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The Sony WF-1000XM4 are the reason I’m excited about the WF-1000XM5

Building on the success of the XM4, the Sony WF-1000XM5 are destined for greatness.

Published onJune 24, 2023

sony wf 1000xm4 review case pairing

AirPods wannabes litter the wireless earbud landscape, and while many have tried emulating Apple, Sony has held its ground. After multiple generations of WF-1000X earbuds, Sony’s secret sauce sets it apart. With stellar active noise canceling (ANC), premium hardware, and friendly software, the WF-1000XM4 stand tall as some of the best buds on the market. Sony’s dedication to refinement and OS-agnostic features make me eager to see what the upgraded Sony WF-1000XM5 have in store.

Are you excited about the upcoming Sony WF-1000XM5?

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Sony’s noise canceling is some of the best around

sony wf 1000xm4 anc isoation chart

When people think of noise canceling earbuds, they think of Sony. No matter how you slice it, the company understands what constitutes excellent ANC tech. When Sony released the WF-1000XM4, they knocked our socks off. Their ANC leap-frogged past what flagship earbuds were capable of at the time. And this is a trend for Sony. With every release, its noise canceling earbuds and headphones jump to the top of the pack.

With every release, Sony's ANC earbuds outshine the current competition.

I’ve started spending a lot more time in coffee shops and on public transit lately, and noise canceling headphones are a must for helping me concentrate. I’ve used my Nothing Ear 1 for the past year, but after reviewing a slew of flagship ANC earbuds, it’s clear they don’t cut it anymore. Knowing that Sony’s ANC earbuds and headphones jump to the top of the pack with every release, I’m patiently waiting for the WF-1000XM5 before I upgrade.

Sony’s buds historically fit well, and the WF-1000XM5 should improve comfort

Sony has always supplied premium ear tips that helped its WF series earphones stay secure. A secure fit, however, doesn’t always make for a comfortable fit. Staff at our sister site SoundGuys loved how the WF-1000XM4 fit due to the memory foam ear tips and redesigned housings, but our very own Rita Khoury found the earbuds too large to be comfortable.

Based on leaks, we know the Sony WF-1000XM5’s upgraded design will be even more compact (and presumably comfortable) than the WF-1000XM4. Everyone’s ear shape differs, and I’m excited about the smaller WF-1000XM5 earbuds. As the overlaid image above shows, the miniaturized design will accommodate more ear shapes. Combine this more ergonomic design with memory foam ear tips, and the WF-1000xM5 will significantly improve comfort over the XM4 buds.

Sony doesn’t restrict its features to certain operating systems

An iPhone 12 mini displays the Sony Headphones Connect app's custom EQ.
Lil Katz / Android Authority

Sony is committed to putting the user first and doesn’t give in to OS-exclusive features. Today, if you want to buy a mainstream set of flagship earbuds, some features are bound to be exclusive to a particular operating system or phone. That’s not the case with the Sony WF-1000XM4, and I don’t suspect that will be the case for the WF-1000XM5 either. Like the WF-1000XM4, I’m ready to see multipoint connectivity, adaptive listening modes, and more when using Apple and Android devices.

With the Sony WF and WH series, you can customize the sound with a five-band equalizer from any smartphone. This feature is sorely lacking when you look at the competition. Samsung provides EQ presets; Google only lets Android users customize the Pixel Buds series’ sound; and Apple doesn’t budge on letting listeners affect the sound at all. The default sound quality of the WF-1000XM4 may not be perfect, but at least Sony gives us the agency to change it.

Sony's earbuds work equally well on Android phones and iPhones — an unfortunately unique feature today.

That’s ultimately what makes the Sony WF-1000X series unique: anyone can take full advantage of the earbuds. In a time where an increasing number of brands are walling off their gardens, Sony welcomes everyone. It’s a smart business move that keeps many listeners returning to Sony’s buds and headphones. Sony’s next buds may not reinvent the wheel, but I’m confident the WF-1000XM5’s upgrades will knock our socks off.

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