quality as far as I am concerned. Among other things, the Sony WF-1000XM5 uses the Dynamic Driver X, so the sound quality blows me off my barstool. With ease.

This driver works with new chips and software to really make a difference. They all play a role to really enhance the original sound and provide Hi-Res audio. A difference you can really hear well.

It’s always difficult to describe the quality of sound in words. It’s something you have to experience, as far as I’m concerned. But to make an attempt: it doesn’t matter whether it’s the voices of artists or the deep bass in a dance record. The sound feels richer, the experience more intense.

The higher the quality of the source file, the better the experience. That will never change. Lossless Audio from Apple Music will outperform Spotify’s quality, but all in all, the experience is better. And in the end, of course, that’s just what it’s all about.

A month with the Sony WF-1000XM5 (and this is my conclusion) (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)

#3: Sony’s best call quality ever

Another important thing about earbuds is the quality of the microphones. This applies not only to noise cancellation, but also to phone calls. The times when someone still couldn’t understand me with the Sony WH-1000XM5 can’t be counted on one hand in some cases. With the Sony WF-1000XM5, I received zero complaints in the past month.

This is not surprising, as Sony places great importance on this aspect. Among other things, the company uses AI to better filter background noise and make the user’s voice louder. The microphones, for example, are also designed with the idea of better filtering wind noise. Although that is certainly not the most impressive feature.

That honor goes to the Bone Conduction Sensor, as far as I’m concerned. The Sony WF-1000XM5 analyzes the movement of your bones to detect when you are talking. Once this is the case, the above functionalities are automatically activated and thus you sound razor sharp, without having to do anything yourself.

While I may find some of the points from the big three a bit excessive, this really seems to change the game. My compliments, Sony.

A month with the Sony WF-1000XM5 (and this is my conclusion) (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)

Sony WF-1000XM5 does more things

It should be obvious that Sony is focusing on the big three: sound quality, noise reduction and call quality are the main pillars of the WF-1000XM5. In addition, smaller details are also addressed to make the experience a little more complete.

Multipoint Connection is the best and most telling example of this. This functionality allows you to connect the Sony WF-1000XM5 to two devices at the same time, such as both your laptop and smartphone. When you play music on your laptop, the earbuds will join in. If you then switch to your phone, you won’t experience any problems. An ideal combination, if you ask me.

In addition, Sony is committed to improving the connectivity experience. For example, the new Integrated Processor V2 ensures that the Bluetooth connection is more stable, especially in places with a lot of other people.

Furthermore, the battery life of the earbuds remains the same as the previous model, but they now charge just a bit faster. The Sony WF-1000XM5 can have enough power after just three minutes of charging to keep you enjoying your favorite audio content for an hour.

A month with the Sony WF-1000XM5 (and this is my conclusion) (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)

Does that new design of the Sony WF-1000XM5 suit me?

The latest change concerns the design of the earbuds themselves. The Sony WF-1000XM5 have been given a round design, which has both advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that the wearing comfort of the earbuds has been increased. With the new look, the Sony WF-1000XM5 are not only 25 percent smaller, but also 20 percent lighter. In addition, smaller ear tips are now available (size SS) to better seal the ears.

However, the downside is that the round design combined with the touch-sensitive controls can be problematic. This has nothing to do with Sony’s work, but is a common problem in the market. When the earbuds are loose or crooked in the ears, all kinds of functions can be accidentally activated when you try to adjust them.

While this may be a personal issue for our editors (all three of us suffer from it), you don’t have to let it bother you. It is good to know that if you already found this problem annoying with other models, the Sony WF-1000XM5 will not solve this problem for you.

One month with the Sony WF-1000XM5 (and this is my conclusion) (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)

Sony WF-1000XM5: lots of fun for four tennies extra

Yes, I think 319 euros for a set of earbuds is also quite a lot of money. But above all, let’s not forget that we are used to the WF-1000 series not being cheap. If you compare the previous generation with the Sony WF-1000XM5, you can see that the price difference is forty euros.

That is indeed a hefty price, and in that I agree with you. But as a consumer, you do get quite a bit extra in return. Although the promised 20 percent improvement is not really noticeable for me personally, the noise reduction has improved. The sound quality is really excellent and the quality of the microphones is a positive surprise. Then add in features like Multipoint, faster charging times and a more stable Bluetooth connection, and you can see that it’s well worth the investment.

Of course, you have to be able to interact with the earbuds without being overwhelmed by a plethora of feature sounds. But that aside.

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