Comparing the Sony WH-1000XM4 and XM5. What changed?

Comparing the Sony WH-1000XM4 and XM5. What changed?

Sony WH-1000XM5 vs Sony WH-1000XM4: A Comprehensive Comparison

Sony headphones have long been known for their exceptional quality and advanced features. The Sony WH-1000XM4, released in 2020, quickly became a favorite among audiophiles and travelers alike. Now, with the release of the Sony WH-1000XM5, we have a successor that aims to improve upon its predecessor. In this comparison review, we will explore the similarities and differences between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 to help you make an informed decision.

Sound Quality

Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 deliver exceptional sound quality. They both feature Sony's industry-leading noise-canceling technology, which effectively blocks out ambient noise and allows you to immerse yourself in your music. The sound signature is balanced and detailed, with deep bass, clear midrange, and sparkling highs.

However, the Sony WH-1000XM5 comes with an upgraded Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) Extreme, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze music in real-time and upscale compressed audio files to near-high-resolution quality. This enhancement provides a noticeable improvement in audio fidelity, making the WH-1000XM5 a winner in this category.

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Build Quality

Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 are well-built headphones with a premium feel. They are predominantly made of high-quality plastic, but they don't feel cheap or fragile. The ear cups are cushioned with plush memory foam, providing a comfortable fit and a good seal for noise isolation.

However, the WH-1000XM5 introduces a slight improvement in build quality. The hinges and adjustable headband feel sturdier, giving the headphones a more durable overall construction. While the difference may be subtle, it is worth noting that the WH-1000XM5 edges out its predecessor in terms of build quality.

Comfort

When it comes to comfort, both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 excel. The plush ear cups and lightweight design make them suitable for long listening sessions without causing discomfort or fatigue. The headband is adjustable and well-padded, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit for different head sizes.

There is no significant difference in comfort between the WH-1000XM5 and the WH-1000XM4. Both models provide excellent comfort, allowing you to wear them for extended periods without any issues.

Features

In terms of features, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 are quite similar. They both offer touch controls on the ear cups, allowing you to adjust volume, skip tracks, and manage calls with a simple swipe or tap. Both models also support NFC pairing, which makes the initial setup quick and hassle-free.

One notable difference is the inclusion of a Speak-to-Chat feature in the WH-1000XM5. This feature automatically pauses your music and activates ambient sound mode when you start speaking. It is a convenient addition that enhances the user experience, particularly for those who frequently need to communicate while wearing headphones.

Styling

In terms of design, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 share a similar aesthetic. They both have a sleek and minimalist look, with a choice of black or silver finishes. The ear cups have a swivel design, allowing for easy storage and portability. Overall, both models exude a premium and sophisticated feel.

However, the WH-1000XM5 introduces a subtle update to the styling. The branding on the ear cups is more minimalistic, giving the headphones a cleaner and more refined look. While this may be a minor detail, it adds to the overall appeal of the WH-1000XM5.

What's in the Box

When you purchase the Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Sony WH-1000XM4, you can expect to find the following items in the box:

Sony WH-1000XM5:

  • Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones
  • Carrying case
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Audio cable
  • Airplane adapter
  • User manual

Sony WH-1000XM4:

  • Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones
  • Carrying case
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Audio cable
  • Airplane adapter
  • User manual

As you can see, the contents of the box are identical for both models. There are no major differences in terms of accessories included.

Pros and Cons

Let's summarize the pros and cons of the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4:

Sony WH-1000XM5:

  • Pros:
    • Improved audio quality with DSEE Extreme
    • Sturdier build quality
    • Speak-to-Chat feature
    • Refined branding and design
  • Cons:
    • May be more expensive than the WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4:

  • Pros:
    • Exceptional sound quality and noise cancellation
    • Comfortable fit for long listening sessions
    • Intuitive touch controls
    • Similar feature set to the WH-1000XM5
  • Cons:
    • Does not include DSEE Extreme for audio enhancement
    • Build quality is slightly less robust

As you can see, the Sony WH-1000XM5 offers some notable improvements over the WH-1000XM4, particularly in terms of audio quality and build quality. However, the WH-1000XM4 still holds its own with exceptional sound quality and a comfortable fit. The final decision will depend on your budget and priorities.

Conclusion

Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 are outstanding headphones that deliver exceptional sound quality and advanced features. The WH-1000XM5 offers some improvements in audio fidelity and build quality, making it the superior choice for those seeking the latest technology and sturdier construction. However, if budget is a concern, the WH-1000XM4 still provides excellent performance and comfort. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific needs and preferences.