Review: Sony WF-1000XM5

Active Noise Killer

The latest true wireless earbuds from Sony are more compact which makes them more desirable

With every new generation of the 1000XM series true wireless ANC earbuds, Sony is inching towards creating perfect earbuds for music lovers and noise haters to enjoy. Clearly not willing to sit on the laurels, the WF-1000XM5 was launched last month to further improve the listener experience as the earbuds are used for public commutes and meeting calls.

The earbud’s design is more streamlined and discreet while still achieving an iconic look. The body is glossy except for the touch control area and makes the buds slippery to handle, but perhaps more resistant to dirt. The earbuds are rated for up to 8 hours of battery per charge with ANC. The charging case delivers another 16 hours of charge. With an IPX4 water rating, the earbuds can survive light rain and workout sweat.

The latest-generation flagship true wireless earbuds now come with new features like spatial sound and head tracking, with the latter only compatible with selected smartphones like the Google Pixel 7 series. It also supports head gestures, which is not a new technology but is not commonly implemented on earbuds. Now you can nod your head to answer calls or shake your head to reject. The WF-1000XM5 now allows you to hear yourself during a call – commonly known as “Side Tone”.

Besides new features, the WF-1000XM5 is also packed with existing features like Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-to-Chat, Quick Attention, and Multipoint up to 2 devices. If you are looking for the best noise-cancelling true-wireless earbuds, the WF-1000XM5 is easily one of, if not, the best. Credit goes to the ear tips which provide outstanding passive noise cancellation.

This latest model has also upgraded the drivers from 6mm to 8.4mm, making the sound more musical. The bass has less fat and boom but delivers a good balance of bass notes and impact. This control extends to the midrange as the drivers add some volume without the bloat. The treble retains the sparkle but not forward. The sound staging is more spatial, and less compact, ensuring instruments are clearly audible and separated. Even if you disagree with the default sound setting, you can simply adjust the frequencies using EQ.

The improved microphone design instantly translates to better call quality than the previous generations, as it is more effective in removing background noise while picking up the wearer’s voice through bone conduction sensors. For existing WF-1000XM4 owners, the upgrade to the latest flagship would be essential only If they need the new features. For the rest, the higher retail price might make the WF-1000XM5 a little less enticing.

Rating: 4.5
We Say: The WF-1000XM5 remains the best multi-featured noise-cancelling earbuds to get, but competitors are closely catching up.


Technical Specifications
Driver 8.4mm
Frequency Response 20 – 40,000 Hz
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.3
Bluetooth Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC, LC3
Water Resistance IPX4
Battery up to 8 hours playtime (ANC On), 12 hours with case, 1.5 hours charging
Dimension 64.6 x 40 x 26.5 mm
Weight 5.9g