Sony WF-1000XM5 vs WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs WF-1000XM4: A Comparative Review

The Sony WF-1000XM5s are the latest Sony noise cancellation earbuds to be released and delivers some noticeable improvements over the previous generation Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds. These earbuds deliver much better bass as compared to the XM4 earbuds, and come with improved noise cancellation and DSEE codec for improved music performance. Compared with the XM4 earbuds, the XM5 earbuds are lighter and more compact, making them far more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They also come with Sony’s new integrated V2 processor which provides crystal clear sound performance with nice bass performance. The noise cancellation feature on the XM5 is also adaptive and automatically adjusts to the sound around you. Like the Sony XM4 earbuds, the XM5s also come with a battery life of 8 hours (and up to 24 hours with the charging case). Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM5s are a really solid pair of wireless noise cancelling earbuds that deliver some pretty good improvements over the XM4 earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM5

Sound Comparison

In terms of sound performance, the Sony WF-1000XM5s deliver noticeable improvements in the bass and midrange frequencies, although we did not notice much of a difference in the treble. The midranges sound present and distinctly clear, while the bass hits harder and feels punchier with plenty of depth. The bass feels heavier as compared to the latest Apple AirPods, and these earbuds handle EDM, rock and pop music really well with a good emphasis on the bass notes and vocals. The midranges sound particularly clear and present, and you can hear details in the sound which you might not have noticed before – such as the stroking of piano keys and plucking of guitar strings. These earbuds have a slightly warm sound signature and are particularly good for listening to EDM and rock music where you can enjoy the beats in the music.

The WF-1000XM5 earbuds feature Sony’s latest DSEE codec and they do deliver a big difference when it comes to audio performance as compared with other codecs such as AAC. With DSEE turned on, the audio from Spotify immediately became much more refined and clearer, and you can pick up subtle details in the music with a good distinction between the bass and drums. The bass feels much deeper with plenty of depth as compared to the XM4 earbuds, and coupled with the active noise cancellation, makes the bass notes feel really tight and punchy. The bass goes very deep and is low, solid and clear – and the level of clarity that you get feels similar to the Meze 99 Classics headphones. The WF-1000XM5 has hands down the most enjoyable bass we have heard from the Sony WF-1000 series earbuds, although in terms of treble ranges they are roughly similar to the XM4s. If you love bass and want to get better bass out of your earbuds, it is worth upgrading to the WF-1000XM5 earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds

Design and Noise Cancellation

The Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are the clear winner when it comes to design. These earbuds feel much lighter and are smaller than the XM4s, allowing you to get a very comfortable fit inside your ears. They are not as bulky as the XM5s, and you can wear these earbuds for a workout at the gym or for an outdoor run and completely forget that you are wearing them. Like the XM4 earbuds, the XM5s are also IPX4 water-resistant and great for outdoor sports, with the XM5s having the advantage of being lighter and more compact. The battery life on the XM5s are similar to the XM4s and have roughly around 8 hours of playtime at 60% volume level. The carry case that comes with the latest Sony earbuds is also sleek and very portable. Comfort-wise, the Sony WF-1000XM5s deliver much better comfort and ear fit due to their smaller earbud design.

In terms of noise cancellation, the Sony WF-1000XM5 fixes a number of issues that were present in the XM4 such as the hissing noise when shaking your head with the XM4 earbuds. The XM5 earbuds do not have any hissing noise and completely eliminates any background static that you may get with the XM4 earbuds. Noise cancellation wise, the XM5 earbuds can cancel up to 95% of ambient background noise and are slightly more effective than the XM4s – you can barely hear conversations in front of you when the XM5’s noise cancellation is turned on. Furthermore, we liked the XM5’s adaptive noise cancellation feature which blocks depending on your surround environment, which means you don’t have to control the ANC as this is done automatically for you.

We found that the WF-1000XM5 earbuds fixes issues with hissing noise that the WF-1000XM4 earbuds has

Furthermore, we found that the equalizer and clear bass functions on the Sony app very good – you can personalize your listening profile and change the EQ settings on the go, and also use DSEE which makes the sound much clearer especially when streaming via Spotify. In addition, the XM5 earbuds come with a new high-performance 8.4mm driver which is upgraded from the XM4’s 6mm drivers – they also come with noise isolation earbud tips for a comfortable fit.

The Verdict?

The Sony WF-1000XM5 wireless noise cancelling earbuds comes with a few noticeable improvements over the Sony XM4 earbuds. These earbuds have a larger 8.4mm driver compared with the XM4’s 6mm driver, and deliver much more pronounced bass and midrange that feels tight and present. The bass on the XM5 particularly stands out as having more depth and tightness, making EDM and rock music very enjoyable to listen to. In terms of vocals and treble ranges, both the XM5 and XM4 wireless earbuds are roughly on par. We also found the noise cancellation on the XM5 earbuds slightly more effective and does not produce any hissing noise issues that were present in the XM4 earbuds – the noise cancellation is fully adaptive and adjusts according to your surroundings. Like the XM4 earbuds, the XM5s also support multipoint connectivity and can be paired with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, and also supports IPX4 water-resistance for outdoor use. If you are looking for better bass improvements, the Sony WF-1000XM5s are worth the upgrade; however, they come with most of the features that the XM4 already has to offer and upgrading would only be worthwhile if you are looking for better bass and better comfort due to its lighter and more compact earbud design