Sony WH-1000XM6 wireless headphones tipped to launch in 2025

Sony WH-1000XM5 on a yellow background
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

We don’t have any confirmation of their existence, let alone a model name, but one of the most eagerly anticipated pairs of wireless headphones on the planet is the Sony WH-1000XM6.

Assuming this will be the model name given to the replacements for the class-leading, five-star WH-1000XM5, it’s starting to look less likely they’ll arrive in 2024.

Over on Weibo, respected tipster zackbucks, who has a reputation for having their finger on the pulse of past Sony launches, says the follow-up model to the WH-1000XM5 will arrive in the first half of next year. Not only that, they claim a WF-1000XM5 successor will also launch around the same time.

The WH-1000XM5 launched in May 2022 and, historically, we’ve seen new versions launch on a two-year cycle. This would point to their arrival this year at some point but, we’d normally have seen some sign of their existence by now, even if it was just a submission for FCC approval. However, the internet has been unusually quiet in terms of sightings.

By contrast, the WF-1000XM5 wireless earbuds only launched in July 2023 so we wouldn’t realistically expect any new model to arrive until 2025 at the very earliest. Again, the WF variant has tended to launch on a two-year cycle, so these timings could match up.

Zackbucks also seems to back up rumours that new Sony LinkBuds will arrive this year, together with a revised LinkBuds S model. The latter should be a traditional in-ear design, while the new LinkBuds could, like the original, use a ring driver in an open-ear design. In our LinkBuds review we found this design did bring some benefits including a comfy fit and open, spacious sound.

The premium wireless headphones market is packed with interesting models at the moment. Besides Sony, the Sonos Ace have just entered the market to a mixed reception, and you’ve got Bose, the king of noise-cancelling, to contend with too. We’re also hoping Apple will finally launch an AirPods Max 2 successor later this year, so it could be an exciting few months ahead!


Sony WH-1000XM6: release date speculation, price predictions, 6 things we want to see

Read our Sonos Ace review

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones vs Sony WH-1000XM5: which is better?

Our pick of the best wireless headphones

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.