Over the last few years I have fallen in love with earbuds. The benefits they provide over headphones are massive but with the size and flexibility comes with some sacrifices. The new Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds for $570 aren’t the cheapest earbuds, the question is whether the price is worth it.
Comfort and style
The Sony 1000XM5 earbuds are comfortable as hell. Some of the ones that create the large teardrop shape on the outside can feel weirdly large and like they are going to fall out. The Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are much smaller than I expected and with their nice memory foam ear bits they make for an incredibly comfortable and stable fit.
It also comes with a bunch more ear tips (like every pair of earbuds these days) so you can get the right fit. If the memory foam tips aren’t your jam, then you can grab the ones from your old ear buds. But having used them for a few weeks, I can honestly say I loved them.
When it comes to style, the size means they tuck away better than other buds in your ear. This is a major plus, and it has a nice matte surface on the top with glossy surrounds. These look nice, however, the glossy surround is where I pick the buds up from, and I found this a wee bit annoying. If my fingers were sweaty or wet then they would slip sometimes. I had to drip harder to be safe, but this was a minor annoyance.
The sound quality in these earbuds is exceptional. The treble has been massively improved which allows for you to get the range you need in them. When you listen mostly to podcasts it doesn’t make a massive difference over some of the other high quality earbuds, but when listening to music it makes a real difference. Hearing the guitar strings and vocals cut through the base does take them up a step to previous buds I have used.
Of course everybody has their own preferences, and the easy to use Headphones app means you can tweak the EQ to your liking. This may only apply to the audiophiles among us, but given the price it is an option that is expected, and it’s so easy to use.
The other major contributor to the sound quality is the noise canceling. Excellent treble can only do so much when you hear the background noise of the train drawing out the beats. Well thanks to the WF-1000XM5 excellent fit, even passive noise canceling is solid. Throw the ANC on and it is next level. This is easily the best noise canceling I have experienced from earbuds.
The microphones are the best I have witnessed in a pair of earbuds, but they are still earbuds. That means listening over that Wellington wind is still an issue.
Battery life and case
Sony promised an eight hour battery life, and I constantly got at least that which is damn good. On top of this, the case holds two more full charges which is solid. So if you pop your earbuds back into the case when not in use they will of course keep being topped up. This meant to a casual user like me, I got a solid week out of a charge. Even the heaviest users amongst us, you should get at least one or two days.
The case itself is pretty nice. Rounded edges make it fit into your pocket nicely, and they feel sturdy to use. The teardrop shaped earbuds can’t have the sleek long shape like the traditional shaped earbuds that hang down for the case as the shape doesn’t work. As far as cases go for these, this might be one of the better I have seen.
Should you get them?
Let’s be honest, a big part of the question will be answered with that price. The WF-1000XM5 earbuds are definitely worth that money, if you can afford them. The sound quality is that good.
Some minor design choices aside, the Sony WF-1000XM5 Earbuds pump out some incredible sound and are comfy as to wear.
If the price ain't an issue then you should be happy with this investment.