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Sony WH-1000XM5 announced with a new design

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Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

Sony today announced its newest wireless flagship over-ear headphones, the WH-1000XM5. In what is an all-new noiseless design, the pair of headphones is beautifully finished in a newly developed soft fit leather with a step-less slider. The first time Sony overhauled the entire design of the WH-1000 series. The latest iteration also picks up where its predecessor, the WH-1000XM4, left off, with notable improvements to the active noise cancellation and call quality.

In the area of noise-cancelling, the WH-1000XM5 features two processors controlling an array of eight microphones (up from five on the WH-1000XM4), the company’s HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 (previously featured on the WH-1000XM4) and the Integrated Processor V1 (which debuted on the WF-1000XM4). On the software end, the headphones continue to feature an Auto NC Optimizer that automatically optimises noise cancellation, depending on the environment. In addition, it also sports a new 30 mm driver unit specially designed to enhance noise-cancelling performance.

The specially designed 30 mm driver unit features a light and rigid dome using carbon fibre composite material to improve high-frequency sensitivity for more natural sound quality. In addition, the implementation of the new driver includes the use of a premium-lead free solder containing gold for excellent connectivity and optimised circuitry. Like its predecessor, the WH-1000XM5 supports the company’s Hi-Res Wireless LDAC Bluetooth audio codec, 360 Reality Audio and DSEE Extreme.

Call quality has also been enhanced. This is made possible with the inclusion of Sony’s precise Voice Pickup technology that uses four beamforming microphones and an AI-based noise reduction structure to isolate one’s voice precisely. At the same time, a newly developed wind noise reduction structure in the design of the headphones minimises wind noise during calls.

In the area of the companion app, the WH-1000XM5 continues to be supported by Sony’s Headphone Connect App, which retains the same controls for the Adaptive Sound Control, and Speak-to-Chat features, to mention a few. A new feature, Quick Access, allows the headphones to resume Spotify playback with two or three taps. In addition, the app also compares the sound pressure data recorded by the headphones, referencing the guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), where one will receive instant OS notifications when listening levels are too high.

Multipoint, introduced in the WH-1000XM4, Google’s Fast Pair and Microsoft’s Swift Pair for fast pairing with Android and Windows devices, continue to be supported on the WH-1000XM5.

The headphones also feature the same 30 hours of battery life as their predecessor and support USB Power Delivery (USB PD) charging, where 3 minutes of charging can get one a remarkable 3 hours of battery life.

The XM5 are eco-friendly, using recycled plastic materials from automobile parts and with no plastic in the packaging. The packaging was guided by low toxicity design principles and a green ‘Made to be Remade’ philosophy. The box uses recycled and sustainable materials developed specially for Sony.

Available in black and platinum silver, the WH-1000XM5 can be pre-ordered now at selected markets and will be available from 20th May 2022 with an MSRP of AUD 649.95, EUR 420, GBP 380, SGD 569, and USD 399.

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