Review Sony WH-1000XM5: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back!

hey what’s up i’m kbhd here okay so for the past few years sony’s flagship noise canceling headphones have been the king of the hill of course they’ve made some minor adjustments and feature additions over the past few so by the time they got to the mark iii with their comfort and noise cancelling and usb type c they were the top of the market and then the mark iv added multi-device support but they’ve essentially looked the same sounded excellent and they’ve been an easy recommendation as a result but these new mark 5 on the other hand are a real departure from that formula a lot of the changes i do really like but there is one big one that i definitely don’t so the first thing you might be wondering is is there actually a sound improvement but i actually wanted to start with the new design because you can see that they have this new shape that is this pretty minimal sharp and clean look there is still a dark and a light this light is a sort of a cream colored version and there’s a lot of good things about this design the ear cups are slightly bigger and wider the new vegan leather material is so much softer it is it’s kind of amazing it combines that with the super light weight of the whole headphones to make this entire pair more comfortable to wear for long periods of time honestly i’m just going to say this is the most comfortable pair of noise cancelling headphones i’ve ever tried you still have a touch sensitive panel on the right side ear cup for

skipping pausing etc they actually still have on off head detection despite not having a plastic cutout in the ear cup like the last one and there’s now twice as many slots for microphones around the outside it goes from four total to four on each side eight total microphones and i’ll get into what that does for noise cancellation and voice quality in a second but you can see they’re fairly minimal and hidden well in this new design but overall overall i actually still feel like this design is a downgrade for one main reason so what do you get noise canceling headphones for right travel you’re getting them to travel and so these old versions were the king of the hill because they were obviously super comfortable had great noise cancellation and lots of features and good sound quality but they also fold it up like this and fit into uh their little case just like that toss that in a bag and you’re good to go this new version with this new design does not fold at all so with this new sliding headband design which is kind of like the bose 700s and the airpods max and so many others that’s the only way of adjusting the size of the headphones so they no longer fold down into a smaller size and so as a result the case you carry them around in is quite a bit bigger it’s kind of a

cool case it looks like a modern backpack without the straps it’s got some angular origami type seams and folds along the sides and once you get inside there’s a magnetic door over a compartment that holds your charging cable and an audio cable if you need one is a great case it’s basically exactly like the bose 700s but yeah now it’s just huge with bose though we saw them do this new design with the 700s but they at least kept around the quiet comfort series so the qc45s still fold down like they always did and the airpods max are notoriously annoying to travel with even though i still try to make it work but these are wh-1000 mark 5 which on paper makes it the sequel to the mark iv so that’s a little bit dangerous but i do know that they’re keeping around the mark fours these new mark fives are going to retail for 400 and they’re going to keep around the mark fours for 350 although you can already find them for like 329 or 300 so these are starting to look kind of like a deal but let’s just get past that design flaw they’re still premium lightweight comfortable noise-canceling headphones and they have yet again bumped up the noise cancellation capabilities

pretty significantly so i’ve been saying for years they’re the king of the hill for travel because as far as white noise is concerned like airplane engines road noise all that sort of stuff they do an a plus job at canceling that right when i put these on i immediately noticed it’s even stronger it still crushes that droning low end but now some of the more higher frequencies are better canceled out too appliances whinier stuff human voices too so yeah the last sony’s did have world-class noise cancellation but these get even better and we can thank the extra microphones and processor for that now with any noise cancelling headphones and all those mics you also have a transparency mode these have it again and they have 20 levels of adjustment in the app of how much transparency gets through they’re really good they are definitely better than the bose but the airpods max are still on a completely different level as far as transparency mode those are the best i’ve ever heard in any headphones it sounds like you’re not wearing headphones you just hear everyone’s voices and everything perfectly clearly and these just don’t get that good like these just sound like a somewhat muffled version of reality uh especially with voices and the higher frequency stuff even though there is actually a specific enhanced voices toggle it just doesn’t quite reach the airpods level as far as hearing

your own voice but then for actual musical sound quality they are very similar to last year which is to say excellent and they do have a new 30 millimeter carbon fiber driver and there is still l back support if you have the right combination of smartphone and music source but i think i can safely say if i have an android phone these to me are among the absolute best sounding noise cancelling wireless headphones available again they don’t sound as good they’re not as full and crisp and balanced as airpods max paired with an iphone but obviously that’s just for iphone users that have 550 dollars to burn but yeah there’s just something about really good noise-canceling headphones that feels like magic like i can be in a crowded area where my eyes tell me this is a loud area but to hear absolute silence behind a perfectly isolated bass line and hear every detail of a vocal of some song like i’m in a live recording session is so sick that’s what makes these headphones so good there were some rumors about the battery life getting bumped from 30 to 40 hours which would have been crazy but that’s not what happened they are rated for the same 30 hours of battery life as the mark fours and from my experience so far they’ve right about matched it uh so 40 like would have been nice and amazing but i still think 30 and the use i’ve gotten out of these is still very good the one

improvement though uh is the charging faster charging so you can plug these in for three minutes and get three hours of listening out of it so if you just need to plug in real quick before you go head off to some trip somewhere that’s very convenient again it’s a travel feature but that’s what that’s what i want to break this all back down to at the end of the day these are travel headphones and they no longer fold which means they are everything about them is bigger and and more difficult to travel with than the last ones oh and also this this might be minor but i do have to mention it so if you’re wearing a mark fours like this and you didn’t want to like do the hold to speak or listen to people and you just want to take them off real quick you can do that and then fold them down so they’re just facing down and you can do other stuff and they’ll just sit here the mark fives if you wear them correctly which is right side left side they don’t fold down flat they actually only fold up and that’s i’m definitely nitpicking like that’s a small thing but for 400 that’s another thing that’s not in the new headphones that was nicer about the old ones so if you’re actually thinking about getting these headphones this is here this is a pretty nuanced recommendation but if you are using an android phone and your bag is big enough and you plan on using these for travel listening to music phone calls if you’re working

with these all that sort of thing these are going to be amazing you get the sony app you’ve got all the customization in the world you want to do ldac listening even they sound like very good headphones and they work really well so comfortable love these headphones but if you’re really anyone else i’m gonna bring back the mark fours again for this i really think you should consider the mark fours of course right because number one they’re gonna cost much less they number two actually fold down so if you want them to take up less space in your bag but they’re also like 90 of these headphones they sound just about as good um they might not be as trendy or premium looking as the new design but like you’re gonna get the same comfort the same battery life really the only thing you’re missing out on is the slightly faster charging and what those extra mics and processor get you for noise cancellation oh wait there’s extra mics so maybe voice quality too all right so this is an audio test of the sony wh-1000xm4s still a bad name uh sony

uh water bottles available at just so you know also there’s some voices in the background there’s some various noises but this is it it’s okay it’s okay for a mic so now this is the audio quality for the wh 1000 x m5 i think it sounds better it definitely isolates the voice a little bit better against the same level of background noise but again the bar was pretty low for wireless headphones this is just generally good for calls for work for stuff where you need a mic built into the headphones alright so my theory is sony saw what bose did with the 700 headphones with this new sliding design the magnet in the case and they said all right we can do that too and we’ll do our own version of it and so they did an even bigger version of the same thing sliding design magnet in the case and everything and i’m slightly annoyed by the much bigger footprint here but i mean let’s be real these are really good really comfortable premium noise canceling headphones for 400 bucks with a terrible name as we’d expect from sony but that’s about what we’d expect it’s good all right that’s been it thanks catch you guys the next one peace

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