This redesigned headset converts the swivel arm used by the XM4 into a single arm, with a single point of contact at the earcup, which is slightly larger than the previous generation, and is designed to reduce wind noise when out and about. The headset weighs 250 grams (compared to the XM4’s 254 grams) and has a click-free slider on the synthetic leather headband to help the wearer get the right fit.
Like the previous model, the XM5 offers up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge with Active Noise Cancellation on, and 40 hours with ANC off (10 hours more than the XM4), plus the headphones Full charge time is 3 hours. The XM5 also supports Power Delivery, giving users 3 hours of playback in just 3 minutes on a charger.
The XM5 has eight microphones (four more than the previous model), and they’ve been moved to a more ideal position for noise cancellation — which Sony says makes them better at cancelling high-frequency noise. Meanwhile, four beamforming microphones are built-in to improve voice call quality, and an NC/Ambient button replaces the “custom” button on the XM4, although that button can still be reprogrammed to activate voice assistants, including Siri.
A new 30mm driver provides sound quality, and the headphones use LDAC to provide high-resolution audio, provided the correct source device is present, while SBC and AAC are also supported, as well as DSEE Extreme upscaling for compressed audio. Sony’s 360 Reality Audio Spatial sound effects are also in the mix.
Sony ditched the folding mechanism used on the XM4, so Sony gave the XM5 a larger carrying case. The XM5 also comes with a 3.5mm plyer jack cable.
Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones cost $399 — $50 more than the XM4’s — and come in white, silver, and black. They will be available for purchase online at Amazon and other e-tailers from May 20.