We may have just had our first look at the Sony WH-1000XM5, the possible successors to the best headphones you can buy today.
A new leak from TechnikNews (via XDA Developers) includes high-quality renders of what it says are the next-generation noise-canceling headphones, which are set to launch this year and replace the much-loved Sony WH-1000XM4.
Although the leak didn’t include a release date or price, we expect the Sony WH-1000XM5 to appear in August and retail for a similar price to its $350/£350/£350 predecessors. AU$550. This is based on previous launches of the WH-1000X range of wireless headphones.
Sony hasn’t confirmed that it’s working on a new pair of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, but the renders look pretty convincing to us – and the timing matches our expectations of an August release date. We’ve reached out to Sony for comment, and will update this article when we get back to you.
If legit, images shared by TechnikNews show that Sony hasn’t strayed too far from the WH-1000XM4’s design for its upcoming noise-canceling headphones, but has made some changes to give the WH-1000XM5 a sleeker look. . appearance.
The earcups seem to be larger and more generously padded, which might make the WH-1000XM5 more comfortable to wear than their predecessors – not that that’s an issue we encountered with the WH-1000XM4. The headband also appears to have thicker padding.
It looks like the on/off button on the left earcup has been replaced with a slider, and the ‘Custom’ button has reverted to ‘NC/Ambient’, as it was on the Sony WH-1000XM3. Like their predecessors, renders show the headphones available in black and silver, and they’ll come with a carrying case – although this time they don’t fold up inside.
Sony’s most durable headphones yet
As for the specs? TechnikNews claims that the Sony WH-1000XM5 gets a big improvement in battery life, which will come in at 40 hours with ANC on. That’s 10 hours more playback than the Sony WH-1000XM4 can manage, although charging time (via USB-C) has increased slightly to three and a half hours.
This longer battery life seems reasonable. A recent patent filed by Sony, which describes a pair of wireless noise canceling headphones, showed an internal battery capacity of 3.8V, as opposed to the WH-1000XM4’s nominal 3.7V.
Active noise cancellation will also apparently be improved, with two dedicated chips and three microphones to detect environmental noise and cancel it out. The noise cancellation provided by the XM4 was already very good, so any improvement in this area will feel like a bonus.
The wireless connectivity standard has been raised to Bluetooth 5.2 from Bluetooth 5, and you’ll still be able to listen with a wired connection thanks to a 3.5mm port.
There’s no word on the Sony WH-1000XM5’s audio performance improvements, but there are a few things we’d like to see, namely the reintroduction of the aptX codec, which came with the Sony WH-1000XM3, but was missing of the XM4. This codec enables high-resolution audio playback, and while the XM4 is covered for high-quality streams using Sony’s own LDAC technology, you’ll need a compatible device to enjoy it.
In addition to full Hi-Res Audio support, we’d like the Sony WH-1000XM5 to come with lossless audio. This was once impossible for wireless headphones, as the bandwidth offered by Bluetooth connectivity was not wide enough to handle uncompressed and lossless streams. However, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound technology could make this possible.
All Sony would have to do is integrate the new QCC3065x headphone chip, and WH-1000XM5 users could enjoy bit-for-bit mathematically exact music that faithfully reproduces the music as the artist intended it. be heard.
This chip hasn’t hit the market yet, but headphones using this technology are expected to start rolling out this year, making the Sony WH-1000XM5 a prime candidate for lossless audio support.