All right guys – we think there’s finally enough information to talk about the Sony WH 1000 XM5 and you know what – maybe it probably won’t be called that. Let’s conjecture – together!
Our friends over in Germany at Technik News have got the first photographs of what we think will be called the XM5. The design is refreshed – finally! This is the first time there’s been a significant refresh of the physical design of Sony’s premium ANC headphones since the XM2! Do we like the look? Why yes – yes we do! This may look like the illegal lovechild of the Bose 700 and the Airpods Max, but it looks different and pretty good! Still the same two colors at launch – the off white and the black and some different shapes on the earcups. There’s another small change – the first 3 generations called the button NC / Ambient and the XM4 called it custom. The XM5 seems to be going back to NC / Ambient. Because… it kinda makes sense. Another small change here is that the on / off button is a slider like we’ve seen with the Bose QC series, Sennheiser and others. There are no volume buttons, dials or other controls, which means we’ll still have capacitive touch controls on these headphones.
The size adjustment of these headphones is also going to be different because the ratchet system and the earpads are placed differently. It doesn’t look like they’ll follow the Bose with the sliding central spine, but retain the old Sony way of the telescoping headband. Although that’s not very clear.
Out of all the things we listed – the biggest deal for the build and industrial design is that these headphones don’t look like they’re foldable anymore! So the case size is going to be bigger a la the Bose 700. This is a bit disappointing but maybe Sony finally got fed up with everyone complaining about their headphones breaking? Well I guess that’s kind of a big deal? And speaking of the cases, it’s not clear if these are going to be hard shell cases. Let’s just hope that they are and not the soft lunchbox cases like the Sennheiser Momentum 3. In any case – we’re happy that it isn’t inspired by ladies’ undergarments.
Now – we may like good lookin’ stuff, but we ain’t superficial like dat! So what happens when we go beneath the surface? Well – hold onto your hats and throw away your USB cables – because these bad boys give you a whole 40 hours of battery life! Now we’ve reviewed headphones with a 100 hours of battery life, but this is by far the best numbers we’ve seen from the top of the line headphones. And we’ve reviewed, Apple, Bose, Shure, Edifier, Sennheiser… well, we’ve reviewed a few!
So what does all this mean and what do we not know yet? Well – the new headphones have got a bigger battery – even though it had one of the biggest, a new design with significantly bigger looking cups. And with big cups – should come big sound. The fact that industrial design has changed so drastically, suggests to us that these headphones will probably also house newer drivers. In terms of codecs, Sony’s going to stick with LDAC – because what else can they do – and Bluetooth 5.2, which means no fancy ultra-wide band tech yet. The headphone jack is still in place – bless you Sony and we can also expect Sony to overtake or at least catch up with Apple’s phenomenal noise cancelling with the AirPods Max.
We also have a wild guess that these won’t be called the XM5. Why? One – the design is very different from the XM4, so this might be analogous to Bose’s 700 series that’s different from their QC series. Two – Sony’s newest buds are called the LinkBuds and Sony doesn’t use the alphabet soup model number in its marketing. So maybe these are the – LinkPhones? SilentSounds? Sony Max? Dont’ shoot us if they’re still the XM5.
Now when do we expect these headphones to be released? Well, according to estimates from the Walkman Blog it will probably be revealed before August or on August 8th. So it looks like we’re going to have a busy summer testing and you’re gonna be busy subscribing if you haven’t already!
Now – the XM4 has a number of top of the line features, we can just expect to be carried over to these new headphones – touch controls and LDAC as we said earlier, dual device connection – a great app with full EQ capabilities, DSEE for upscaling lower quality music and fast charging.
So – to be frank, at this stage the ANC and sound is all we don’t know. Oh yeah, and comfort. And build quality. Ok there’s still a lot we don’t know. What do you think – excited? What do you think the XM5 will bring? And will you switch? Or are you plain disappointed? Either way, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
You’ve been reading a lecture of conjecture and we’ve been DHRME! Namaste!