Sony WF-1000XM5 break cover as the world's 'best noise-canceling earbuds'

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Sony WF-1000XM5 break cover as the world's 'best noise-canceling earbuds'
Are you familiar with our extensive list of the best wireless earbuds money can buy in 2023? Well, Sony is practically rendering such lists meaningless today with the highly anticipated announcement of the thoroughly leaked WF-1000XM5.

These are bombastically billed as the best of the best noise-canceling earbuds out there, purportedly raising industry standards with "astonishing sound and Sony's best ever call quality", and although nothing is ever that simple in a massively crowded and incredibly competitive market dominated (as far as sales numbers go) by Apple, we have every reason to believe that the hyperbolic claims made in the WF-1000XM5 press release will (largely) coincide with your real-life user experience.

Sony WF-1000XM5

True Wireless Earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation, High-Resolution Audio, Two Proprietary Processors, New High-Performance Driver Unit, Dual Feedback Microphones, Noise-Isolation Earbud Tips, Precise Voice Pickup Technology, Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-to-Chat, IPX4 Water Resistance, Up to 8 Hours of Uninterrupted Listening Time, 24 Hours of Combined Battery Life with Wireless Charging Case, Black and Silver Color Options

Sony WF-1000XM5

True Wireless Earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation, High-Resolution Audio, Two Proprietary Processors, New High-Performance Driver Unit, Dual Feedback Microphones, Noise-Isolation Earbud Tips, Precise Voice Pickup Technology, Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-to-Chat, IPX4 Water Resistance, Up to 8 Hours of Uninterrupted Listening Time, 24 Hours of Combined Battery Life with Wireless Charging Case, Black and Silver Color Options

A spectacular predecessor and a more than worthy sequel


Remember when we deemed the WF-1000XM4 a "worthy upgrade" over the already amazing WF-1000XM3 in our in-depth review back in 2021? Something tells us the same will be true for the hot new and redesigned Sony WF-1000XM5 buds in relation to their predecessors when our next respective review comes out.

In the meantime, of course, the actual product needs to come out, which will happen in just a few days. Pre-orders are already underway at a recommended price of $299.99, with the release date listed as July 26 at Best Buy and July 27 at Amazon as far as the black colorway is concerned.

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If you prefer the silver hue, you'll have to wait until August 4 for Amazon to fulfil your pre-order, and while Sony's official US website currently estimates deliveries for this model for August 8-9, Best Buy is somehow under the impression it will be able to release both WF-1000XM5 flavors on July 26, which may or may not prove to be true.

Either way, you're definitely not looking at an excruciating wait for what's likely to prove one of the greatest alternatives to the likes of Apple's AirPods Pro 2, Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and Bose's QuietComfort Earbuds 2. The latter model is priced identically to the Sony WF-1000XM5 and is similarly marketed as the "best in the world", making your buying decision a little more difficult than you may have anticipated.

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Subjective world titles aside, we fully and reasonably expect the WF-1000XM5 to improve the noise cancellation of the WF-1000XM4 with two proprietary processors, a new high-performance driver unit, dual feedback microphones, and innovative "noise-isolation earbud tips." In short, you should be able to totally and completely isolate yourself from whatever's around you while listening to your favorite tunes with richer and more detailed vocals than ever, as well as ultra-low distortion and crystal clear audio reproduction.

Obviously, there's more


More microphones than ever for clearer voice calls than ever, that is, more sensors capable of producing immersive sound for AR games, for instance, but not more battery life. At least on paper, the WF-1000XM5 are equal to their forerunners in that latter department, promising to keep your tunes going for up to 8 hours on a single charge and using their bundled charging case to raise the bar to a maximum combined endurance rating of 24 hours.


That's actually another impressive achievement on Sony's part if you consider that the company's new true wireless flagship is roughly 25 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the WF-1000XM4. Believe it or not, the WF-1000XM5 tip the scales at 5.9 grams (per bud), which makes all the advertised noise cancellation, audio performance, and call quality improvements feel that much more remarkable... even if the LinkBuds S, for instance, are still considerably lighter.

The WF-1000XM5 redesign, by the way, is likely to be met with mixed feelings by WF-1000XM4 and WF-1000XM3 fans, adding a glossy texture that many online commenters lamented when the first product depictions leaked a little while back and changing the beloved shape of Sony's ultra-premium buds to enhance comfort and stability.

It remains to be seen just how comfortable you'll find these bad boys to sit in your ears all day, and of course, how comfortable you'll be to spend $300 on something that many competitors sell for $200 or less.

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