- Smaller, lighter design
- Powerful noise-cancellation
- More detailed, balanced audio performance
- Plenty of smart, convenient features
- Bose a smidge better for ANC
- Slightly odd call performance
Sony’s WF-1000XM5 knocks the previous holder of best true wireless (the WF-1000XM4), with a terrific, across the board performance.
The audio performance is an improvement on its predecessor in terms of detail and sharpness, the new Dynamic Driver X ushers in a more balanced performance across the frequency range. Low end depth does take a hit, but to our ears the WF-1000XM5 sound more detailed and clearer with its bass performance even though it loses a sense of fun.. The midrange is also better, much better at showcasing fine detail in music, while there have been gains with the high frequencies, which are sharper, clearer and more detailed.
Elsewhere, noise-cancelling performance is better, able to suppress voices and environmental noise better than than before, though the QuietComfort Earbuds II suppress sounds slightly better noise-cancelling performance, though in the Sony’s favour is that it cancels noises with a more natural tone. The transparency mode is clear and detailed, although the WF-1000XM4 sounds slightly clearer and more open to our ears.
Battery life is the same with 8 hours per earbuds and 24 in total with the charging case. Wireless performance is good in both AAC and LDAC playback modes, though it is less prone to stutter when streaming audio in AAC. There are too many features to list in this paragraph, but in terms of customisation, breadth, and convenience, no other true wireless is as comprehensive as the WF-1000XM5 in our mind.
Call quality is decent but has a tendency to leak in background noise whenever we spoke. We wouldn’t rate as being as good as the AirPods Pro 2 for call performance.
Finally, the design is smaller and lighter for a more favourable and comfortable fit, something that users felt was an issue with the XM4 model. The introduction of an extra small ear-tip size means more room to fit a wider range of ears.
Though it’s not perfect, and there are still areas where its rivals have a leg-up on them, in terms of overall performance, the Sony WF-1000XM5 still rank as our favourite true wireless.
Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sony WF-1000XM5