Perplexing name aside, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is our favorite pair of wireless headphones for most people, and now the noise-canceling cans are back on sale for $328. This deal has popped up multiple times in the past year, most recently during the many Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales held over the course of November, but it still takes $72 off Sony's list price. While there've been a few steeper discounts since the headphones arrived in May 2022, we don't see them with much regularity. This offer is available at Amazon, Adorama and B&H; Sony also has it for $2 more.
Engadget Senior News Editor and audio expert Billy Steele gave the WH-1000XM5 a score of 95 in his review last year. This pair's active noise cancellation (ANC) is still among the better options we've tested, and its lightweight, well-constructed design should be comfortable for most to wear over extended periods. Battery life sits at a decent 30 or so hours per charge, the built-in mics are perfectly solid for phone calls and the whole thing can connect to two devices at once. The default sound profile emphasizes the bass, so it'll work best with hip-hop and pop music, though you can rein that in to something more neutral if you're willing to use the EQ tools in Sony's app. That app is home to a few other useful bonus features as well, including "Speak to Chat," which automatically pauses whatever you're playing when you start speaking.
The XM5 isn't without flaws: The design can't fold up (unlike the older Sony XM4s), and you can't manually adjust the strength of the ANC to the extent that you can on other pairs. Bose's QuietComfort Ultra delivers more powerful ANC on the whole, while Apple's AirPods Max can still offer more conveniences to iPhone owners. You can get better sound for the money, too. Taken as a complete package, however, the XM5 remains our top pick.
If you want a pair of noise-canceling earphones, meanwhile, the Sony WF-1000XM5 has dropped back to $248. Again, that's a deal we've seen for much of the last month, but it matches the price we saw on Black Friday. The WF model tops our guide to the best wireless earbuds, as it provides most of the features noted above in an in-ear design that isolates a good chunk of outside noise even when the ANC isn't turned on.