The Sony WH-1000XM4 have been our pick for the best headphones money can buy since their launch in 2020 – and now it looks like a new, updated model is on the way.
A patent discovered by The Walkman Blogdescribes a technical prototype for a pair of over-ear headphones, model number YY2954 – and if these are the successors to Sony’s flagship headphones, you can be almost certain they code for the Sony WH-1000XM5.
If this patent is for the Sony WH-1000XM5, then we may have gotten our first glimpse of the rumored wireless headphones. It features a rather simple illustration of an over-ear headphone with oval earcups, a thin headband, and an FCC nameplate on a label below the left earpad.
As The Walkman Blog speculates, this could mean the WH-1000XM5 will feature a different headband style than its predecessors. The WH-1000XM4 has a name tag on the underside of the headband, but the fact that this has been moved under the ear cushion suggests the new headband may be too thin to accommodate a name tag, or perhaps made of a material that this cannot be easily stamped – like metal.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that Sony may have decided to move the nameplate to a less conspicuous spot in favor of a cleaner look, but the idea of Sony headphones with a slick metal headband like the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 is quite enticing.
Like the Sony WH-1000XM4, it looks like the next set of Sony headphones will initially come in black or silver. The Walkman Blog has shared an import listing for a Sony headset from Hong Kong to India which it believes relates to the headphones described in the patent – and that listing included two colours, silver and black.
The patent also shows that the internal battery rating of these headphones is 3.8V, as opposed to the 3.7V we got from the WH-1000XM4. This means the Sony WH-1000XM5 could surpass the 38-hour battery life of its predecessors. That number was already impressive, so even longer music playback time would be a big selling point for Sony’s next set of headphones.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 could also come with fast charging support, with the patent describing a 5V/9V USB rating for charging.
Will the Sony WH-1000XM5 be released in 2022?
It’s important to remember that a patent application is never a firm guarantee that a product will ever see the light of day – but we’d be very surprised if Sony didn’t work on a successor to its hugely successful WH-1000XM4 headphones would work .
If the headphones in this patent are really the Sony WH-1000XM5, they could launch in August 2022 – that’s because the non-disclosure agreement on the document ends on August 8th.
An August release date for the Sony WH-1000XM5 definitely makes sense. After all, the Sony WH-1000XM4 were released on August 6th, 2020, while their predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM3, were released on August 30th, 2018.
There’s a clear release schedule there – every two years in August we’ve had another model in the WH-1000X range since 2018. In any case, we’ll be watching Sony closely over the next few months, especially since a 2022 release date could put the WH-1000XM5 in direct competition with other rumored headphones like the Apple AirPods Max 2 and the first Sonos headphones.
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