Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Familiar package lifted by evolved sound experience- QHN
If the smartphone is the centre of our universe these days, then a pair of wireless headphones (or earphones) is the satellite we can’t do without. It is so central to using a smartphone now that most phones now don’t have the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Companies now expect you to invest in a pair of wireless headphones on your own, and they are now fairly cheap to get hold of. One can probably get a pair for just Rs 500, and that too with a decent battery backup.
If you prefer something a little more evolved, then you can always spend more, and if you really want top-notch sound quality and an immersive audio experience, then you can even shell out Rs 27,000 (estimated street price) for a pair of Sony WH-1000XM5. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but the sound is nothing short of brilliant.
The XM5 is the fifth iteration of Sony’s flagship wireless headphones and competes at the top end of the spectrum with Bose 700 (priced at around Rs 35,000), and the Apple Airpods Max (Rs 59,900). All three guarantee high-quality audio and noise-cancelling capabilities.
The XM5 offers a very comfortable fit and is a good travel companion. You can sometimes forget that you are wearing them. The nearly 27-hour battery life (the company claims 30 hours) is good enough for you to take a long flight or a train journey while staying oblivious to ambient noise, thanks to the excellent noise cancellation.
If you are in a rush and don’t have enough time to recharge, then a three-minute quick charge will give you enough juice to last three hours. If you have a device with a 3.5 mm jack, you can also connect them with a wire that the company supplies in the box.
Like most Sony headphones (or earphones), they shine when it comes to the mids and the bass in the music that you may favour.
Connecting to your smartphone is easy enough using Bluetooth, and Sony has also provided users with an app dedicated to controlling them. When it comes to making calls, the XM5 have a great sound signature, thanks to the 8 mics they have.
The headphones come with a carry case which has a nice little nook to store cables. They don’t collapse, however (unlike some competitors), and they are not easy to carry, given the size of the box.
Large headphones, even if wireless, aren’t suited to an active lifestyle. They are meant to be used at leisure or maybe while travelling. The XM5 are also not very comfortable to use while lying down in bed. But if you are looking for a pair of premium circumaural wireless headphones that sound great, have an excellent battery life, and can cancel most ambient noise efficiently, then you may not have to look far, the XM5 will do the job for you.
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