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Sony WH1000XM4 vs Sony WH1000XM5 – Two top-of-the-range wireless headphones

Sony WH1000XM4 vs Sony WH1000XM5

This could be, briefly, the summary of the two protagonists of this article. On the one hand, both belong to Sony, one of the leading companies in the sound technology market. But on the other hand, the company has decided to implement interesting new features between them, which in turn surpass the previous model in the same range. But, focusing on Sony WH1000XM4 vs Sony WH1000XM5, is it worth going for the newer model? To find out, we compare the most relevant similarities and differences between them. Don’t miss it!

Sony WH1000XM4 vs Sony WH1000XM5: What’s different?

First of all, we analyse the aspects in which they differ, which are the ones that will help you to choose or discard one:

Improved noise cancellation

It’s worth noting that both models have noise cancellation, but the company is determined to improve on this with the new headphones. They retain the QN1 processor that the WH1000XM4 also shares, but add the V1, another integrated processor that improves noise reduction technology.

In fact, the brand itself claims that the new model improves noise cancellation in high frequencies by up to 50%. To this end, it doubles the number of analysis microphones from 4 to 8.

On the other hand, the new headphones use artificial intelligence in the Precise Voice Pickup functionality, to enhance noise reduction and voice isolation through an algorithm.

Changes to the headband

Although, as we will see later, both headphones are circumaural in shape, the design changes. The Sony WH1000XM5 model refines the design of the headband, which is thinner than the WH1000XM4.

It also becomes even thinner at the intersection with the earcups, creating two thinner temples that the previous model lacks. Otherwise, they are very similar to each other.

Battery life

Admittedly, the difference in this respect is minimal, but there is a difference. The Sony WH1000XM4 can run for 38 hours (without activating the noise-cancelling mode), which the WH1000XM5 takes up to 40 hours. They do take half an hour longer to fully recharge.

Value for money

Having checked the differences between the two headphones, it is logical to think that there is an economic difference. And there is.

As you know, any recently launched electronic device has a higher price, as is the case with the Sony WH1000XM5. But it is also a more complete and perfect model in terms of sound quality. Especially in noise cancellation, one of the most important innovations the company has made.

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Sony WH1000XM4 vs Sony WH1000XM5: Points they have in common

Having looked at the differences, it’s time to look at what they have in common:

Smart features

Another similarity between the two headphones is the Adaptive Sound Control feature, where the headphones can identify the environment you’re in and adjust the volume of ambient noise accordingly.

Next, the two headphones retain the 360 spatial audio feature, which adapts the sound to the shape of your ear, so you always have the same range of hearing even when you move your head.

Ear cushion design

In terms of design, Sony has actually decided to keep the same type of ear cushion. In fact, they are both circumaural in shape, and the dimensions of the ear cups are similar. There is an aesthetic difference in the headband, which we will see later.

Synchronisation with other devices

If you’re a frequent user of virtual assistants, you’ll be interested to know that both headphones can sync with Google and Alexa, so you can execute commands directly from there. As for the controls, they’re both touch-based.

They can also be paired with two devices at the same time, a very interesting feature for professional use.

Compatible formats

The two protagonists of our review can connect via Bluetooth with a range of approximately 10 metres. It is true that the WH1000XM5 supports version 5.2 compared to 5.0 of its rivals, but it is a small difference that is not noticeable in practice. In addition, both models support SBC, AAC and LDAC audio formats.

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Sony WH1000XM4 vs Sony WH1000XM5: our final conclusion

To be fair, Sony has implemented a few improvements in the WH1000XM5 that make them one of the highest quality wireless headphones around. Especially when it comes to noise cancellation.

For this reason, our recommendation is to choose the Sony WH1000XM5, where the audio clarity is much more perfect than with any other model. This is mainly due to the integration of an additional processor, which is particularly noticeable in the reproduction of high frequencies.

On the other hand, although it is less important, the change in design is very positive. The narrower headsets are generally more comfortable to wear and have a more sophisticated and elegant, less aggressive look.

If we had to highlight something less positive, it would be the price, and that is that the new model is more expensive than the previous one, but it is a difference that seems justified to us. So, if you can’t afford such a high price, you should know that the Sony WH1000XM4 is a very interesting option, and, until now, they were the best Sony headphones.

But if sound quality is more important to you, you should go for the newer model. In either case, Sony’s quality guarantee is there.

These are Sony’s most successful headphones

To finish the review, we show you the list of the best-selling Sony wireless headphones among Amazon users:

20% OFF
Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Mic, 35 Hours Battery Life with Quick Charge, On-ear Style, Hands-Free Call, Voice Assistant - Black
  • Up to 35 hours long battery life
  • 10 minutes Quick Charge for 90 minutes playback
  • Sleek, swivel fold design for compact on-ear style
  • Built-in microphone, enabling hands free voice calls
  • Connects to your smartphone voice assistant
20% OFF
Sony MDR-ZX110 Overhead Headphones - Black , BASIC, Pack of 1
  • 30 mm dome drivers for balanced sound
  • High energy neodymium magnets deliver powerful sound
  • 12-22 kHz frequency range
  • Padded ear cups for comfortable listening
  • Choice of colours to suit your style
29% OFF
Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones - 30 hours battery life - Over Ear style - Optimised for Alexa and the Google Assistant - with built-in mic for phone calls - Black
  • Noise cancellation, powered by HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1
  • Sound quality - these Bluetooth headphones support ideal Resolution Audio, and even compressed music files are upscaled using evolved DSEE Extreme technology
  • Speak-to-Chat automatically pauses playback when one start a conversation, Wearing Detection powers off headphones when not wearing them, plus more smart features for a seamless, hands-free listening experience
  • With multipoint connection, Sony headphones can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at the same time, Bluetooth version: 5.0 and frequency range: 2.4GHz band (2.4000GHz-2.4835GHz), Effective Range : Line of sight approx.30ft (10m)
  • Driver Unit : 40mm dome type (CCAW Voice coil), Plug : Gold-plated L-shaped stereo mini plug, Cord Length : Headphone cable (approx. 1.2m, OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug)
24% OFF
Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones - 30 hours battery life - Over-ear style - Optimised for Alexa and the Google Assistant - with built-in mic for phone calls - Black
  • The new Integrated Processor V1 unlocks the full potential of our HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 to deliver our biggest step forward in our (already!) industry-leading noise cancellation technology.
  • Precision-engineered to deliver exceptional High-Resolution Audio quality. Our Precise Voice Pickup Technology with newly developed wind noise reduction will also ensure you can hear and be heard clearly when taking calls on these noise cancelling headphones.
  • Smart, intuitive, and intelligent. Adaptive Sound Control automatically adjusts the sound settings based on your environment and activity, and Speak-to-Chat automatically pauses the music when you want to have a conversation, without you having to remove the over ear headphones!
  • For total convenience, these Bluetooth headphones can be paired with two devices at the same time. Fast Pair will help you locate the WH-1000XM5 if you can't find them and Swift Pair makes pairing with your PC or tablet simple.
  • With up to a huge 30 hours of battery life, you’ll have enough power, even for long trips! A collapsible case is included with these Sony headphones for easy storage and travel.
23% OFF
Sony WH-XB910N EXTRA BASS™ Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones - Up to 30 hours battery life - Over-ear style - Optimised for Alexa and Google Assistant - with built-in mic for phone calls - Black
  • EXTRA BASS for impressively deep, punchy sound on these Sony headphones
  • Active noise cancelling headphones with Dual Noise Sensor technology
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life (with noise cancelling ON your Sony wireless headphones)
  • Featuring Multipoint connection, these Bluetooth headphones with microphone allow you to switch effortlessly between devices
  • Carry case and foldable design for easy travelling