Sony's Upcoming WH-1000XM5 Headphones Look Fantastic In Leaked Renders

It's been nearly two years since Sony launched its current flagship-grade noise-canceling headphones — the WH-1000XM4. Among the best products in its class, the WH-1000XM4 competes with other great products, including the Bose QC35, Sennheiser Momentum 3, and even Apple AirPods Max. While it was already known that Sony would bring a successor to the WH-1000XM4 in 2022, we did not really know what this new product — the rumored WH-1000XM5 — would end up looking like. That question seems to have been answered today after the first high-resolution images of the WH-1000XM5 leaked in spectacular detail.

The images and tech specs of the Sony WH-1000XM5 come courtesy of German tech publication TechnikNews. The publication cites an "unknown retail source" as its source while adding that the product would feature a revamped design. Furthermore, the report adds that the upcoming WH-1000XM5 will offer around 40 hours of playback time. It is reportedly able to do this because of a larger battery. This bigger battery, however, also means that the WH-1000XM5 will be slightly slower to recharge from zero to full, taking three and a half hours while the older model took just three.

Significant design changes incoming

The fresh renders that TechnikNews posted today indicate that the WH-1000XM5 will receive a significant design upgrade this time around. This includes an overall sleeker look that will make it look as contemporary as one of its chief rivals — the Bose 700. What is also evident from the renders is that Sony will seemingly make the WH-1000XM5 more comfortable to wear thanks to the additional padding on the earcups. This should make the WH-1000XM5 even more comfortable to wear than the WH-1000XM4, which is among the cushiest ANC headphones around.

The design seems to also feature thin arms that are separate from the headband of the device. The images also indicate Sony has changed the positioning of the three microphones from their locations on this device's predecessor. The last physical change seems to be removing the 'Custom' button, and in its place, the WH-1000XM5 will get a quick button to switch between ANC and Ambient modes. In addition to these visible changes, TechnikNews went on to add that the 2022 model would likely feature completely new drivers.

The latest leaks surrounding the WH-1000XM5 come a few months after the product first made its appearance at the FCC. Generally, an appearance on the FCC's registration website would indicate that a given product will be revealed in full to the public in short order, but with Sony, this tidbit remains a mystery. The previous model — the Sony WH-1000XM4 — came out in August 2020. This could indicate that the company is readying this model for release internationally in the next few months.