Sony has been unstoppable in the wireless noise-cancelling headphones category, and its latest flagship, the WF-1000XM5, is no exception.
It appears to be a good upgrade over its predecessor, which was already our favourite set of earbuds, potentially making the Sony WF-1000XM5 one of the best pair of earbuds to get if you’re an audiophile or music lover looking for a wireless experience.
Pricing and Availability: How much do the Sony WF-1000XM5 cost in the UAE?
The WF-1000XM5 wireless earbuds have just been announced on the 25th of July, 2023, and are already available for pre-order. The hardware will start shipping by August 2023, including in the UAE and the Middle East.
As for pricing, they are slightly higher than the WF-1000XM4, and you can expect them to be priced around AED 1,099, which is similar to the price in the US and other markets.
Sony WF-1000MX5 Specs
|Sony WF-1000XM5||Sony WF-1000XM4|
|Size||21.5 x 19.5 x 20.5 mm||28.6 x 21.8 x 24.6 mm|
|Weight||6 g per earbud||7.3 g per earbud|
|Driver Unit||8.4mm Dynamic Driver X||6mm dynamic driver|
|Codec support||SBC, AAC, LDAC||SBC, AAC|
|Noise cancellation||HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e and dual integrated Processor V2||HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e|
|Microphones||3 per earbud, including 2 feedback mics||2 per earbud|
|Ambient sound mode||Yes, Adjustable||Yes, Adjustable|
|Adaptive sound control||Yes||Yes|
|Voice assistant||Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa||Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa|
|360 Reality Audio||Yes||No|
|Equalizer||Yes, customizable||Yes, customizable|
|Battery life (earbuds)||8 hours with ANC on, 10 hours with ANC off||8 hours with ANC on, 10 hours with ANC off|
|Battery life (case)||16 hours with ANC on, 22 hours with ANC off||16 hours with ANC on, 22 hours with ANC off|
|Total battery life||24 hours with ANC on, 32 hours with ANC off||24 hours with ANC on, 32 hours with ANC off|
|Fast charging||Yes, 10 minutes for 3 hours of playtime||Yes, 10 minutes for 1.5 hours of playtime|
|Wireless charging||Yes, Qi-compatible pad required||No|
|Water resistance rating||IPX4 (splash-proof)||IPX4 (splash-proof)|
Design and Comfort
If you’re familiar with Sony’s wireless noise-cancelling earbuds, you’ll be amazed at how much smaller and lighter the WF-1000XM5 is. Compared to its predecessor, it’s around 25% smaller and 20% lighter, according to Sony, making them much more comfortable to wear.
It’s not just the earbuds that have become smaller. The charging case is also more compact, making it easier to carry.
The active noise-cancellation feature is one of the highlights of the Sony WF-1000XM5. It utilizes Sony’s HD Noise Canceling Processor named QN2e and dual integrated Processor V2 that analyzes and blocks out ambient sounds.
There are three microphones for each earbud, plus two feedback microphones that help with the ANC performance and differentiate the sounds from the noise.
The WF-1000XM5 offers three levels of noise cancellation modes. There’s Full ANC, that blocks out everything. The next one is Ambient Mode, which allows surrounding sounds so you can be mindful of what’s happening around you. You can switch it off if you don’t want ANC for some reason.
Expect impressive active noise cancelling with the WF-1000XM5, especially for its size. It can effectively reduce low-frequency noise like engine hums and air conditioners. They also do an excellent job of blocking high-frequency noises from voices.
A notable change with the WF-1000XM5 is its new high-performance driver unit, Dynamic Driver X. Sony states that it delivers rich and balanced audio across all frequencies. The earbuds also support Sony’s LDAC codec that allows streaming audio in high resolution via Bluetooth.
The earbuds have this warm, detailed sound signature suitable for most music genres. The bass is punchy but doesn’t overpower the mid and high-frequency sounds.
If you want to tweak the balance of your sound, an equalizer is available in the app so you can change it according to your preference. You can also enable Sony’s 360 Reality Audio which gives you the feeling you’re in the middle of a live concert.
Admittedly, call quality is not the WF-1000XM5’s strong suit. It’s good, but not great. The earbuds have some neat tricks, like a bone conductor sensor that activates the microphone whenever it detects you are speaking.
There are a few issues regarding callers finding your voice muffled or distorted, especially in noisy environments.
As a true wireless earbud, convenience is the name of the game with the WF-1000XM5. For one, they have a wear detection feature that pauses the music you’re listening to when you take them out of your ears.
The earbuds also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to control your music and smart home devices.
You also get access to the Sony Headphones Connect app giving you access to more configurations that can improve your experience with the WF-1000XM5.
Using active noise cancellation can use up quite a bit of power, and that’s why the WF-1000XM5’s battery life is good but not exceptional. It can last up to eight hours on a single charge with the ANC activated. However, it can go as long as 10 hours with it off.
The charging case provides the earbuds with three full charges and gives you an additional 24 hours with ANC on and 32 hours off.
The biggest difference between the WF-1000XM5 and previous models is the support for wireless charging.
Video Reviews for Sony WF-1000XM5
Matthew Moniz thinks the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds offer improved design, sound quality, and microphone quality but fall short in active noise cancellation compared to competitors like the AirPods Pro.
Mike O’Brien believes that the Sony WF 1000XM5 earbuds are the top choice for their excellent sound, features, design, transparency, and the best active noise cancellation in the market.
Soldier Knows Best thinks the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds offer improved design, sound quality, noise cancellation, and unique features, making them a top choice for music enthusiasts seeking portable over-the-ear quality.
Alternatives to Sony WF-1000XM5: Other earbuds to consider
The Sony WF-1000XM5 can be considered the best noise-cancelling earbuds, but there’s room for some alternatives. Here are some options that you can consider:
Weight (earbuds+case): 72.28 gm | Size (per earbud): 1.54 x 1.02 x 1.06 cm | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | IP Rating: IPX4 | Battery (with case): Up to 18 hours
- Best noise cancellation
- Great audio quality
- Larger than most buds (buds and case)
- Battery life less than others
If you’re looking for a pair of alternative earbuds that can equal the performance of the Sony WF-1000XM5, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II is it. They offer superior active noise cancellation, blocking virtually any sound.
However, they’re more expensive, bigger, and heavier. They also have a much shorter battery life of only six hours per charge.
Weight (earbuds+case): 50.8 gm | Size (per earbud): 3.1 x 2.2 x 2.4 cm | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | IP Rating: IPX4 | Battery (with case): Up to 24 hours
- Perfect for iOS users
- Great Mic Quality
- Wireless Charging
- Only white colour
- Loss of features when connected with Android
The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are an excellent alternative, especially if you’re into the Apple ecosystem. They have a sleek and minimalist design, which is expected from Apple devices.
However, they’re not as easy to use with Android phones as the Sony WF-1000XM5. They also have a shorter battery life of 5 hours per charge.
Weight (earbuds+case): 43.3 gm | Size (per earbud): 1.9 x 2 x 2.1 cm | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | IP Rating: IPX7 | Battery (with case): Up to 39 hours
- Perfect for Samsung users
- Colours options
- Supported across Android and iOS
- Odd shape is difficult to hold or remove from ear
- Not the best sound quality compared to others on this list
If you’re an Android user, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro 2 is the pair you want to consider seriously. An advantage they have over the WF-1000XM5 is they’re more dynamic and immersive, as they support Dolby Atmos.
They’re more expensive and larger, making them less comfortable, especially for long periods.
Should you buy the Sony WF-1000XM5?
Sony’s previous model, the Sony WF-1000XM4, sits on top of our best wireless earbuds in the UAE guide. The WF-1000XM5 looks to offer a significant step up from that.
Thus, we expect the Sony WF-1000XM5 to be an excellent choice for those looking for high-quality audio with noise-cancellation features. They appear to be a worthy upgrade from the WF-1000XM4 with a smaller, lighter design, better performance, added features, and more codec support.