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Oops! Sony's best noise cancelling headphones for 2022, the Sony WH-1000XM5, have leaked online, and not just once but twice. Images of the retail packaging have been shared to a Sony subreddit and they give a lot of information about the next generation of our favourite headphones.
And, what's more, this super revealing leak was immediately followed up by another, with respected tech tipster Jon Prosser confirming on Twitter that the Sony WH-1000XM5 price will be "$399" and that we should look forward to an "announcement on May 12".
The packaging for the WH-1000XM5 shows that the design is much smoother and to my eyes more elegant than before, and the cups appear to be slightly bigger too. The blurb on top has logos for Alexa and Google as well as the Made for iPhone logo, and the battery icon shows a figure of 30 hours – the same as the current model, the WH-1000XM4. It also promises "Industry-leading noise cancelling".
What to expect in the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones
I'm intrigued by that "industry leading" claim with the noise cancellation: collectively we reckon that the XM4s are already the best noise cancelling headphones you can buy, so I'd love to know what improvements Sony has made here. We know that there's a new ANC processor and a newly designed driver in each ear, so improved sound quality is likely, and I'd expect the XM5s to use LDAC for hi-res audio. I'm still hoping for aptX HD/adaptive but the lack of the logo on the packaging suggests it isn't coming.
This is a brilliant time to be buying headphones, I think. I'm seeing my favourites, Apple's AirPods Max, going for around £410 instead of the £500+ RRP. And looking at our Sony deals, there are some absolutely stellar deals happening on the Sony WH-1000XM4. If you're an early adopter there's some amazing tech coming your way; if you're more budget conscious you're getting more bang for your buck than ever before.
Here's hoping we hear something official about the Sony WH-1000XM5 soon.