These are the wh000x m5s and i know weve made fun of sonys awful product names for years now, but i think when it comes to the 1000x series, people get it. These are among the very best noise canceling headphones. You can buy today, sonys been competing for years against bose and more recently apple to win over frequent flyers and commuters and everyone else who cant live without active noise cancellation and as more jobs. Move to this hybrid work model, i think noise. Cancelling headphones are essential for peace and quiet, whether its your real office or your home office, sonys thousand xm5s have a fresh design, cleaner, sound and even better anc, but theyre. Also 50 bucks more expensive than the m4s which are staying in the lineup. Are they worth that upgrade potentially, but its? Not slam dunk so lets get into it for the first time in many years, sonys overhauled the entire design. These thousand xm5s look totally distinct from their predecessors. The headband is thinner for one and instead of arms that cradle the ear cups at both sides, theres now a stem that runs down the middle. If you look at some of sonys competition like apples, airpods max or boses noise, cancelling headphone 700, i think you can see where they got some inspiration. This new style definitely looks cleaner with fewer obvious seams and such but im not convinced it looks very premium. The thousand xm4s had some metal on their ratcheting ear cup sliders, but everything you can see or touch on the thousand xm5s is all plastic thats, not to say theyre, not durable.

I twisted the hell out of these headphones and they held up perfectly fine, but for four hundred dollars i would have appreciated some nicer materials. My sennheiser momentum, threes are just on a different level of fit and finish, but you can also overdo it. Some people would say the airpods maps are way too heavy, so clearly, sony favors comfort over a lavish design, both ear cups, still pivot and turn just like always so youre not losing anything there. But one thing: sonys new, headphones cant do anymore is fold. This is one of my biggest disappointments with the thousand xm5s, instead of folding down for convenient portability. These headphones just lay flat in their case and as a result, that case is large, whereas i had no issue putting the old case for the thousand xm4s in my bag. The thousand xm5s would not fit in that same slot, so they had to go in the main compartment in my bag. Thats not ideal. Look. This case is just too bulky and i think sony could have done better even bozas case for the noise canceling headphone 700, which cant fold up either is smaller and makes better use of space. People travel with noise, canceling headphones all the time, and so i think sonys ginormous case is going to cause some frustration, but it is at least a functional case with storage for the usb c and headphone cables. One thing you wont find in the box anymore is the dual prong airline adapter, which feels a bit stingy for 400 bucks, but it is what it is now lets talk about sound and there are bigger changes here than you might expect.

Sony switched from 40 millimeter drivers in the thousand xm4s to 30 millimeter drivers, and these new headphones now driver size, isnt everything, but i cant think of the last time a pair of sony headphones sounded this different from their direct predecessors, based on my time with them. So far, id say that thousand xm5s are tighter, more detailed and clean up the sometimes muddy base of the thousand xm4s, but they also have less oomph to them, theyre less in your face and less potent out of the box now those are not audiophile terms, obviously, But i hope it makes sense, ive been doing a lot of comparisons with the same songs on both headphones and in most cases i do prefer the new ones. When i put on spoons new record, for example, the m5s just sound more crisp and detailed, but if i put on hip hop or dance or soul music, there are times when i do lean towards the older m4s. And so i think its inevitable that some people are going to prefer the sound of the previous headphones and maybe thats part of why sonys keeping them around. Take your pick. If you want cleaner and tighter sound go for the m5s, if you need that boom factor and the powerful excitement, maybe the m4s are more your style. As for noise cancellation, these actually have the same qn1 ship that was in the m4s. Only now there are two of them, and so sony says the anc performs similarly on a plane, but should be better at handling street noise and cutting down on nearby voices and thats all been true in my experience so far, its still not enough to give you A private bubble of absolute silence if youre in a coffee shop but its an improvement over, was already fantastic noise cancellation.

One tiny thing to note: on the hardware past sony headphones had an optimize button that would adjust the anc based on factors like air pressure and fit your hairstyle if you wear glasses and so on now the button is gone and that all happens in the background Automatically says sony and, while part of me does miss the button, it was a fun trick and who doesnt love buttons. This does make a lot more sense for simplicitys sake. Now we come to voice calls and my friends sony is going for broke. The thousand xm5s have eight microphones in total, and four of them are used for voice. So when you combine that with supposed ai noise reduction algorithm improvements, the results should be good, but the only way to know is to put the m5 through a voice test. So shall we okay so were starting out with a thousand xm5s. They have more microphones and various ai enhancements, like i said so, this is pretty ideal scenario were in a quiet office, but should give you a good sense of how they sound voice quality. Are you impressed? Are you meh either way? This is the best sonys managed to do so far. Okay, now were going back in time to the 1000xm4s sonys older headphones their last gen model. Some people like these for voice. I was never really that impressed but again were in ideal circumstances, a quiet office. So if youre working somewhere trying to get on a meeting and talk to folks, this is how the m4s perform, and so now weve got the airpods max even more expensive than the m5s.

These are apples flagship, headphones, theyve, gotten good marks for voice quality. So tell me what you think: do you prefer these or sonys, but these are a lot more money, so got ta factor that in too and these are boses noise. Cancelling 700, like the sonys theyve, got a lot of mics theyve, gotten good reviews for their voice. Quality, they look similar too so its up to you to decide whether sony sounds better or if bose has a leg up again were in a very quiet office. So i think all these are going to sound pretty good, but it does come down to the details. So let me know what you think in the comments last up are sennheisers momentum. 3 wireless. I love how these headphones feel and sound and look, but they dont have the best mic so im sure theyre, not quite as good as the airpods max or the sonys. But just another comparison for you to hear and see how they come out. The thousand xm5 still support ldac sonys codec for higher quality wireless audio. So if you cant plug in helldeck, is the next best thing for hearing high res music from apple music, amazon, music and other services, but only on android mind you if youve got an iphone youre stuck with good old, lower quality, aac and sbc for bluetooth. These headphones also support multi point, so you can pair them up with two devices at once, say your phone and your laptop.

Unfortunately, sony still makes you choose one or the other. You can enable either ldac or multi point, but you cant do both. At the same time, the thousand xm4s had the same restriction and its back again here. Battery life is still the same 30 hours, which is more than enough to cover pretty much any long haul flight. If you turn off all the bells and whistles, you can stretch it out even longer last i want to talk about missed opportunities. All of those things i was hoping sony might add this time around, but still hasnt, first its getting silly that these headphones cant work. Wirelessly with the playstation 5. theyre, both sony products. What are we doing here? Second, the usb c port is still just for charging and a number of other headphones. Let me use it for audio as well. Theres, also still a complete lack of water or sweat resistance. So keep that in mind. I know these arent workout headphones, but some progress would be nice, maybe by the time the thousand xm6s roll along in two years. Some of these points will be addressed, but im not going to hold my breath, and so all of that, in a nutshell, is sonys 1000x m5s theyve got a new sleeker design that still doesnt rise up to their 400 price. The active noise cancellation is better than its ever been. They sound way different, which might prove somewhat divisive for anyone that already has the thousand xm4s.

There is zero reason to run out and upgrade to these. Your headphones can do everything these can, but if youre on older sonys like the m3s or m2s, then it starts to make more sense, youre getting multi point and the best anc sonys pulled off. Yet i dont love that the price has gone up and i have no idea what sony was thinking with this case. For those reasons, take a look at the m4s and maybe save yourself. Some money i feel like sony, might have gotten confused about what it wanted. The m5s to be theyre, like the strange half step between the m4s and even more expensive headphones like the airpods max, but at the end of the day, theres still a damn good set of noise cancelling headphones, hey there, everybody. Thank you a ton for watching. As always, right now im outside a coffee shop in new york city, so you hear how the m5 will sound in a much louder environment, but for the full review go to theverge.