Sony Claims Its WF-1000XM5 Wireless Earbuds Offer Unrivaled ANC, Now Up For Preorder

Sony WF-1000XM5 wirelesse earbuds (black) on a gray gradient background
Sony can no longer claim its popular WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds offer the best active noise cancellation (ANC) around. Why is that? Simply put, they've been usurped by its newest flagship offering, the WF-1000XM5, and according to Sony, "[active] noise cancellation does not get any better" than it does with its latest iteration of the WF-1000X line.

That's saying something because the WF-1000XM4 is widely considered to be one of the best ANC earbud options around. And before that, the WF-1000XM3 was a popular choice for the same reason. Now the baton has been passed to the WF-1000XM5, which features a pair of proprietary processors designed to cancel even more external noise than before.

Sony also touts "a new high-performance driver unit Dynamic Driver X, dual feedback microphones, and innovative Noise-Isolation Earbud Tips for a more stable fit. Real-time noise canceling processing can be optimized to provide the best performance for your environment so you will hear a big difference especially in airplanes, trains, or buses."

Each earbud houses three microphones, including the aforementioned dual feedback mics, to improve low-frequency cancellation performance. In addition, these earbuds feature a newly developed Noise-Cancelling Processor QN2e to keep ambient noise in check.

Sony slide showing two processors for the WF-1000XM5.

Beyond the ANC performance, Sony is promising "astonishing sound quality" from its latest earbuds, which are powered by a new V2 chip that incorporates 24-bit audio processing and analogue amplification. According to Sony, this results in low distortion and crystal-clear audio.

"The WF-1000XM5 supports High-Resolution Audio Wireless, thanks to LDAC, over industry-adopted audio coding technology. LDAC transmits approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio for exceptional High-Resolution Audio quality that is closer than ever to studio recording," Sony says.

Sony also figured out how to pack all this audio goodness into earbuds that are 25% smaller and 20% lighter than the previous iteration. The included wireless charging case is smaller this time around as well.

Sony WF-1000XM5 charging case (white).

As for battery life, Sony says you can expect up to 8 hours of listening time per charge. The charging case adds another 16 hours to the mix, for a total of 24 hours. And in a pinch, Sony says a quick 3-minute charge will yield up to an hour of run time.

Like other premium earbuds, these aren't cheap—the WF-1000XM5 is available to preorder for $298 on Amazon (slightly cheaper than the $299.99 MSRP) in black or white (you can also find them at at Best Buy and Crutchfield for the same price). The earbuds will be released on July 27, 2023.

We haven't tested these earbuds, but the early reviews around the web are overwhelmingly positive. That said, there are other high-end options worthy of consideration. Some of them include...
  • Sony WF-1000XM3: $278
  • Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen): $199
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II: $249
  • Google Pixel Buds Pro: $199.99
  • Soundcore by Anker Space A40: $79
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: $99.99
  • OnePlus Buds Pro 2: $129.99
  • Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed: $199.99
We have a review of the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed in the works, which take aim at gamers with a low-latency, cross-platform 2.4GHz dongle. Hopefully we'll get a set of WF-1000XM5 earbuds in for review as well to see how they compare.