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5 Reasons to Buy the Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones Today

The Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones: Your Ultimate Audio Companion

If you‘re in the market for a premium pair of noise-cancelling headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5 should be at the top of your list. As the latest iteration in Sony‘s acclaimed 1000X series, these flagship cans deliver exceptional audio quality, best-in-class active noise cancellation (ANC), and a slew of cutting-edge features. Whether you‘re a frequent flyer, remote worker, audiophile or just someone who appreciates pristine sound, the WH-1000XM5 have you covered. Let‘s dive into the top reasons why you should consider making them your next pair of headphones.

Unrivaled Noise Cancellation
The WH-1000XM5‘s noise-cancelling capabilities are simply second to none. Equipped with Sony‘s HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 and Integrated Processor V1, these headphones continuously analyze your environment and automatically optimize the ANC based on your surroundings and wearing conditions. With a whopping eight microphones (double that of the previous WH-1000XM4 model) and advanced AI algorithms, ambient noise is effectively eliminated across the entire frequency range, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your music.

But the noise cancellation isn‘t just a one-size-fits-all affair. Using Sony‘s Headphones Connect app, you can fine-tune the amount of external sound that‘s allowed in via the adjustable Ambient Sound mode. This is perfect for situations where you need to stay aware of important announcements or conversations without taking off your headphones. The app even lets you create custom ANC profiles for different locations that will automatically switch based on where you are – for example, more aggressive noise filtering during your daily train commute but a more relaxed setting while working at a cafe.

Stellar Sound Quality
Of course, noise cancellation means little if the actual audio output is subpar. Fortunately, the WH-1000XM5 excel in this department as well. The newly redesigned 30mm drivers reproduce a dynamic, well-balanced sound signature with crystal-clear mids, sparkling treble, and tight, punchy bass. From delicate instrumental passages to deep electronic drops, every genre shines on these headphones.

Like the ANC, the sound can be personalized to your own preferences as well. The Headphones Connect app includes a robust equalizer for boosting or lowering individual frequencies. You can select from several presets optimized for different music styles or create your own custom EQ curve. There‘s even an option to analyze your ear shape and wearing style for a tailored listening experience unique to you.

The WH-1000XM5 support Sony‘s proprietary LDAC codec, which transmits up to three times more data than standard Bluetooth for near high-resolution audio quality. Paired with a compatible device like one of Sony‘s Walkman music players or a high-end Android phone, you can enjoy your lossless FLAC files as they were meant to be heard. And if you‘re using an iPhone, the AAC codec ensures you still get great sound with minimal compression.

All-Day Comfort
Premium headphones are an investment, so you‘ll want a pair that you can wear for hours without discomfort. The WH-1000XM5 have been thoughtfully redesigned with this in mind. The headband has extra padding and distributes weight evenly to avoid excess pressure on the crown of your head. Plush, generously cushioned earcups gently envelop your ears while still allowing some breathability.

At 250 grams, these headphones are slightly lighter than their predecessor and strike a nice balance between durability and portability. The earcups also swivel and fold flat, so you can easily slide the WH-1000XM5 into the included carrying case when not in use. My only nitpick is that they no longer fold up like the WH-1000XM4, so the case takes up a bit more space in your bag.

Intuitive Controls
On the right earcup, you‘ll find a responsive touch control panel for playing/pausing music, adjusting volume, and skipping tracks. While there is an initial learning curve, the gestures soon become second nature and I appreciate having essential commands just a tap away without needing to pull out my phone. You can also customize some of the button functions, like assigning the NC/AMB button to activate your voice assistant of choice instead of cycling the ambient sound mode.

Speaking of voice assistants, the WH-1000XM5 offer hands-free voice access to Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa. Simply say the appropriate wake word and your AI helper will be at your service, whether you need to send a quick text, set a reminder, or control smart home devices. The headphones‘ beamforming microphones do an admirable job of isolating your voice from background noise for accurate speech recognition.

For those moments when you need to briefly chat with someone, the Speak-to-Chat feature automatically pauses your music and lets in ambient sound as soon as you start talking. It‘s remarkably responsive and beats having to take your headphones on and off repeatedly. You can adjust the sensitivity or turn this off completely in the app if you find it too distracting.

Fantastic for Calls and Conferencing
That microphone array comes in handy for voice and video calls as well. Callers told me that my voice came through loud and clear, even in relatively noisy environments like a busy street corner or crowded office. The WH-1000XM5‘s noise rejection is equally impressive for the person on the other end of the line, drastically reducing background chatter, keyboard clatter, and even moderate wind noise when I was outside. This makes the headphones a great companion for remote workers who frequently hop on Zoom meetings or business travelers who need to join calls from the airport lounge.

Epic Battery Life
The WH-1000XM5 are rated for a stellar 30 hours of continuous playback with ANC on, stretching to 40 hours if you turn it off. From my testing, these numbers seem to be right on target. The headphones easily powered through a week‘s worth of commutes, workouts, and video calls for me before needing a recharge. And when it finally came time to top them up, I was able to get an additional 3 hours of use after just 3 minutes of charging thanks to Sony‘s quick charge technology.

For even more peace of mind, the WH-1000XM5 will automatically power down after a period of inactivity and seamlessly resume playback when you put them back on thanks to built-in wear detection sensors. There‘s also an optional power saving mode in the app that powers off the headphones after 5 minutes without a Bluetooth connection to eke out every last bit of battery.

Multipoint Made Easy
Having to manually disconnect and re-pair Bluetooth headphones to different devices can be a real hassle. The WH-1000XM5 eliminates this with multipoint connectivity, allowing them to be paired with two devices simultaneously and automatically switch between them as needed. I loved being able to listen to Spotify on my laptop while still having the headphones connected to my phone in case a call came in. With Google Fast Pair and Windows Swift Pair support, connecting the headphones to your Android phone or Windows PC is as simple as powering them on nearby, no need to fuss with pairing menus.

Working Out With the WH-1000XM5
While the WH-1000XM5 are fantastic headphones in most respects, exercise is one area where your mileage may vary. From a sound and comfort perspective, they‘re actually quite suitable for the gym. The secure fit and closed-back design do a great job of blocking out distracting grunts and clanking weights, while the powerful ANC makes it easy to focus on your music even in bustling fitness classes. The bass-rich default sound profile also provides some extra oomph to keep you motivated through tough sets or cardio sessions.

However, the lack of formal IP rating for water or sweat resistance means you‘ll want to be careful about moisture exposure. The headphones should be fine for lighter workouts in controlled environments, but I wouldn‘t feel confident wearing them for a rainy jog or super sweaty spin class. If your workouts tend to be on the more intense side, you may want to opt for dedicated sport headphones with better moisture protection, or consider Sony‘s true wireless WF-SP800N earbuds instead.

The touch controls can also be a little finicky when your hands are sweaty, occasionally mistaking a light brush for a tap and pausing your music. Using the physical buttons is more reliable, but requires a bit more pressure to activate which can slightly jostle the headphones and break your focus.

Is the 1000XM5‘s High Price Justified?
There‘s no getting around the fact that these are expensive headphones, especially compared to many of their noise-cancelling peers. At an MSRP of $399, they‘re a full $50 more than the already premium Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and right in line with the Apple AirPods Max. For some, it may be hard to justify spending that much on a pair of headphones, no matter how good they are.

But if you can swing it, I truly believe the WH-1000XM5 are worth every penny. The exceptional ANC, pristine sound quality, and practical quality-of-life features add up to a fantastic overall package that‘s a joy to use every day. The generous battery life means you won‘t have to worry about recharging frequently, while the classy, understated design pairs well with both casual and professional attire. When amortized over the many years these durable headphones will likely last, the cost per use actually ends up being quite reasonable.

Final Thoughts
Since their release in May 2022, the Sony WH-1000XM5 have cemented their place as the king of noise-cancelling headphones. With class-leading ANC, refined sound, and a compelling blend of features, these headphones are easy to recommend for anyone seeking a premium listening experience. While their high price and lack of workout-specific features may give some pause, the WH-1000XM5 excel in nearly every other aspect and are absolutely worth the investment for the right buyer.

So whether you‘re a demanding audiophile, frequent jet-setter, or just someone who appreciates the best noise-cancelling technology currently available, do yourself a favor and give the Sony WH-1000XM5 a listen. Your ears will thank you.