Sony's latest version of its flagship noise-cancelling headphones delivers excellent performance, comfort, noise cancellation, and has impressive battery life. It's really hard not to like the Sony WH-1000XM5. You'll want this.
- 30mm driver
- USB-C charger, 3 minutes for 3 hours of use, rated at 30 hours with ANC
- Noise cancelling with Auto NC Optimizer and Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing
The WH-1000XM5 gets a redesign, with a slimmer headband. However, this change means it cannot be folded, which does increase its footprint in your bag. The soft-fit leather is comfortable, and you can wear it for long hours. Note that in Singapore's humid climate, the ear cups were coated in sweat after a while. I'm worried about peeling, but that's maybe a problem in a year's time.
In terms of audio performance, the WH-1000XM5 delivers. Mids and highs are clear, with great separation. Bass packs a punch, but never feels overwhelming, especially in tracks like Jessi's What Kind of X. There's just so much clarity that it makes listening to songs with great vocalists even better. I could listen with these headphones all day without feeling tired. The built-in microphone also does a great job — even when I had the fan blowing right at me, it picked up my voice clearly.
Battery life for the Sony headphones is also astounding. It has a rating of 30 hours, and I gave up testing after 12 hours of continuous playback only saw it dip to around 70%. ANC is excellent. It kept out traffic noise, fan, and wind noise easily, but without the overwhelming feeling of pressure from aggressive ANC. The right ear cup is also a controller, you can double tap it to play/pause, swipe up and down for volume control, swipe forward and backward for forward or rewind. Covering it with your hand turns on passthrough, while holding your finger down turns on your voice assistant.
At S$569, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is one of the best headphones I've had the pleasure of using. My only complaint is that it takes up a bit more space now in your bag, but that's not a biggie if it's always on your head. Anyhow, get it from Lazada, Shopee, or Amazon SG (where the silver version is going for S$484).
Note: Review unit provided by Sony.
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