Leak of Sony's next flagship headphones shows sleek design, longer battery life | Cult of Mac

Leak of Sony’s next flagship headphones shows sleek design, longer battery life

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Sony's next top headphones may have a sleek new design.
Sony's next top headphones may have a sleek new design.
Photo: Nils Ahrensmeier/TechnikNews

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 over-ear noise-cancelling wireless headphones are considered one of the best sets of cans in the business. Now a new leak shows what may be in store for the audio giant’s next version, the WH-1000XM5, in terms of a sleek new design and key specs.

Leak of Sony’s next top headphones shows sleek design, longer battery life

Sony recently surprised folks with incredibly expensive new Walkmans for audiophiles and fairly pricey open-back earbuds without active noise cancellation (ANC) or wireless charging. Now Germany’s TechnikNews issues a leak with renderings showing updated flagship headphones, citing an unnamed “retail source.”

The site said the WH-1000XM5 — successor to the popular WH-1000XM4 — will feature a redesign and improvements to battery life, in addition to other updates.

If the details provided are accurate, the WH-1000XM5 will get up to 40 hours of battery life — 10 hours longer than that of the previous three models. And the 1000XM5 might fully recharge in 3.5 hours, only about 30 minutes longer than before. That’s not bad considering the much-improved battery life.

More refined design

The renders show off a more refined design. The 1000XM5, as shown, features a sleeker profile than the 1000XM4, somewhat more akin to the modern-looking Bose 700.

In the 1000XM5 renders, thin arms connect to the earcups, separate from the headband. There may also be thicker padding on the earcups, which would make the headphones even more comfortable than the current version.

According to TechnikNews, the WH-1000XM5’s three microphones are repositioned and an NC/AMB button replaces the CUSTOM button. That just makes the functionality clearer — noise cancelling and ambient mode.

Alongside the high-capacity battery, the 1000XM5 headphones may also feature new drivers and two processors for managing noise cancellation.

The previous model's "Custom" button may be replaced by a "NC/AMB" one.
The previous model’s “Custom” button may be replaced by a “NC/AMB” one.
Photo: Nils Ahrensmeier/TechnikNews

Much-anticipated release

The WH-1000XM5 headphones are one of the most anticipated new ANC headphones of 2022. Before 2016, Bose’s popular QuietComfort model was really the only choice around. But Sony changed that with its release of the MDR-1000X.

And since that time, Sony has released a string of acclaimed ANC headphones, holding its own against worthy challengers like Apple AirPods Max and the Bose 700.

The WH-1000XM5 headphones lack a firm release date so far, but FCC documents from a few months ago suggest it should come soon.