Testing Sony’s latest in-ear headphones… here’s what I honestly thought about it.

As a traveller and digital creator who’s always on the move, a good pair of headphones is on my list of daily essentials. My headphones get a lot of use — when I’m exercising, commuting, working.. I actually made it to Spotify’s Top 3% in Singapore in 2022 in terms of minutes listened.

Wearing the Sony In-ear Headphones - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

You get the gist; I cannot live without a good pair of headphones.

I’ve been using the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones for around eight months and while the sound quality and battery life have been impressive, I sometimes wished I had a smaller, more portable alternative.

Sony Headphones in Black and Silver - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

So when Sony announced their new WF-1000XM5 in-ear headphones, I was pretty excited to try them out.

Here’s what I look out for when choosing headphones: size and weight | battery life | noise cancellation | functionality | sound quality — click to the sections that are most relevant to you! Read till the end to find out how you can get a free personalised vegan leather case.

1) Size and Weight

Sony In-ear Headphones in Pocket - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

The new Sony WF-1000XM5 in-ear headphones are 50 grams — roughly the weight of two alkaline AA batteries! They’re also approximately 25% smaller and 20% lighter than their predecessor (WF-1000XM4). That’s generally lighter than most in-ear headphones from other brands 👀.

While I love my Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, they’re bulky and aren’t ideal in certain situations. Especially when hiking or going on backpacking trips (where there’s limited luggage capacity).

Putting headphones in bag - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

Comparatively, the Sony WF-1000XM5 in-ear headphones are much easier to carry around especially to formal events like weddings where all I have is a small purse.

2) Battery Life

Headphones in Black - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

The only thing worse than forgetting my headphones after leaving home? Bringing them out only to realise they’re out of battery. I’m now forced to commute not in silence, but (involuntarily) eavesdrop on loud conversations. 😩

The Sony WF-1000XM5 promises up to eight hours of battery, with another 16 hours stored in the case — a full 24 hours of listening time in total. The world’s longest flight (Singapore to New York) is 19 hours — so there’s more than enough battery for its entirety.

Sony WF-1000XM5 Headphones Charging - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

These headphones also charge really fast. Just three minutes of quick charge gives you 60 minutes of playtime!

On trips, I typically have multiple devices to charge each night — my phone, camera batteries, and portable charger. The long battery life and fast charging means I don’t have to charge my headphones every night. This is great especially for stays in hostels or hotels with limited power plugs.

Psst. The Sony WF-1000XM5 comes with a wireless charging case that utilises Qi technology to achieve easy wireless charging. You can also use a smartphone with Qi technology and battery share function (like the latest Xperia models) to charge your headphones in their charging case! 🤯

3) Noise Cancellation

Wearing the Sony WF-1000XM5 while commuting - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

An even worse way to start a trip? Screaming babies on a long overnight flight.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 offers their best noise-cancelling technology yet. These headphones enable external noise to be reduced over a wide bandwidth and comes with real-time noise-cancelling processing — meaning the audio is optimised to your environment!

While I haven’t travelled with them yet, I got to test them out in everyday situations like my MRT commute and working in the office. They did a pretty good job blocking out background noise — I couldn’t hear the loud airy sounds of the train moving or conversations of my colleagues sitting nearby.

Don’t just take my word for it, the Sony WF-1000XM5’s premium noise-cancelling features are also highly raved about on tech review sites such as What Hi-Fi.

4) Functionality

Speak-to-Chat Feature - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

The Sony WF-1000XM5 also has some pretty cool functions I never knew I needed in a pair of in-ear headphones.


Firstly, it can be paired with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. When a call comes in, it’ll automatically connect to the right device! I’ve had issues with this feature in other headphone brands before — so the Sony WF-1000XM5’s seamless connection is much-appreciated.

Next, its Speak-to-Chat feature pauses my music when I speak, and restarts when I stop. The music also pauses when I take the earbuds out. This is a great feature especially when colleagues come over for discussions.

Headphones Functionality - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

You can also pretty much go hands-free with the following functions:
– Tap on the left earbud to change from Noise Cancelling to Ambient Sound
– Long tap for Quick Attention (allows ambient sound to be heard — useful for when you need to hear train or plane announcements)
– Double tap on the right to skip to the next track
– Adjust volume by tapping four or more times in a row
Spotify Tap — the Sony WF-1000XM5 starts playing wherever you left off

Sony Headphones Connect Mobile App - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

You can customise functions on the Headphones Connect app.

5) Sound and Call Quality

Working and using Sony headphones - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

Sound quality is a key feature I look out for in headphones. As a music lover, I appreciate when a good pair of headphones allows me to hear the backing vocals and bass of a track.

As a content creator, it’s important to be able to hear everything clearly for video editing. It allows us to cut clips on beat, and reduce unnecessary background noise — among other things!

Sony’s WF-1000XM5 in-ear headphones has deeper bass, clear vocals and enhanced fine detail thanks to its real-time audio processors and high-performance mics that power the specially designed driver unit.

If that’s too chim, it basically means the sound quality is recording studio quality — it’ll be like Taylor Swift herself is in the room serenading you.

As for calls, the Sony WF-1000XM5 has superb call quality. It adopts an AI-based noise reduction algorithm that reduces external noise (like wind!) so that your voice can be heard clearly.

Sony WF-1000XM5 — Overall Verdict

Sony WF-1000XM5 Flatlay of Black and Grey Headphones - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

If you’re a heavy user of headphones in your everyday life — whether you’re travelling, working or exercising — the Sony WF-1000XM5 is worth it. Sony has always been a leader in the headphones space and their latest release proves to be their best wireless ear buds yet.

These headphones also have an IPX4 water resistance rating; which means they can withstand water splashes and sweat. Another important feature for those always on the move!

The Sony WF-1000XM5 comes in two sleek colours — Silver and Black. There’s also four different sizes of earbud tips available, including a super-small size for those with smaller ears (like me).

Sony WF-1000XM5 Multiple Size Earbuds - Sony WF-1000XM5 Review

From now till 31st Oct 2023, use our exclusive promo code [WFM5-TTI] and receive a free personalised vegan leather case* (worth S$59.90) when you purchase the new Sony WF-1000XM5 at Sony Store Online. Additionally, enjoy S$20 off the new Sony WF-1000XM5 now at S$399 (U.P S$419)!

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What’s your favourite headphones feature on this Sony WF-1000XM5 review? Share with us in the comments!

This post was brought to you by Sony Singapore.

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