Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones are some of the most popular on the market, thanks to the improved sound quality, comfortable fit and highly effective active noise cancellation (ANC). If you've been looking at buying a pair, now is a good time to act. They're currently on sale at Amazon in black, midnight blue and silver for $328, a solid 18 percent off the list price.
The WH-1000XM5 scored an excellent 95 in our Engadget review, thanks to improvements in nearly every way over our previous favorite headphones, the WH-1000XM4. Perhaps the biggest is in fit and comfort thanks to the more optimal weight distribution, synthetic leather ear cups and slightly reduced weight.
Sound quality also went up, due to the new 30mm carbon fiber drivers that deliver punchier bass. We also saw more clarity that helps you hear fine detail, along with improved depth that makes music more immersive. And Sony's DSEE Extreme sound processing recovers detail lost to compression, without any noticeable impact on sound quality.
The ANC is equally impressive. With double the number of noise cancellation microphones found in the M4, along with a new dedicated V1 chip, the M5 does a better job at minimizing background noise. And in terms of the microphone, we found that the M5 offers superior call quality over its predecessor. Moreover, you get 30 hours of listening time with ANC enabled, enough for the longest of flights.
The main drawbacks of the WH-1000XM5 headphones compared to the previous model is that they no longer fold up, and don't have the granular ANC adjustment found on other models like Bose's QuietComfort Ultra. The other issue is the $400 price tag, but at $328, they're a solid deal — and that price applies to all the main colorways.