Sony WH-1000XM5 Battery Life: How Long Do They Last?



What’s the battery performance like on the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones? Let’s find out…


The Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones are well regarded as some of the best over-ear, noise-canceling headphones on the market right now. Going up against the likes of Apple’s AirPods Max and Bose’s QC45, the Sony WH-1000XM5 pickup where the 1000XM4 headphones left off, adding in a new design, improved ANC, and better battery life.

As you can see inside our Sony WH-1000XM5 reviews aggregation post, the Sony WH-1000XM5 scored massively positive reviews across the board, averaging in the high 90s. Nearly all reviews cited excellent audio performance, brilliant noise cancellation, and solid battery life, as well as excellent comfort and great overall features. All good things.

But how good is the battery life on the Sony WH-1000XM5? Let’s dig into the details a bit more to find out…

Sony WH-1000XM5 Battery Life

When it comes to battery performance, the Sony WH-1000XM5 really does not disappoint, averaging 30 hours on a single charge or 40 hours if you switch off the headphone’s active noise cancellation. Impressive numbers. To put that figure into context, Apple’s AirPods Max can only manage 20 hours, while Bose’s 700 wireless headphones are much the same, managing just 20 hours.

Sony WH-1000XM5 reviews
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Out of the three headphone options, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones are a solid 10 hours better than Apple and Bose’s competing headphones. Turn off their ANC, however, and you’ll get double the battery performance of Apple’s AirPods Max and Bose’s 700 wireless headphones. For anyone concerned about battery life, you needn’t be – nothing else can touch them.

Sony has also improved the Sony WH-1000XM5’s charging times too. You can now add an extra three hours of listening time with just 10 minutes on a wall charger. And even if you do run out of battery life, you can always insert the cable and switch over to analog listening. If you’re in a pinch, having the ability to switch the Sony WH-1000XM5 to an analog set of headphones is very useful.

Even Better ANC Performance

Sony has also seriously upped its ANC game as well. The headphones boast vastly superior active noise cancellation than its predecessor model, the 1000XM4, as noted by Sound Guys:

The Sony WH-1000XM5 represent a pretty big improvement in overall noise attenuation, and not just in ANC performance. It’s much better at isolating your ears from noise than previous iterations, meaning the offending blasts of incidental sound are physically blocked from reaching your ears. ANC can only do so much, so it’s almost always preferable to block out sound than cancel it.

Of course, the ANC itself is also very good. In our tests, it offered a tangible benefit compared to previous iterations of the WH-1000X line, as well as notably better performance in the low end when compared to headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 45, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, and Sony WH-1000XM4. Cancelling sounds in the range where most music is found by around 30dB, the headphones make engines, trains, and street noise drop off to about one-eighth their original perceived loudness. Basically, the WH-1000XM5 are the headphones to get if you absolutely need to stop buying cans for different purposes in your life.

What does all this mean? Pretty simple, really. If you’re in the market for a quality pair of over-ear, wireless headphones with amazing noise cancellation and brilliant overall sound and battery life, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is about as good as it gets right now. They outperform both the Bose 700 and AirPods Max in most key areas and they retail for around the same price.

Given the success of Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones, I can see the company shifting plenty of WH-1000XM5 units in 2022 and beyond…

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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