The Sony WH-1000XM5 may not be the five-star follow-up we were expecting

The Sony WH-1000XM5 are the most anticipated pair of headphones set to release this year, with hopes that they’ll follow in the footsteps of their five-star predecessors, the WH-1000XM4.

However, a new leak has toned down those lofty expectations, suggesting that successors to the best headphones you can buy today won’t be as impressive as we’d hoped.

Photos of the Sony WH-1000XM5’s retail packaging have been leaked on Reddit (via The Verge), and they show a 30-hour battery life. If these photos are legit (and it’s important to note that Sony hasn’t even confirmed that it’s working on a new pair of over-ear headphones) then that figure is 10 hours less than the lifespan of the battery of 40 previously reported by TechnikNews.

Not as durable as we hoped

a rendering of the sony wh-1000xm5 headphones

A previous leak shows that the Sony WH-1000XM5 could have a cleaner design. (Image credit: TechnikNews)

The Sony WH-1000XM4 already boasts 30 hours of battery life with active noise cancellation turned on – and it’d be a shame if the company didn’t improve on that area for its next pair of flagship headphones. After all, there are wireless over-ear headphones on the market capable of delivering over 50 hours of playtime from a single charge, so Sony risks being left behind by the competition.

That said, a 40-hour battery life is still possible, even if these packaging photos are accurate. As The Walkman Blog speculates, that higher figure could represent battery life when the Sony WH-1000XM5 is used with a power-efficient codec. The WH-1000XM4s are able to extend their battery life to 38 hours when listening with the SBC codec and active noise cancellation turned off – and the XM5 may come with a similar trick up its sleeves .

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The packaging images also appear to show that the WH-1000XM5 will come with Sony 360 Reality Audio support, Hi-Res Audio support, noise cancellation, and built-in Alexa/Google Assistant. .

This largely lines up with previous Sony WH-1000XM5 leaks and rumours, which also hinted at a sleeker design with generously padded ear cups. Based on previous release dates for the WH-1000X range of headphones, we expect the new boxes to officially launch in August – and we believe they will be priced similarly to their predecessors (350 $ / £350 / AU$550).

As with any leak, it’s important to take these details with a good pinch of salt. We’ve reached out to Sony for comment and will update this article when we know more.

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