December 1, 2023 8:46 AM

Sony WF-1000XM5 Earbuds Review: Can It Get Any Better?

Last Updated: October 25, 2023, 14:01 IST

Sony's new premium earbuds offer comfort and quality sound

Sony’s new premium earbuds offer comfort and quality sound

Sony WF-1000XM earbuds series has grown and matured over the years but what does the new version bring to the premium table?

Sony makes some of the best audio gear in the market and even though we don’t like the company’s naming strategy, the products speak for themselves. The Sony WF-1000 series offers the TWS earbuds that is a replica of the WH-1000 headphones lineup in terms of the quality. Over here, we have the Sony WF-1000XM5 launched in India for Rs 24,990 which is the next iteration in the WF1000 family that seems to have been made with a lot of thought and feedback from previous customers.

The company explained the new earbuds are lighter and packing a new chip for noise cancelling but does all the hardware come up trumps or flatter to deceive? That’s what we have been trying to find out with the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds over the past few weeks.


– Smaller earbuds design

– Impressive ANC performance

– Sound quality one of the best

– Good for voice calls

– Dependable battery life


– Glossy earbuds

– App interface dated

– Expensive for sure

Sony WF-1000XM5 Review: What’s Cool?

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are really small, how small? The company mentioned it is around 20 percent smaller than the WF-1000XM4 earbuds and when you place both of them together you see the difference.

Even the overall fit of the WF-1000XM5 is better than what its predecessor offered and when you snug it in with the tips in the box, you realise the small size of the earbuds. You get complete sealing of the ear which blocks out all the ambient noise, which includes while moving around in a plane, airport bus or metro.

We tested the earbuds in all three conditions during our recent trip and it did a very good job of blocking the noise. This means the chip powering the active noise cancellation (ANC) works as advertised and the overall efficiency of the new chip allows you to use the earbuds for a longer period than before.

That’s not all, there is a chip to improve audio performance as well, which got me thinking, can Sony really improve the WF-1000XM4 which already was one of the best in the market? Turns out, they could and they did. The WF-1000XM5 builds on the audio range of its predecessor and gives you a refined soundstage that works across most genres that people like to play.

We pushed everything through the earbuds to see how it fares and whether it has some weakness, but we couldn’t find much to complain about. That is all credits to Sony for listening to people and working on a product with changes that could make a difference and it did.

The bass doesn’t feel overpowering in the default equaliser settings but you have the freedom to experiment and the earbuds respond to those changes aplomb. Having the Sony Connect+ app means you are never feeling let down by the earbuds and make it work for anyone.

The other big plus with the new chip is the battery life. Sony claims the WF-1000XM5 offers around 8 hours of playback and during our time we got them to last for around 7 hours, which is pretty good. You also have the charging case that can support three more charging cycles. To be fair, we didn’t really need to charge the case for over a week which should keep most people happy.

Sony WF-1000XM5 Review: What’s Not So Cool?

While we liked the overall size of the earbuds, we didn’t like the use of a glossy finish on them which did make it hard to remove them from the case. The other problem we faced was accidentally dropping the buds because of the way it is made, and that can get people worried about easily losing them.

And yes, while the design of the earbuds make them comfortable to wear, cleaning the ear tips isn’t easy and that from a hygiene standpoint is a con for us. The last point we didn’t like is the lack of a proper IP rating on these earbuds which makes them ideal for workout runs and for Rs 24,990 we or probably everyone expects that nowadays. We would also like to see Sony overhaul the UI of its companion app that still looks dated and the interface has barely seen any change for all these years.

Sony WF-1000XM5 Review: Should You Buy

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds have most things going for it, which includes its new compact design, the new chip for ANC and audio boost, the wide soundstage on offer and the decent battery life.

However, the earbuds can be a slippery customer owing to the glossy finish and still without IP rating for the case. Most of you might also find it a costly affair at Rs 24,990 but that’s the price for one of the best in the market.

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