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Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones may not have the battery gains you're hoping for

Sony WH-1000XM5 leaked renders silver and black
Sony WH-1000XM5 leaked renders (Image credit: TechnikNews)

What you need to know

  • Real-world images of what appears to be a retail unit of the WH-1000XM4 successor have surfaced.
  • The WH-1000XM5 could have a 30-hour battery life, similar to the legacy headphones.
  • It may also depart from the WH-1000XM4's design, ditching the extra hinges in favor of rotating ear cups.

Renders of Sony's WH-1000XM4 (opens in new tab) successor leaked a few days ago, revealing a new design and a significant battery upgrade. However, real-world images of the Sony WH-1000XM5 have recently emerged to refute that claim.

A Reddit user (opens in new tab) has shared images of what appears to be a retail unit for Sony's next-generation wireless headphones. The photos back up an earlier leak (opens in new tab) that suggested the WH-1000XM5 would deviate from the design of its predecessor. This means that the extra hinges that allow the WH-1000XM4 to fold into a compact form will be removed. Instead, its successor appears to have rotating ear cups that allow the headphones to fold flat.

Meanwhile, the ear cups appear to be slightly larger than on the WH-1000XM4, and the padding on the headband and ear cups looks thicker. This design choice should aid in the isolation of background noise.

However, Sony's next contender for the best wireless headphones (opens in new tab) may not have the huge battery upgrade you were hoping for. The retail box indicates that the headphones will only have a 30-hour battery life between charges, contradicting a previous claim of 40 hours.

It's not exactly known whether the battery life information refers to performance with ANC enabled. But the previous leak claimed that its battery life could last up to 40 hours on a single charge with ANC turned on.

Nonetheless, the WH-1000XM5 looks to have a much sleeker design compared to previous generations.

It also looks to bring support for both Google Assistant (opens in new tab) and Amazon Alexa (opens in new tab). The box shows "Ok Google," suggesting that the headphones will detect the hot word for Google's voice assistant when summoned without the need to press a button.

The WH-1000XM5 is also expected to support multiple pairings at once and to switch between devices automatically while in use.

There's no official word on when Sony will launch the new headphones, but The Walkman Blog (opens in new tab) claims they will debut in August.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.