The Sony WF-1000XM5 have a lot to live up to. They follow the XM4, which won multiple What Hi-Fi? Awards and were firmly lodged in place as the best wireless earbuds money can buy. But we're pleased to say their successors are even better.
They've only just gone on sale, so deals might be hard to come by any time soon. But rest assured that as soon as they appear, they'll be visible below in our round-up of the best Sony WF-1000XM5 deals around.
What makes the WF-1000XM5 such a compelling buy? They improve on the XM4 in pretty much every way, which is quite a feat.
First off, the design. Sony has slimmed down the XM5, making them smaller and lighter than their predecessors. This makes them more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions, as they put less strain on your ears. And they fit better too, thanks to the addition of an extra-small size of eartip.
The design helps with performance, too. Because they're slimmer, they pick up less wind noise, which means less interference with calls and music. There are noise-cancelling mics to help with this as well – Sony has added an extra mic to each earbud, making three in each. Combined with the new HD Noise Cancelling processor QN2e, it makes for a 20 per cent improvement in noise cancelling compared to the XM4.
They have all the same features as the XM4 – including support for Sony's higher-quality LDAC audio codec and 360 Reality Audio virtual surround sound – but add some new abilities to the mix. Like head-tracking for spatial audio tracks, which anchors the sound to the device it's coming from (great for augmented reality mobile games). And the ability to answer a call with a nod of the head. You can also stream LDAC files while maintaining a Bluetooth Multipoint connection, so you can switch seamlessly between devices without having to re-pair your headphones.
Improved controls are also the order of the day. The XM5 let you operate playback, sound modes and volume all at the same time through the earbuds. With their predecessors, you were restricted to only being able to operate two out of the three at any one time.
And the sound? Glad you asked. Sony hasn't just tinkered with the sound profile but overhauled it entirely – gone is the XM4's rather playful approach in favour of a more analytical, more hi-fi audio performance. It might lose a little energy in the low end, but the extra level of detail it manages to unearth is phenomenal.
Naturally, they're more expensive than their predecessors, launching at £259 / $299 / AU$419. If any deals are available, you'll see them here first.
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