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Sony WH-1000XM4 reviewed

Rumours ramp up for Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones

It’s been almost two years since the last pair of Sony’s XM headphones came out, so it’s about time for a new pair to rock up.

Benchmarks. They’re important, because they show the best of what we can find, and among the best of where consumers can spend. In the world of headphones, particularly wireless noise cancelling on-ear or around-ear headphones, it’s hard to do better than what Sony has in its “XM” series.

Back in 2016, it was a pair Sony launched to take on the then-owners of the noise cancelling headphone space, Bose, arriving in the MDR-1000X. They were amazing, and fresh from the launch at IFA that year to the review of the MDR-1000X we wrote afterwards, we were in love.

A year later, Sony one-upped them with the also excellent XM2. A year after that in 2018, it was the also excellent WH-1000XM3.

The next pair took a good two years to rock up, but they were also equally excellent. Save for a couple of bugs, the WH-1000XM4 are one of the most comfortable and excellent sounding pairs of noise cancelling headphones you can find, and even though they arrived two years ago, they’re still pretty darn solid.

But if you’ve been curious when the next pair of Sony XM headphones would rock up, we’ve been hearing rumours that this year would be the timeframe. Given the two year space between the XM3 and XM4, it would make sense for the WH-1000XM5 to appear this year, and an overseas blog, TechnikNews, might have the heads up on what they’ll look like.

A new design is part of the look with what appears to be quite sizeable cups for your ears and a style that removes the foldable design Sony has offered since the MDR-1000X arrived. Rather, these appear to be fixed in much the same way as Bose’s Noise Cancelling 700 headphones, likely coming with a moulded case to keep the headphones protected. The rumours also suggests more battery life is likely, pushing on from the already excellent life featured in the headphones.

There’s no word on a price or release date, but if we had to guess, the back half of the year is likely, possibly in September when IFA 2022 is expected to go ahead in Berlin, which is where the first headphones in the range were announced.

Basically, with only a few months before, if you were thinking of grabbing Sony’s still-benchmark pair of noise cancelling headphones, you might be inclined to wait a little bit to see what’s coming, with a release date maybe in September, or possibly like the models before the XM4, in November this year.

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