Sony WH-1000XM5

Music has been part of my life. A big part of it. #nomusicnolife I listen to music whenever I am doing something for a long duration, like driving, cycling, working in office, and traveling.

I have been using the Sony earbuds WF-1000XM4 since its launch. Loving it very much. (Should have blogged about it) The new buds XM5 has just been launched last month, but it doesn't convince me to upgrade. Instead, I spend the money to get the headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5 in preparation for my long haul travel soon. 

Instead of another technical reviews, which you can Google for better ones, allow me to share the rationale or personal reasons why I bought this pair of headphones. 

Before we delve into it, the headphones come with a padded hard case, a short USB charging cable and a 3.5mm audio cable to make it a wired headphones. A very good feature indeed when Bluetooth is not available like during flight.

During the peak of my previous job, I used to travel long haul like every quarter, from US to Europe, and to some part of Asia. I have been buying and upgrading numerous pairs of earbuds from different brands throughout. I was never a headphones guy as I thought it's troublesome to carry another bulky gadget especially when needed to strip off everything including shoe and belt when passing through the security screening. What's more I am a minimalist, always travel light. 

And throughout these travels, I also learned the shortcomings of earbuds. 

First, the run time. A pair of good earbuds might last you from 4 to 6 or 8 hours for recent models. That is only good for half of the journey if travel cross-continent. To counter this, I did carry 2 pairs of earbuds all the times in the past. 

Second, the convenience of the buds is like a  double edge sword, it could turn the opposite and become a hassle to keep in possession. Often I realized I left only a side of bud in my ear when I woke up from nap in the middle of the flight, and struggled to find the missing one especially with so many hidden gaps surrounding the seat especially the business and first class seat. If I recalled, I think I lost 2 pairs in different occasions. 

I also had some buds that blink when in use. That helped in lost and found but could cause nuisance to others who sit adjacent especially travel in economy class.

Third, the buds could not be used with in flight entertainment. This is no longer relevant though, I am putting up another blog about a cool product (see link below). 

Here I got myself with the Sony headphones to address the above. 30 hours of run time is perfect for my next trip to Europe. Although it's much bulkier than the buds but I think I would not lose it easily. A slight compromise on travel minimalist-ly πŸ˜… Lastly, I can use it with the in flight entertainment, rather than the subpar headphones provided by the airline. 

As there are new plane models such as A350 and cabin upgrades to some mature models like A380 and B737, I prepared myself with the adaptor, just in case the plane is still using that old school 2-leg audio jack. But wired is still not perfect for me, I prefer no string attached, so I bought myself the AirFly Pro by Twelve South. Check out the link below. 

There is 1 thing still unsettled. The ears will definitely feel warmer when using headphones vs earbuds. I hope my ears won't sweat when I use in the flight. 

1 thing to nitpick. XM5 does not fold up like its predecessor XM4. It consumes more space in the bag. I think it would not make difference to me as it is my first pair of headphones (it's nonetheless bulky for a user switching from earbuds) and I have thought about bulkiness before order.  

I also wonder how durable the cushy ear pads will last before peeling off? Hopefully it could last as long as I am ready to upgrade again. 

How about sound quality? This is subjective to individuals. I have been with Sony from young with their walkman, earphones and other sound products. Maybe not always the bestest but at least I have not felt disappointed with the SQ for the Sony products I owned. Plus, the easy product availability from Sony Centers in major malls and established service center convinced me to stick to Sony. I got this pair from Sony Center Sunway Pyramid in Shopee at RM1380 after some discounts, excluding the RM50 TnG reload which will be sent in 60 days. That brings the net value down to RM 1330. 

In a nutshell, if you love to seclude self from the noisy world (this Sony headphones also have the best active noise cancelling ANC), and prefer not to be disrupted with drained battery, get a pair of headphones. 

And tips, not to forget to download the songs in Spotify and videos in Netflix and YouTube (make available offline) before you board the plane. 

Happy travel yo!

Update - here is the link to the cool product, AirFly Pro by Twelve South.


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