There’s a well-known saying that you don’t change a winning team. If we welcome the risk-taking, we would have liked Sony to have stuck to it with its WH-1000XM5, a new iteration of its famous Bluetooth headphones with active noise reduction.
A well-rehearsed recipe
The first 1000X marked Sony’s entry into the big leagues in terms of active noise reduction headphones with a very good overall experience, despite some aspects below the competition.
After a Mark 2 which was only a small evolution of the first, the third iteration, the WH-1000XM3, only lacked the Bluetooth multipoint connection to achieve perfection.
Finally, released in August 2020, the WH-1000XM4 ticks almost all the boxes and becomes our absolute reference for mobile headphones with active noise reduction.
New formula, for better or for worse
Our expectations were particularly high for the WH-1000XM5. Sony having accustomed us to always improve its formula.
More than an improvement, they sign a real change. As much in the guts as in the design of the helmet. Gone are the iconic lines of the 1000X since 2016, make way for something more refined and modern.
Unfortunately, the design changes have come with some small disappointments:
you can’t fold it up anymore. we feel a little more the arch. The sound quality is, although still very good, below the previous one.
Excellent and disappointing at the same time
We had so much expectation that we are finally a little disappointed. Especially for a sale price of 420 euros, or 40 more than the Mark 4 at the exit. It remains a safe bet, an excellent headset, but it does not manage to dethrone our absolute reference, the WH-1000XM4.