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Sony WH-1000XM5 features that may convince me to ditch wired headphones

Key Takeaways

  • Sony’s WH-1000XM5 offer wireless freedom with exceptional sound quality, including support for LDAC codec.
  • Built-in voice assistant integration enhances convenience by allowing seamless access to Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.
  • Active noise-cancelling, ambient mode, and adaptive features provide outstanding sound manipulation for a pleasant listening experience.

For quite some time now, I’ve been using only wired headphones on a daily basis, and it’s been great in terms of both listening and convenience. That said, it’s hard not to look at cool new wireless headphones and wonder if they’re a pair for me.

One of the most compelling cans right now are undoubtedly the Sony WH-1000XM5s. Sony seems to be the new master of casual wireless headphones, excelling at everything from sound quality to noise-canceling. They only seem to be having problems with catchy product names.

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So, while I ponder whether getting the Sony WH-1000XM5s is the best course of action, and if I should betray my newfound addiction to wires, here are the best features of the Sony headphones that are most tempting for me.

1 Bluetooth can be better

An LDAC codec is tempting for ditching cables

Sony WH-1000XM5

Well, the first thing that tempts me about the WH-1000XM5s is the fact that they are wireless. That might be counter-intuitive to my newfound love for cables, but it’s not simply the fact that they are not limited to using cords, but rather how well they handle the Bluetooth connection.

The WH-1000XM5s support the LDAC wireless codec, meaning that you can stream at much higher bit rates than regular solutions. Of course, it’s only true if the source is also compatible with LDAC, but even my older Pixel 6 supports it, so it shouldn’t be a problem to make the most out of this feature.

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Higher bitrate means that the music you’re listening to will be more detailed and higher quality. Essentially, it limits the connection disadvantages that Bluetooth has when compared to wired connections. Of course, it’s still not the same, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Couple this with the ability to connect the headphones to multiple sources at the same time for totally seamless switching, and the whole experience is quite pleasing, but not as raw as using wires.

2 Built-in voice assistant

A convenience that cords can’t promise

Sony WH-1000XM5 5

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like using voice assistants. Quickly telling my phone to turn off the lights or start vacuuming still feels great to me, so I use it all the time around the house.

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That’s where the Sony WH-1000XM5 would make my days so much better. With baked-in voice assistant integration (you can choose between Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri), you can have that convenience with you at all times, without the need to buy smart speakers or have your phone on you. This only shows that the matter of convenience with wireless headphones isn’t just limited to music, but extends to all the smart features that wired versions simply do not have at all.

3 Ambient Mode and ANC are unmatched

Sony offers some serious software

Sony WH-1000XM5 2

Speaking of features that wired headphones don’t carry, the Sony WH-1000XM5s excel in terms of ANC and ambient modes. Of course, you can get yourself a set of nice wired cans with great passive noise isolation, but Sony’s software magic goes way beyond that.

At this point, it goes without saying that, in their price range, the WH-1000XM5s are second to none when it comes to Active Noise Cancelling — it’s excellent. However, to be honest, it’s the transparency mode and all the adaptive features that are even more interesting.

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The Sony’s, thanks to the Speak to Chat mode, can detect when you start talking and automatically turn on transparency mode, making it a breeze to wear these headphones when out and about. You don’t have to fumble with controls every time someone talks to you or something is going on around you.

So, they’re great, maintenance-free headphones. Letting you roam around in the zone with the ANC turned on, but still keeping you connected to your surroundings thanks to adaptive transparency. It’s, again, much more convenient than just removing your headphones when going wired.

4 Spotify Tap is quick and easy

Shuffling made easy

Sony WH-1000XM5 1

While it may seem like a minor feature, it’s one that just might convince me to go back to both wireless headphones and Spotify, is Spotify Tap. You can set up your WH-1000XM5 to start playing your favorite Spotify playlist by just double or triple-tapping one button on your headphones.

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For me, it would be a handy addition as I like listening to my one huge playlist on shuffle, so I wouldn’t even have to touch my phone at all. I could simply slip on the Sony’s, and I’m one button shortcut away from listening to my usual repertoire.

5 Adaptive sound control is awesome

Especially when you’re on the move

Sony WH-1000XM5 3

Coming back to the “big” software features, there is one more thing that makes the Sony WH-1000XM5 quite a treat to use; the adaptive sound control.

Essentially, it boils down to your headphones automatically tuning their sound to the environment you’re in. It’s especially handy when you’re moving around a lot, going to the gym or using public transport. In these places, you often need to change the tuning of your headphones a bit for them to sound better, as the background noise makes it difficult for certain frequencies to be clearly heard.

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Sony handles this tuning for you and makes sure that the sound you’re hearing is as consistent as possible even in different environments. This tuning means your listening experience is, generally, much more even, and all the elements of your favorite songs are clear and readily audible.

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