Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones Leak Reveals New Design, Enhanced ANC, and Battery Life

Details of Sony's next-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones have been leaked, revealing a new design and more advanced specifications compared to the company's current premium offering.

sony wh 1000xm5
When it comes to wireless noise-canceling audio, Sony's existing flagship WH-1000MX4 headphones are among the best on the market and arguably the biggest rival of AirPods Max, so what Sony has next up its sleeve naturally garners interest among Apple users.

According to an anonymous retail source who spoke to Germany-based TechnikNews, the successor to Sony's WH-1000XM4 will sport a redesign that includes thinner hinged arms connecting the earcups to a narrower headband, reminiscent of the Bose 700. This has also led to speculation that the redesigned headband is metal rather than plastic.

The ear cup padding appears to be more substantial, but Sony has seemingly ditched the collapsible foldaway mechanism that tucked one cup inside the other, although as The Verge notes, the case doesn't look likely to take up much more space when stowed away.

According to the retail source, the WH-1000XM5 will have a battery life of up to 40 hours with active noise cancelation on, which is 10 hours longer than the XM4's. Total charging time is said to be 3.5 hours over USB-C, which is about 30 minutes longer than the current generation.

The three microphones have reportedly been repositioned, and an NC/Ambient button replaces the "Custom" one found on the XM4's, although the button is likely to remain reprogrammable to activate voice assistants and the like. These cans are also said to have an additional ANC processor and a new sound driver, suggesting improved noise-canceling and sonics, but details are scant on that front.

techniknews wh 1000xm5 leak
The release date of the XM5 headphones is still unknown, but they did appear in FCC documents a few months ago, so they're likely to arrive sometime this year. Until then, the $349 XM4's remain very popular with Apple users who are unhappy with the relative heaviness and high price of the $549 ‌AirPods Max‌.

There are currently no rumors suggesting a new version of ‌AirPods Max‌ could come in the near future, yet it's worth noting that Apple reportedly removed several features from the originals like interchangeable headbands and a more affordable sport option, so these could always appear in a future model. Apple could also add support for lossless Apple Music playback, which would require a new audio protocol with higher bandwidth than Bluetooth provides.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Tag: Sony
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Caution)
Related Forum: AirPods

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Top Rated Comments

bluespark Avatar
28 months ago
I like the idea of including a case that you, like, put the headphones inside.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TVreporter Avatar
28 months ago
Doesn’t Sony have someone who works in advertising to come up with an actual product name?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
28 months ago

Doesn’t Sony have someone who works in advertising it come up with an actual product name?
You mean the the new new new iPad?
Or Magic Pro Max Super Duper Gigantic iDevice?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pacalis Avatar
28 months ago
So it's just going to run around braless?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonblatho Avatar
28 months ago

I like the idea of including a case that you, like, put the headphones inside.
Let’s not get carried away, now.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
28 months ago
Wow, these look nice! Am I detecting a hint of "AirPods Max" design inspiration there?

I love my Sony XM4s, pretty near perfect headphones and I use them constantly. However, the proximity sensor (which detects whether you're wearing them or not) seems to have failed on my pair, leading to various annoying behaviours. Can't wait to try out these XM5s!

On the other hand, if Apple came out with a decent travel case for the AirPods Max, I'd certainly be tempted to get those instead. Sony's travel case is one of its best features!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)