The Sony WF-1000XM5 are among the most anticipated new wireless earbuds of 2023. They’re the successor to the XM4, which earned a CNET Editors’ Choice award when they were released in 2021 (and not to be confused with the WH-1000XM5 full-size headphones). Back in March, the Walkman Blog uncovered an image of the new buds in their preproduction state as they made their way through the Federal Communications Commission’s certification process. Now, the Walkman Blog has shared additional info and images, with WinFuture posting what appear to be images of the final product. A release seems imminent.
Read more: Best Wireless Earbuds for 2023
According to the Walkman Blog’s report, the XM5 are smaller than the XM4 and are shaped differently, which may help them fit more ears comfortably (the XM4 could be a little big for some ears). Leaks reveal that each bud will weigh 5.9 grams, or 1.4 grams less than the XM4 buds. The case for the XM5s is said to be two grams lighter.
The buds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 with multipoint pairing and should support Bluetooth LE Audio, according to the Walkman Blog. Bluetooth LE Audio supports such features as Auracast (broadcast audio) and the LC3 audio codec.
The XM4 have a matte finish, but the XM5 appear to have a mostly glossy finish, although the touch surface on the outer face of the bud seems to be matte. Many people aren’t fans of glossy finishes as they tend to be fingerprint magnets.
The XM4 carries a list price of $280, but if the WF-1000XM5 follows the same path as the full-size WH-10000XM5, we could very well see a price hike to $300 or more.
The XM4 earbuds were released on June 8, 2021, so a lot of folks, including me, have been expecting the XM5 to be announced this month. Typically, Sony updates its flagship headphones every two years.
Separately, reports — and that leaked image above — suggest Sony will also soon unveil the WF-700CN earbuds, but that’s a more entry-level model.
More headphone recommendations