Big Sony WH-1000XM5 leak shows Apple should be worried about AirPods Max

Sony’s upcoming WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones now look more real than ever after new photos surfaced on Reddit that appear to show the full packaging they will ship in.

First appearing on the Sony subreddit, the new images show a boxed pair of WH-1000XM5 headphones in white, although we can expect Sony to also offer a black version for those who prefer their headphones a bit darker.

Although we can’t see the headphones themselves, the packaging confirms one thing: 30 hours of battery life with active noise cancellation (ANC) turned on. That’s 10 hours less than the previously advertised 40 hours, but it’s still more than enough for the vast majority of people. For comparison, the AirPods Max only manage 20 hours.

The previous WH-1000XM4 headphones were a direct competitor to Apple’s AirPods Max and were among the best wireless headphones on the market, especially at their price point. This new updated version is sure to be just as capable. Popularity is almost certainly assured as well, although we don’t have a price yet. It’s a safe bet they’ll be much cheaper than Apple’s $550 charge for the AirPods Max, however, with the previous WH-1000XM4 selling for an MSRP of $349.99.

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

That $200 difference will of course mean that Sony wearers won’t benefit from the instant device change offered by AirPods Max, but it’s likely the WH-1000XM5 will have the superior ANC tech, so that could be down to a personal choice here. Those who don’t use Apple devices should probably opt for the Sony option, of course. If price is the main concern, no matter what hardware you pair them with, these will surely be the best AirPods Max alternatives.

Pricing isn’t the only thing we don’t know either. No release window has yet been given for the WH-1000XM5 headphones, although a Reddit commenter points out that “the FCC’s short-term confidentiality date ends August 8.” That doesn’t mean the headphones won’t break before, but it could be a handy guide to work until we’re told otherwise.

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