Technology

Sony WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth headphones test: still a champion, but it’s losing its luster

Sony WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth headphones test: still a champion, but it’s losing its luster
Written by madishthestylebar

As announced and promised, the WH-1000XM5 does benefit from an improvement in the active noise reduction system compared to the previous model, but not everything is so simple…

Sony’s new flagship is, at best, able to offer a slightly higher level of isolation than its predecessor, which was already among one of the best in this area. The system mainly gains in efficiency at high frequencies, at the mid/treble level, by having erased the slight background noise (very diffuse and fairly high-pitched breath) that could be perceived on previous models. The WH-1000XM5 is therefore able to place the user in a real bubble of silence thanks to a very effective action on a wide range of noise sources, in particular conversations which become almost indiscernible. A pure pleasure.

Note that we deliberately insisted above on the notion of “best case scenario”, and this for the reason that the active noise reduction of the WH-1000XM5 does not always provide the same isolation performance. The system is in fact based on automatic optimization, totally decorrelated from any functionality linked to the app (randomly, adaptive sound control), and which is intended to be perfectly transparent for the user. In other words, which cannot be managed in any way. The small problem is that this switch between the different levels – we identified two main ones during our test – can sometimes be done in a rather counterproductive way. Indeed, in the lower level of attenuation that we noted, and the only one that we were able to measure, the headphones provide less isolation in the low-mids/mids region (on certain components of rolling/ventilation noise and human voices), in situations which would have precisely required a maximum level of performance, in a open space or a noisy train, for example.

What’s more, we also sometimes found that in the same environment and identical noise conditions, being perfectly still, the active noise reduction oscillated between the two levels from time to time, without anyone knowing exactly why. Obviously, this behavior is perceived when the headphones are only used to isolate themselves (this one not broadcasting any content or at very low volume), but it is still regrettable.

Finally, the WH-1000XM5 shows a nice evolution in the mode of listening to surrounding sounds, which gains quite clearly in naturalness and therefore proves to be more pleasant and usable than on previous iterations. We can thus hope to follow a conversation or simply perceive our environment more clearly and instinctively. We are still a good notch behind certain models whose mode is much more transparent, faithful and more “open”, such as the AirPods Max, and therefore less muffled than that of the WH-1000XM5, whose insulation is still clearly felt. on the ears.

#Sony #WH1000XM5 #Bluetooth #headphones #test #champion #losing #luster

About the author

madishthestylebar

Leave a Comment