Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Sony WF-1000XM4: What’s the difference?

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  • Sony WF-1000XM5

    Sony’s true wireless earbuds bring better sound, noise cancellation and a better look, more comfortable to wear for longer. They also manage to stick to the price of the WF-1000XM4 launch, which is not something we see very often this season.

    Goodness

    • The energy, the sound of music
    • Good design, well made
    • Good battery life
    • Some really useful stuff
    evil

    • Noise cancellation is not very strong at this price
    • Phone calls can be inconsistent

  • Sony XM4-1

    Sony WF-1000XM4

    $229.95 $279.99 Save $50.04

    Sony’s WF-1000XM4 has been one of our most recommended wireless headphones since its launch two years ago. However, they do miss out on some of the new features that replaced them, but if you can get them for a good price they are definitely worth checking out.

    Goodness

    • Sound performance
    • Comfortable for long wear
    • Wireless charging support
    evil

    • He is still very big
    • Overall battery life could be better
    • Noise cancellation is not as good as the new competition

Sony has released the fifth generation of its WF-1000X speakers, promising to bring better noise cancellation, better sound quality and better sound quality. Considering the WF-1000XM4 and some of our certified wireless earbuds, how do they compare to new ones? WF-1000XM5, should you upgrade or trade in your remaining XM4s? Read on to find out how these two headphones compare.


Description, pricing and availability

Sony announced the WF-1000XM5 on July 24 2023, priced at $299/£259, in a choice of black or silver.

The WF-1000XM4 was announced two years ago, on 8 June 2021, and cost $280/£250. You can find them very cheap during sales, and I suspect the XM5s will launch.

There’s a lot more information on this post below, but keep reading to find out more.

  • IMG_2116-1

    Sony WF-1000XM5

    Color
    Sony

    Battery life
    8 hours (24 hours is a problem)

    Noise Cancellation
    Yes

    Microphone
    Three on the shoot

    Communication
    Bluetooth 5.3

    IP value
    IPX4

    Weight (ears)
    5.9g to

    Payment
    USB-C, Wireless Qi charger

    Driver size
    8.4 mm

    Chip
    Integrated processor V2

    Spatial Audio
    Sony 360 Reality Audio support and head tracking

    Special
    Adaptive Sound Control, Talk-to-chat, Spotify Tap

  • Sony WF-1000XM4

    Color
    Sony

    Battery life
    8 hours (24 hours is a problem)

    Noise Cancellation
    Yes

    Microphone
    Two on the shoot

    Communication
    Bluetooth 5.2

    IP value
    IPX4

    Weight (ears)
    7.3g to

    Payment
    USB-C, Wireless Qi charger

    Driver size
    6.4 mm

    Chip
    Integrated processor V1

    Spatial Audio
    Sony 360 Reality Audio support

    Special
    Voice Control, Talk-to-talk

Creation

IMG_2116-1

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is 25 percent smaller than the WF-1000XM4, which was also 10 percent smaller than the WF-1000XM3. The XM5s are a very slim design that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. This is also supported because they are 20 percent lighter.

Both have polyurethane ear tips, but the WF-1000XM5 offers four smaller tips – tiny, if you will – to protect smaller ears.

There is a slightly glossy finish to the main body of the XM5s, compared to the matte finish of the XM4, but the stop is not much different, but because it is a little smaller due to the smaller blades.

There’s also a USB-C port on the back for charging, as well as wireless charging. The battery life is compared to eight hours from a single charge and 24 hours with a charge, and the waterproof performance comes into play here too – both blades offer an IPX4 rating meaning that they can all be used in the gym without worry.

Appearance

Sony WF-1000XM5

All of Sony’s phones are loaded with features, though the XM5s throw in a few extras compared to their predecessors.

Both offer Adaptive Sound Control, which is Sony’s noise cancellation. This can change the amount of ambient noise input depending on what you’re doing and where you are – and can be adjusted to suit.

Noise Cancellation has also been improved in the XM5, with the addition of a second microphone – making three in each ear instead of two. There is also an integrated processor V2, which includes the HD Noise Canceling processor QN2e. Sony says this combination should help especially with low frequency cancellation, and claims that the noise cancellation found in the XM5s reduces noise by a further 20%.

The additional states are also supposed to work in conjunction with Sony’s new AI noise reduction system to further eliminate noise, giving the XM5 “a better sound quality”.

Elsewhere, in both generations there are sensors, so that your music stops when you remove the bud, and there is also Talk-to-chat in both generations, which can pause your music when it knows you are talking.

You can also count on multipoint connectivity in the XM4 and XM5, following firmware updates for the former, support for Sony’s lossless LDAC codecs and the ability to play 360 Reality Audio in compatible apps, such as Tidal. However, the XM5s add head-tracking functionality when playing back music with 360 Reality Audio, which works in a similar way to Apple’s Spatial Audio – the sound changes based on where your head is in relation to your device.

Finally, you’ll find Spotify Tap on the XM5s, a shortcut on the website that will play you an official song from Spotify – something not available on the XM4s.

Procedure

Sony WF-1000XM4 review: Class-leading ANC TWS headphones, 'nuff said pic 6
Pocket-lint

The Sony WF-1000XM5 has a new driver compared to the 6.4mm method in the WF-1000XM4, something that Sony calls Dynamic Driver X. It uses a new diaphragm made from different materials, and it is a large individual driver – up to 8.4mm.

Its focus has been on the refinement of all frequencies, from clear sound effects to strong bass output.

I loved the sound of the WF-1000XM5, as they served full, bold and musically that gave some of its competitors a run for their money. However, we also liked the sound of the XM4s, and responded with more clarity, detail and treble.

The truth is, the XM5s have moved the sound, but it’s not night and day here. The bass is slightly refined and the fine detail is very high, with a good touch of harmony and control.

Noise canceling is also good here, but it’s not leading – you’ll find the best ANC can be found elsewhere. However, as far as the segment goes, you will hear a change in the sound between the generations, while still maintaining the natural feeling that not all competitors can afford it.

The end

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is without a doubt the better side of the two, and in two years Sony has put in a lot of work on sound control, noise cancellation and better control. They may not be an absolute no brainer that they were, but for their predecessors, they are absolutely better in many areas.

Sony XM5-1

Sony WF-1000XM5

Best to buy now

Great music in the ears that gives a lot of love.

However, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are undoubtedly getting some pretty sweet discounts right now, so considering how much we love their sound, it’s worth checking out.

Sony XM5-1

Sony WF-1000XM4

Still good as a product

$229.95 $279.99 Save $50.04

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