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✒️ Author: Hai Wei | 📷 Photo: Hai Wei


I really like the outlook of this 1000X 5th generation! Look at the streamlined headband and hinge design. They are so smooth and premium feeling with elegant simplicity. There’s no “clicking sound” when adjusting the headband, you can slide it in and out smoothly and silently.

From what we know, WH-1000XM5 will be a higher range wireless noise cancelling headphone in Sony's line up instead of replacing the XM4. At the moment, both models will still be available in Malaysia market.

Wearing comfort for the new XM5 is significantly better. Fun fact too; the XM5 is only 4 grams lighter than XM4! I think the reduced clamping force on the XM5 now allows it to sit firmly on your head without any clamping pressure. Besides, Sony is using a kind of “soft fit" leather on XM5, which feels softer and more stretchy.

The noise cancellation ability on the new XM5 has been vastly improved. Firstly, Sony is using the “HD NC Processor Q1 & Integrated Processor V1” combination for the XM5, while the XM4 is only using the “QN1 & New Bluetooth audio SoC” combo.

Secondly, XM5 has a more advance microphone system for picking up environmental noises—a total of 8 microphones (double the amount on the XM4) with “Multi-Noise Sensor Technology”.

Thirdly, the NC optimizer on the XM5 is much smarter! Now being able to optimize the ideal noise cancelling performance automatically according to your wearing condition (hair style, wearing glasses…). When you’re on a flight, it will help auto adjust the cabin atmospheric pressure too.

If you are super sensitive to the air pressure and always feel dizzy or even nauseous after wearing a pair of noise cancelling headphones, do give the XM5 a try. The experience of switching on the ANC (active noise cancelling) mode is very comfortable and natural, I don’t even feel that the ANC has already been activated at times!

Lastly, let’s talk about the sound. To be honest I was a bit worried that the sound quality will be degraded, since they’re using a much smaller 30mm driver— 10mm diameter smaller than the XM4.

Bigger should be nicer right?

However, my friend from the headphones & IEMs industry told me a different story—driver size isn't always directly proportional to the sound quality. In fact, a well-designed smaller sized driver might have more advantages on response speed, being able to provide better clarity and micro details.

After auditioning for XM5, I kind of understood what he meant; the XM5 doesn’t have the lush lower mids like on the XM4, but the sub bass goes significantly deeper. When listening to Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”, I could feel the solid impact and rumbling sound of every bass punch. On the other hand, XM4 sounds thicker and darker but it couldn’t provide the powerful slam unlike the XM5.

To be honest I’m not a big fan of XM4’s treble, the roll-off is too much, consequently affecting the overall clarity and airiness for me. The new driver on XM5 solves the issue perfectly. Now I can hear the sweet, sparkly treble of violin flowing in the air splendidly. Besides, the new XM5 also has better PRaT (pace, rhythm & timing); it sounds clearer, faster, more nimble and has a better ability to analyze subtle details as well as the dynamics hidden in the music.

Sony Malaysia also informed us regarding the massive improvement of phone call quality on XM5. We haven’t tested it during our private audition session, but the specifications seem really "atas". The new XM5 features 2 beamforming microphones on each earcup and “Precise Voice Pickup Technology” with AI machine learning from more than 500 million voice samples. The mics housing are also specially designed to help further reduce wind noise.

** PM us if you’re interested to pre-order!

** Demo unit is not yet available. We will update you guys on FB if we have any audition event in the future!

** Special thanks to Sony Malaysia for giving us the chance to try out the prototype of WH-1000XM5!

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□ Retail : RM1,799
□ Pre-order Promo : pm for best price | FOC STM Myth 18L backpack (worth RM399)

** ETA of the first batch is around June 2022 (depends on Sony Malaysia’s arrangement). Stock level of the first batch will be pretty tight. We will dispatch the stock according to the sequence of ordering date.

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■ Physical shop / audio specialist⁣ since 2013
■ Premium audio dealer award winner of Sony Malaysia⁣
■ 100% genuine / warranty covered⁣
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