Where is the successor to Sony’s top-of-the-line WF-1000XM4 headphones? According to the latest information, the WF-1000XM5 is already in the starting blocks. What we know and what we want – here in the overview.
Apple has already presented the AirPods Pro (2nd gen.), Bose with the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 as well. Now it’s Sony’s turn, because the WF-1000XM4 were already released in 2021 – and in the meantime the competitive pressure in the hotly contested true wireless segment has increased again.
Sony WF-1000XM5 could be released in May 2023
There are fresh rumors about Sony’s next step in the battle for the headphone crown. As is so often the case, these come from an entry with the US authority “Federal Communications Commission” (FCC). To put it simply, every device that transmits somehow (e.g. via Bluetooth) is listed here – and that months before the start of sales. Under the cryptic model number YY2963 (Source: FCCID) there is some information about a “Wireless Noise Canceling Stereo Headset”, which is presumably the Successor to the current top model WF-1000XM4 should act. It is believed that the final name Sony WF-1000XM5 will be, at least if Sony stays true to the previous scheme.
The FCC record states that Bluetooth 5.3 is used (source: The Walkman Blog). That, in turn, is a strong indication that Sony’s compatibility with the new standard Bluetooth LE audio strives for Possible advantages include improved sound quality at low data transmission rates and broadcast features, such as receiving announcements in public places (e.g. at the airport).
The “request for confidentiality” that the manufacturer is submitting to the FCC prevents the publication of photos of the headphones and the test setup until the end of August. Experience has shown that the finished product often appears well before the end of such a period. The WH-1000XM5 (view on Amazon) was presented in May 2022 and the WF-1000XM4 (view on Amazon) in June 2021. It is therefore within the realm of possibility that the Sony WF-1000XM5 already in May 2023 appears.
What improvements to expect in the Sony WF-1000XM5
The current top model WF-1000XM4 is still one of the best true wireless headphones you can buy. Above all, the very good sound quality and the amazingly effective noise canceling (ANC) continue to set a high standard for competing products – more on that in our test report. But: The bulky design is – also with regard to the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen.) – a weak point of Sony’s current true wireless flagship. However, the Japanese company has not rested since then and has developed an interesting mid-range model with the Linkbuds S (view at Amazon) that clearly more compact when the WF-1000XM4 fails. It is desirable that Sony will also shrink the upcoming WF-1000XM5 in order to increase the wearing comfort even for small ears.
Otherwise, the usual improvements can be assumed: The sound it gets even better, that noise canceling even more effective, the battery life maybe a little longer. The slightly sensitive touch operation of the WF-1000XM4 could still be optimized. With Multipoint Bluetooth you can also calculate for the simultaneous connection with several devices. At the Price if it goes up, an RRP of 250 to 300 euros is realistic, maybe even more.
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