Sony are coming for Apple with their new noise cans

Sony have the AirPods Max in their sights.

Fergus Halliday
May 13, 2022
Icon Time To Read1 min read

Sony are giving their popular set of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones a timely update.

Picking up where the Sony WH1000XM4s left off, the new Sony WH1000XM5s feature a reworked design that's noticeably slimmer and, at a glance, reads as very similar to Apple's AirPods Max. It's the most significant redesign of the series since the WH1000XM3s.

Sony's latest set of headphones also boasts additional microphones (bumping the total to 8) and leaner 30mm drivers. This these might, on paper, sound like a step down from the 40mm drivers found in 2020's WH1000XM4s. However, Sony says that will deliver better high frequency sensitive and more natural sound quality.

As for battery life, those who pick up a set of Sony WH1000XM5s should expect to get around 30 hours of playback. If you do run out, Sony says that the USB Type-C fast charging here can give you around 3 hours of listen time in just 3 minutes. 

Like the last few models, the Sony WH1000XM5s feature touch controls, Google Assistant and Alexa integration and Adaptive Sound Control that adjusts the noise cancelling to suit the ambient environment.  The new headphones also support LDAC, DSEEE Extreme, 360 Reality Audio and High-Resolution audio, as well as Fast Pair for Android devices and Swift Pair with Windows-based ones.

Sony WH-1000XM5 - 1-1

How much do the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones cost in Australia?

In Australia, the Sony  WH-1000XM5 headphones have  a recommended retail price of $649.99 and will be available via local retailers from late June.

That's not quite AirPods Max expensive, but it's still a $100 increase over the previous Sony WH1000XM4s. It's even more expensive than the closest (and most expensive) alternative you could get from an audio brand like Bose. Will that price-hike be justified by the final product? Stay tuned for our full review.

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Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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