Skip to main content

Leak: Are these Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones?

Hot on the heels of a Sonos soundbar leak, we now have what might be the very first images of Sony’s next-generation WH-1000XM5 noise-canceling headphones. The images were published by German tech blog TechnikNews, which claims to have gotten them from an unnamed retailer. The source also suggested that the timing for the announcement of the new Sony cans is imminent.

You can never say for sure when dealing with leaked images whether or not they truly represent a real product, but these pics bear all of the hallmarks of Sony’s design language, from the copper-colored accents to the sleek, understated, low-profile shape. TechnikNews has credited Sony for all of the images.

Related Videos

The images show us several notable design changes from the current WH-1000XM4 (which were released in 2020), like the adoption of a combined earcup fork and pivot mechanism that is reminiscent of both the Apple AirPods Max, as well as the Jabra Elite 45h. That new assembly extends into a cylinder-shaped headband slider that replaces the current flat design.

Given the almost total absence of physical buttons, it’s fair to conclude that Sony is sticking with its touch-based controls for these new cans. Other features that appear to be sticking around are a dedicated button for switching between active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes, a 3.5mm jack for wired operation, and a USB-C port for charging.

Curiously, Sony seems to have moved to a physical switch for its combo power/Bluetooth pairing control from the current press-button arrangement. This could solve one of the minor annoyances we had about the XM4 model — it takes too long to power the headphones on and off because of the need to press and hold that button. A switch might make powering up and down instant.

TechnikNews doesn’t share much about the technical specs for these purported new cans, but it does claim that battery life has been increased to 40 hours with ANC turned on (10 more hours than the XM4) and that they can fully charge in 3.5 hours (30 minutes slower than the XM4).

The leak also claims that Sony will be using a new driver for this model, and that ANC will be controlled by a pair of processors, which could mean the XM5 will be even better at canceling noise.

If it’s true that Sony is about to formally announce these headphones, we’ll be sure to update this post as soon as that happens.

Editors' Recommendations

Bluetooth Multipoint finally arrives on Sony’s best wireless earbuds
Sony WF-1000XM4

Let's categorize this one under "better late than never." Sony has finally released a software update for its flagship wireless earbuds -- the WF-1000XM4 -- that gives them a much-needed feature: the ability to connect the buds to two devices simultaneously, otherwise known as Bluetooth Multipoint.

When Sony originally announced the new feature, it said the update would be made available in November 2022. That timing materialized for the other two Sony products that were slated to get Multipoint (the LinkBuds and LinkBuds S), but for some reason, the XM4 were left out. Today, however, it was spotted by What Hi-Fi, and we can confirm that the update is now available if you open the Sony Headphones app on your phone and connect your WF-1000XM4.

Read more
I saw Sony’s 2023 TVs, and I think this model might be the best TV of the year
Sony X90L

After a rather conspicuous no-show at CES 2023, Sony TVs are finally here. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. There are a few changes and a few surprises, so let’s get into it.

Sony A95L Caleb Denison/Digital Trends
Sony Bravia XR A95L QD-OLED TV
I recently flew to New York to get my eyes on three of Sony’s new models in person, and I’ll dive deeper into those further down. But first I want to give an overview of the whole lineup. Starting at the very top, we have the A95L QD-OLED TV. This replaces the A95K from 2022 — and yes, it uses Samsung Display’s newer, more efficient QD-OLED panel with higher brightness capability. I could not measure the TV, and Sony never talks metrics — like, ever — but I do have some brightness comments coming later in this article.

Read more
The first wireless hi-res headphones with UWB will arrive in 2024
PSB M4U8 wireless headphones.

Wireless headphones (and wireless earbuds) have been hugely popular because of their wire-free convenience and handy features like active noise cancellation (ANC), but audiophiles have never been big fans of the way they sound. Thanks to a new partnership between PSB Speakers, MQA, and Sonical, that could be about to change in a big way: the threesome is planning to launch the world's first set of wireless headphones that use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology instead of Bluetooth, in the first quarter of 2024.

The PSB M4U8 wireless headphones don't have UWB, but they could be the starting point for the first UWB model. PSB

Read more