Sony may soon release a sequel to its well-received WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds. The Walkman Blog has discovered certification images for the WF-1000XM5, and there are hints Sony may address the comfort issues we have with the current model. The photos suggest the XM5 design may be curvier — you could listen for longer periods without a flat side digging into your ear. It's not clear if the buds are smaller.
The case also hints at potentially faster wireless charging times. And yes, the charging status light should finally be on the outside of the case. Don't read too much into the plain, sometimes-glossy looks. The buds you see here appear to be prototypes and likely won't reflect what you can buy.
It's too soon to say if the WF-1000XM5 will sound any better or introduce features. A release may come soon, though. An FCC filing appeared in late February, with short-term confidentiality due to expire in August. Given that the XM4 reached the FCC in February 2021 and debuted that June, it won't be surprising if its follow-up is weeks away.
The XM4 remains our pick for the best wireless earbuds, and for good reason. While the buds are on the large side, they provide excellent sound quality, strong active noise cancellation and healthy battery life in a platform-agnostic design. If the XM5 improves on that formula, they may be the go-to option if you'd rather not spring for AirPods or Pixel Buds.