Sony’s WH-1000XM line of noise-cancelling headphones is brilliant – I’ve used a pair of XM4s while working for years – and they’re actually pretty decent for PC gaming too, especially if you’re in a louder environment. That’s why I thought I should tell you that these WH-1000XM5s are discounted to £249 on Sony’s UK site when you use code UPGRADE50 to knock £50 off the price. This is the first time they’ve dropped to this level, and for a go-anywhere set of headphones they might just be worth a look.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Yes, these aren’t my number one choice for PC gaming – there are a lot of much better specialized PC gaming headsets – but for a headset that can go anywhere and do it all, they’re actually a surprisingly good option. Only something like SteelSeries’ expensive Arctis Nova Wireless or the Epos H6 Pro Hybrid offers similar levels of flexibility, albeit at a high price in both cases. The benefit of the XM5s is that their active noise cancellation is significantly better than what PC gaming headset makers have been able to achieve, making them a better choice for when you’re traveling on public transport, working in a café or gaming in a noisy environment.
The disadvantage here, compared to out-and-out gaming models, is that Bluetooth necessarily has a higher average latency than something like 2.4GHz wireless. How much depends on how you measure it, the headset you’re testing, its settings and the Bluetooth standard it uses, and so on. Figures online suggest these headsets have about 240ms of latency, compared to around 100ms for 2.4GHz wireless gaming headphones. However, you can use these headphones wired (via 3.5mm) if you’d prefer to cut that latency down to 10ms, basically nothing.
Otherwise, there’s not much that isn’t excellent with the WH-1000XM5s. Comfort is top-notch, the simpler design is sleek (even if it doesn’t fold any more), battery life is strong at 30 hours and of course this headset sounds great too. If you are looking for a strong lifestyle headset, this is worth checking out at the discounted price – but do have a look at our gaming headset recommendations linked above too, as you might prefer to have specialized headsets for different use cases rather than a more flexible example with some compromises.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more deals soon!