Recently, Sony has launched the latest generation of over-ear headphones, the Sony wh-1000xm5 with a different design and new features built into this headset. So is there any difference between Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5 and is it worth buying?

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Price

In 2020, the XM4 cost £350 (US$350, AU$550), but that was then. They may now be purchased for much less; in the UK, they are often priced at £250, while in Australia, they cost around AU$350. It’s also important to note that they will continue working with the new pair at least temporarily.

Naturally, the XM5 are more expensive. They go on sale for £480, $399, or $549 AUD. These days, it seems like everything is growing more expensive, so this is not a big surprise. The bad news is that, given how popular the WH-1000XM5 is as a brand-new item, bargains are probably going to be hard to come by. We’re crossing our fingers for some deals on Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday, but we wouldn’t bank on it.

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Design

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Design


The first thing you notice about the XM5 is how different it looks from its forerunners. With a stepless slider and a smaller headband, the design has undergone significant alteration, making it easier to fine-tune the fit. The arm of the XM5 is exposed and has only one point of contact, as opposed to the typical swivel arm found on the XM3 and XM4.

The “Custom” button is now “NC/Ambient,” yet it is still located in the same spot. Sony probably made this choice in light of how users have been using the button.

Looking for some eye-catching color choices? Sony’s over-ear headphones are once again available in black and silver, although the XM5 now has a lighter platinum silver finish than the XM4. You will need to travel further if you want something less subdued.
In contrast, the XM4 appears a little bit heavier and clumsier. However, those who don’t want to travel with a carry case could prefer the more robust approach.

The headband and memory-foam ear pads of the XM5 are wrapped in new synthetic leather that is smooth and sensitive to the touch, making them just as comfortable as the XM4 model.

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Battery life

The XM5 has a 40-hour battery life, but only under very precise circumstances. Specifically, by disabling noise-cancellation and using a more effective audio codec. This is an improvement of two hours over the 38 of the XM4, but Sony does not specify this as the typical battery life for understandable reasons.

Instead, you can use the XM5 for the same 30 hours as you could with the XM4. That represents real-world use for the majority of individuals because ANC is enabled and any audio codec is being used. Even if it’s disappointing, 30 hours is still a very commendable total.

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Features

The XM5 is virtually more of the same; aside from a few minor upgrades, these headphones offer the same core feature set as the WH-1000XM4. There are no issues with that because, after all, the XM4 is one of the best wireless headphones ever created. And the advancements are fairly notable.

With more microphones, the noise-cancelling has typically improved. In order to reduce background noise, the XM5 contains two processors that manage eight microphones (up from five on the XM4). The Integrated Processor V1 assists Sony’s HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 (both previously seen on the XM4).

Similar to the XM4, it supports Sony’s high-resolution LDAC audio codec (but not aptX or aptX HD), DSEE Extreme (which upscales music files in real-time), and 360 Reality Audio, which provides simulated surround sound.

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Features

Adaptive Sound Control for the XM4 also makes a welcome comeback with enhancements. According to your surroundings, Adaptive Sound Control will automatically alter the sound output. For instance, it will determine whether you are in a tranquil meadow or a bustling city street and adapt the music accordingly. This is more sophisticated than the noise-cancelling technology featured on the XM4, which depends on you running Sony’s NC Optimiser after you have changed environments to ensure you are getting the best noise-cancelling possible.

Without having to take out your phone, Quick Access enables you to resume Spotify playback in two or three clicks, and the Sony Headphones Connect app alerts you if your listening volume is too high and may be endangering your hearing. This has a solid scientific foundation because it is based on data from the World Health Organization.

Likewise, Speak-to-Chat is back. This recognizes when you start speaking, pausing the music and allowing outside sound in so you may carry on a conversation without removing your headphones. They automatically halt playing when you take them off, and begin it when you put them back on thanks to a technology dubbed “Wearing Detection” that makes them react a little faster than on the XM4. Voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa provide hands-free operation.

With the help of Sony’s Precise Voice Pickup technology, calls are now more clear than before. They effectively block out background noise and any wind gusts that could otherwise threaten to drown you out when using less effective headphones thanks to its four beam-forming microphones, AI-powered noise reduction, and wind-noise reduction.

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Sound Quality

Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5: Sound Quality

While the 1000XM has undergone significant design changes, you presumably anticipate that the interior remains largely unchanged. The XM4 over-ear headphones are among the best-sounding in their price range.

The WH-1000XM5 sound is noticeably better and more open than prior models. The XM4 sounds a touch thick in comparison since they have a lower-end that is more precise. and take in more specific information. Given that the XM4 also provides a five-star performance, it’s no little accomplishment. The same holds true at higher frequencies, as the XM5 adopts a punchier, more dynamic style of music.

Even though the new kid on the block has the advantage, the XM4 headphones are still superior to any similarly priced competitors since they perform with confidence and composure.


In summary, what are differences between Sony wh-1000xm4 vs Sony wh-1000xm5? The XM5 is an upgrade over what were previously the best wireless headphones available, even though it is not a drastic change. They are a compelling purchase for anyone with the money thanks to increased noise-cancelling, call quality, and design.

And for everybody else, the price of the XM4 will undoubtedly decrease much further, if not immediately away, then during major sales occasions like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Keep an eye out for a deal on these excellent headphones, which may even feel more luxurious than the XM5. There is no immediate need to purchase an upgrade if you currently have a pair.

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