Sony WH-1000XM5 contre XM4: quels écouteurs devriez-vous acheter?

According to Sony, the new WH-1000XM5 headphones aren’t a replacement for the WH-1000XM4, they are an upgrade. Since both models will exist right next to each other on physical and virtual store shelves, which model should you buy?


  • Packaging, case, accessories
  • Design, fit, comfort
  • Battery life and charging
  • ANC performance
  • Call quality
  • Qualité sonore
  • The takeaway

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With the WH-1000XM5, Sony has promised a number of upgrades, and in our WH-1000XM5 review, we concluded that Sony delivered on those promises. What remains to be discussed is whether the XM5 are worth the added cost on a user-by-user basis. After all, the XM4 have sat at the top of Digital Trends’ best headphones list since the day they came out, and by all measures, they are still stellar headphones. With that said, the XM5 did de-throne the XM4. So, let’s dig in and see if we can figure out which might be the best choice for you.

Packaging, case, accessories

The XM4 come in premium packaging, giving buyers the pride-in-ownership vibe one looks for when spending north of $300 on a piece of tech. While there’s nothing that screams out “I’m not earth-friendly” about the XM4 packaging, the XM5 packaging was clearly designed with sustainability and recyclability front of mind. There isn’t so much as a gram of plastic involved here, and when you peel off the outer cardboard wrap, what you’re left with is a very plain-jane box that is clearly made of recycled material and is itself recyclable. In the end, when all of this is going to go in a bin anyway, it makes sense to let the function outweigh form.

As we examine the headphones’ cases, the differences are pretty obvious. The XM5 case is larger and U-shaped while the XM4 come in a more compact case. The larger XM5 case is due to the fact that the XM5 don’t collapse down. like the XM4 do. This means the XM5 will take up more space in your pack, whether you use the case or not. On the plus side, there are fewer moving parts and the XM5 are easier to stow in their case.

Looking inside the XM5 case we notice something new and something missing. A new magnetic flap reveals a storage compartment for a USB A to USC charging able and a 3.5 mm headphone cable. What’s missing is the airline adapter that has traditionally shipped with the XM4 and prior versions. Will this relic of an adapter really be “missed” though? Most airplanes in service no longer use the dual-style jack, if any jack is provided at all.

One final note: The included USB charging cable remains inexplicably short.

Design, fit, comfort

Moving on past accessories, we take a look at the headphones themselves. The XM5 may not fold up like previous models, but they do offer sleeker lines and a fresher look. Too bad the model name didn’t get a similar refresh.

The most noticeable difference, however, is with the XM5’s lighter weight. You can feel the difference by suspending each pair of headphones in your hands. It’s a difference you feel as soon as you put them on your head, and continue to appreciate the longer they are worn. The new synthetic leather also improves comfort for extended wear. In fact, we think the XM5 are among the most comfortable headphones you can buy. For some folks, this comfort upgrade may be enough of a reason to pay the premium for the XM5.

Battery life and charging

The XM5 will still give you about 30 hours of music listening performance with active noise canceling (ANC) engaged (or 20 hours of talk time) — the same as the XM4. However, the XM5’s quick-charge capability is improved. You’ll get three hours of performance from just three minutes of charging, but there is a catch: To get that kind of quick-charge, you’ll need a USB PD – or USB Power Delivery-capable charging block. Otherwise, the quick charge is similar to the XM4, which offer about 5 hours of music listening with ANC from 10 minutes of charging.

Where battery life and charging is concerned, the practical difference for most users is likely negligible.

ANC performance

Sony WH-1000XM5 - Similairement Différent

The XM5 have noticeably superior noise-canceling performance, compared with the XM4. They cut out more of the high mids and treble frequencies than the XM4. In fact, we think the XM5 offer the best noise-canceling you can get from any consumer headphone on the market, period. The improvement in performance here is credited to the addition of a second audio processor and a doubling of the onboard microphones.

With the improvement well noted, it is worth pointing out that the XM4 offer noice-canceling that is more than sufficient for most users. Frankly, with both of models, once you start playing movies or music, that’s basically all you’re going to hear. However, if you are just seeking the solace of silence, the XM5 will cut out more of the noise around you, including the cutting treble in a person’s voice or the high-end whish of wind rushing by. In fact, the XM5 are considerably better at dealing with wind.

De plus, le XM5 optimisera automatiquement le rendement du bruit basé sur des mesures environnementales à l'aide de leurs microphones embarqués, tandis que l'optimisation sur le XM4 a nécessité une utilisation répétée de l'application casque de Sony pour l'étalonnage.

Qualité d'appel

Aucune question, le XM5 offre une bien meilleure qualité d'appel. Si vous passez beaucoup de temps sur le téléphone ou le zoom et que vous ne pouvez pas toujours vous rendre dans un espace calme, croyez que le XM5 effacera essentiellement tout bruit de fond en cours. Barking Dogs, un marteau-piqueur, l'agitation des baristas dans un café - pas de bruit ne correspond pas au XM5, ce qui vous fera ressembler comme si vous étiez seul dans une pièce par vous-même, même si vous êtes au milieu d'une construction z1. Oui, ils sont vraiment si bons.

Quant à la qualité de la voix elle-même? Eh bien, vous n'allez pas enregistrer un podcast avec ceux-ci - ils ne sont pas bien bons - mais pour les appels téléphoniques et les réunions vidéo, ils font bien l'affaire. Seuls les AirPods Max offrent une meilleure fidélité vocale dans cette gamme de prix.

Qualité sonore

Étant donné que la qualité sonore est une question très subjective, nous pensons que le XM5 sonne un peu mieux que le XM4, bien que les différences soient nuancées. La différence la plus évidente de qualité sonore est dans les performances des basses, où le XM5 sonne un peu plus «raffiné». Cela ne veut pas dire que le XM5 a beaucoup moins de basse, mais ils sont un peu moins de basse que le XM4, avec un peu moins de punch dans le milieu de basse.

Si vous êtes dans le camp de la basse plus gros, mieux c'est, alors nous pensons que vous préférez le XM4. Si vous aimez un peu plus d'équilibre, mais encore beaucoup de basse, le XM5 peut être plus votre sac. Sinon, la scène sonore, la séparation instrumentale et le timbre global entre le XM5 et le XM4 sont si proches qu'ils ne valent guère la peine d'être mentionnés.

Le point à emporter

Si vous voulez le meilleur annulation de bruit possible, la meilleure qualité d'appel que vous pouvez obtenir avec un casque et les canettes entièrement confortables disponibles, alors le XM5 est le billet. Cependant, si vos besoins ne sont pas moins exigeants ou spécifiques, le XM4 est la meilleure valeur globale et restent l'un des meilleurs ensembles de canettes complètes que vous pouvez acheter. C’est juste que… le XM5 est incroyablement bon.


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