Apple’s AirPods Max are arguably the company’s most extreme product — uncompromising design and build materials and an eyewatering $550 price tag. But you shouldn’t buy them, you should buy these headphones instead…
Thanks to TechnikNews, we now have our first look at the WH-1000XM5 — the next-generation of Sony’s already class-leading noise-cancelling headphones. And they look set to blow away Apple’s AirPods Max.
The headline news is actually more subjective, the WH-1000XM5 will receive their biggest redesign in years. Gone is the boxier shape of its predecessors and in comes a more curvacious design with plunging stems that borrows from elements of the Bose Noice Cancelling Headphones 700. It’s a promising and more compact design and with the WH-1000XM4 (254g) already substantially lighter than the controverisally heavy and soggy (384g) AirPods Max, that’s a win.
While looks and feel are subjective, where the new WH-1000XM5 truly takes the AirPods Max apart is battery life. The WH-1000XM4 already offered 30 hours of playback Vs 20 hours for the AirPods Max, but the WH-1000XM5 jumps this to 40 hours — doubling Apple’s headphones. They will also charge over USB-C.
Elsewhere, there’s comfort in next-generation leaps. Numerous reviews found nothing to choose between the sound quality and noise cancellation of the WH-1000XM4 and the AirPods Max but the WH-1000XM5 delivers Bluetooth 5.2 (Vs 5.0 in the Max), new drivers and an additional ANC processor so expect upgrades in all areas. There’s a new “chic” case as well, which is a label not even Apple diehards would use to describe the AirPod Max’s carrying monstrosity.
And here’s the kicker. Sony has always had Apple’s number when it came to price: $349 Vs $550. Even a substantial price jump would see a clear gap remain between the two.
Style was usually the reason buyers chose AirPods Max over Sony’s XM series. With the new design coming and the…