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Headphones Awards 2023 | Best Wireless Over-Ear Headphones You Can Buy! (In-Depth)


Thank you welcome to the ovary headphones awards where for the past few months i've been doing some in-depth testing on as many different pairs as i could to narrow down a list of the best wireless headphones you can buy of course everyone has different priorities when it comes to headphones and the term best can vary depending on what you want from your headphones for some that's the noise canceling performance for others is the call quality or comfort and for many it's simply the sound quality so i tested each of them against each other in a series of tests to determine the winners in each of these categories before finally narrowing down a top seven so as we go through the video i'l give you a review of each of these headphones highlighting the areas they perform well and not so well in i'l show you the final rankings at the end so we can see the winners in each category and from this we can determine the overall performance of each one which will not only give us our ultimate winner but should also help you to see which of these headphones best suits your particular needs there's obviously a lot to cover here and it's taken weeks of testing to get to this point so without further ado let's take a look at the headphones awards for 2023.

Bose QuietComfort SE/45

We'l start things off with the new bose quiet comfort se which is essentially exactly the same as the qc45s the only differences are a sled color change and a redesigned carry case this is actually the only soft carry case in this video the essay even appears as the 45s when you connect to the app just in case there was any doubt that the two models are the same interestingly. Bose confirmed to me that the sc isn't a replacement for the 45s and is to launch alongside them instead confusingly at a lower price point right now for those wondering about the bose nc700 they were a contender but with the se having superior battery life noise canceling sound quality and comfort these were the better choice with the se the build quality and basic design aren't as premium or aesthetically pleasing as some of her other entries the button controls are a little mushy and bunch closely together there's no wearing detection and these use the less common two and a half millimeter port for the aux cable but the clue isn't the name as to why these make this list bose's quiet comfort headphones are both fantastic and noise canceling and super comfortable to wear for long periods of time these are the lightest pair of headphones in this entire video and pairing this with spacious earcups and an ultra low clamping force these are one of the best pairs you can buy for long listening sessions with this design the relatively thin headband and ear cup padding is actually plenty and has the added benefit of not causing your ears to warm up too much but surprisingly these take second place for comfort and we'l see which entry beats these later. So that's the comfort aspect and as for the quiet part well these have amazing noise canceling performance and beat all of the other competitors for anc simply put these are the strongest noise canceling headphones you can buy right now so with a foldable design in excellent comfort these are one of the best options you can get for traveling especially long-haul flights so that alone is enough to make lots of people buy these but let's take a look at where these didn't perform so well firstly the my quality was one of the poorest here he's letting quite a lot of the background noise and my voice wasn't especially clear those do have the useful self-voice feature so you can adjust how much of your own voice you want to hear on a call it's in a noisy environment these headphones struggle to isolate your voice 's companion app is super clean but also fairly limited for instance despite being the most powerful you can't adjust the level of noise cancellation incidentally customization was the main area i found the nc700 to be better but here it's either full anc or in transparency mode which by the way isn't anywhere near as good as the anc possibly as a result of not being able to switch these to off mode the battery life is the poorest in this video at just 24 hours there's also no google fast pair or high-end codecs it's sbc or aac only but like every entry in this video these do offer multi-points so you can connect to two devices at the same time and switch over by pausing on one and playing on the other with the sound quality this was one of the easier aspects to rank because although the sound quality is good here these are a noticeable step down in quality compared to the others bose has quite a unique sound signature where the mids and vocals are pushed forward and the bass is quite tame it's a tuning that could be great for podcasts and is unlikely to fatigue your ears but the clarity and instrument separation is lacking and increasing the volume to compensate for the lack of bass the high-end frequencies can become harsh bose's basic equalizer only lets you offset this slightly. And i think overall with the lack of any high-end codecs these are one of the weaker performers when it comes to sound quality casual listeners will find these. Okay but audio files should stay clear so that fantastic noise cancellation and comfort does come with some trade-offs but the price is not one of them because these are the cheapest entry in this video the new se model aren't quite appearing on the us.

Master & Dynamic MW75

Okay the next entry is the master and dynamic mw75 this time we get a rather large hard shell carry case covered in felds which isn't my favorite design but does keep the headphones protected these are packed with accessories including nylon braided usb c2c and usb to three and a half millimeter cables a quarter inch adapter a usbc to a adapter and an airplane adapter all neatly stored inside the case immediately you notice the big step up in terms of build quality and design these are one of the three what i'd call luxury models in this video they're made of anodized aluminum glass and lambskin leather so they're no good if you're avoiding animal products but the materials contribute to an undeniably premium aesthetic the overall construction feels really solid it's just a shame these don't fall down for easier transport button controls are tactile but a bit on the small side and again bunch too close together you can easily power these off by mistake when reaching for the anc button we do at least have wearing detection here though it was a bit inconsistent with these they won't auto resume if you leave them paused for any more than a few seconds interestingly the usb-c port serves as both the charging port and the connection for wired listening there's no aux port on the headphones at all the trade-off with this premium materials is weights and therefore comforts these are the heaviest headphones in this list at 338 grams and you really feel it the clamping force is reasonable but i find the ear cups are too small you have to maneuver these back and forth until your rears finally fit inside and there's not much room to breathe either the relatively firm but thick padding does help. And i can still comfortably wear these for a few hours but they're placed in seventh for comfort overall the 75s don't boast much in terms of features the app is rather basic hosting a handful of preset equalizers but disappointingly no custom eq toggles for the audio prompt wearing detection feature and the auto power off and some options for the anc mode. But that's essentially it. So it's not an app you really need to revisit in terms of the actual noise canceling performance these are just about on the right side of average the same as with the transparency mode and the rankings reflect this too anc suddenly helps in a noisy environment but these don't perform to the level one might hope the headphones or the price tag this large attached plus these come with a quiet hiss with anc turned on you at least get some more options here such as adaptive mode. And you can turn off anc to save on battery too you get 28 hours of listening with anc so that's just above bows and puts these in sixth place one surprisingly good aspect is the cool quality these do a really decent job even in noisy environments and isolate my voice well on phone calls good enough to award these third plays for the microphone quality there's no google fast pair again. But we do have much better codec choices with support for aptx adaptive which of course means higher quality streaming too these also offer multi-points and bluetooth 5.1. But otherwise things are catch pretty simple second only to the design in terms of strengths is the sound quality with the mw75s we're entering the audiophile territory with an impressively wide sound stage bright treble but a fairly neutral overall presentation the step up and quality from bose is immediately apparent with a far richer and more expansive and detailed sound the base here brings so much more body to your music which just starts to boom ever so slightly especially at higher volumes and can encroach on the mids that's really the main quality that keeps these away from the top spot still these sound excellent over bluetooth and you can even unlock 24 bit 96 kilohertz audio with wired listening through usbc but with sound quality or rather sound preference being so subjective the lack of a custom equalizer does let these down these can also reach pretty high volume levels but those smaller cups don't give the tightest acoustic seal to minimize sound leakage for which these ranked only six m d's mw75 are a stylish premium level pair of headphones with awesome sound that are surprisingly good for phone calls there are four stunning color options to choose from but that design is really going to have to pull most of the weight in justifying the high price tag these retail for 599 or 549 pounds.

Sennheiser Momentum 4

Next up is apple's airpods max just kidding these are overpriced uncomfortable and with so many of the best features being exclusive to ios they're only a top 7 pair for apple users next up is actually sennheiser's momentum 4. These come with a hard shell carry case these is a tough fabric exterior a design will see similar variations of later as well elastic straps hold down the usb a to c charging cable a two and a half to three and a half millimeter right angled alt cable so these also use the smaller two and a half millimeter ports an airplane adapter and there's a mesh pouch inside too with the paperwork the momentum 4s are unique in the use of fabric on the headband which looks and feels great and is paired with an otherwise quite simple design with a matte black plastic ear cups the design is something these get criticized for because of the move towards a more modern but generic style compared to the momentum threes that no longer folds down however i personally prefer that these don't use real leather i actually think they look much better now and the new lighter design greatly improves comfort these use large deep and thick padded ear cups and although the headband padding is much thinner they didn't really cause any soreness there the only potential comfort issue is the clamping force which isn't bad necessarily but these are the tightest feeling headphones in this video and consequently there's only scored fifth place for comfort something i quite like though is that the ear cups rotate flat in both directions which is really useful whether you want to hang these around your neck or set them down on your desk you'l find only one physical button here which is used for power bluetooth pairing battery info and summoning your voice assistant otherwise we have perhaps the most responsive and intuitive touch control system in this video we get all of the regulars for volume and skipping tracks but also extras like pinching to adjust the level of anc or transparency the wearing detection is also super responsive and can even automatically power on the headphones when you put them on and place calls on hold when you take them off the any control downsides are one no hands-free voice assistant and two the multi-point isn't the most efficient or reliable if you don't pause on the first device before trying to play on the other your music will just play into the ether possibly without you knowing sometimes when these couldn't find the second device they would repeatedly interrupt to let me know this with a voice prompt and i did sometimes have connection issues when using two devices at once so there is multi-point but it wasn't the most seamless experience sennheiser's companion app is really good the interface looks great and you're offered good customization over the sound including custom and even personalized equalizers control over the anc and transparency level including adaptive and wind noise reduction modes and you can even set location-based profiles with custom anc and sound settings the noise canceling and transparency are the weakest aspects of these headphones the momentum 4 was ranked in seven for both neither is bad and in the real world you'l find both will serve you well in everyday situations but there's quite a substantial gap between these and the likes of sony and bose that's worth considering if noise canceling is one of your priorities the same can be said for the call quality too which was pretty good but there are certainly better options and there's any rate in fifth my voice was usually intelligible on calls even in noisy environments and these have the useful side tone feature so you can adjust how much of your own voice is heard but i find this letting quite a lot of the background noise which can make you harder to hear these are for bluetooth 5.2 a great codex selection including aptex adaptive and can even play audio via usbc the standout feature is the battery life as these offer a huge 60 hours and that's with anc turned on. This. Dwarves the competition and comfortably awards sennheiser first place for battery life another major strength unsurprisingly is the sound quality these right in third here but the competition for second place was extremely close and will largely come down to your personal preference. There was a much bigger step up in quality with our sound quality winners but as one of our cheaper entries i'd also say that the momentum falls offer the best sound quality to price ratio sennheiser's signature open rich and crisp sound is suitable for all genres and volumes we're not quite at audiophile levels in terms of neutrality to my ears there's a slight v-shape boosting the bass and treble but not to the typical overemphasized levels we're used to the separation remains clear and distinct and these are for a well detailed and refined sound this creates a sound signature that i expect will greatly appeal to the masses so even if you don't delve into the equalizer settings to fine-tune these you'l likely really enjoy the out of the box experience you can crank up the volume and bass if you choose and the plush padding and firm clamping force keep the sound leakage relatively low which may be useful to know for those looking to not disturb others around them the momentum fours don't offer the most premium design or the best noise canceling performance. But they do have a fantastic control scheme amazing battery life and the best sound quality you can get without extending beyond a 400 price tag they're available for 349 or 299 pounds.

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Technics EAH-A800

Now for the entry that's probably the least expected and least well known in technics eah 800 those of you who watch the earbuds awards this year know that the technics earbuds also scored very well you get a leatherette style hard shell case here along with a usb a to c charging cable a right angled aux cable and an airplane adapter now these are the headphones with the least exciting design they don't really use premium materials and the build quality isn't amazing but they score surprisingly well in lots of other categories immediately one redeeming feature is the folding design for easy travel which seems to be becoming less common now they use a hybrid of both physical buttons for the majority of the controls and a very sensitive touchpad which is more limited in its function and reserved just for some anc and phone call related controls the buttons are a bit too close together for my liking but overall the controls are fine there's also wearing detection though it can be a little slow. But we do get hands-free alexa integration though sadly not the google assistant comfort is excellent with these. And they tick pretty much every box large spacious ear cups thick padding for the ear cups and headband and a very low clamping force make these comfortable to wear for hours at a time these aren't the lightest headphones in this video. But that's essentially the only reason these place in third for comfort the technics app experience is simple enough provided you stick to the main two tabs where you'l find lots of customization over the anc and transparency level and also the sound quality including custom and preset equalizers the settings tab can be a bit overwhelming with a long list of features and settings to customize so there are lots of ways to personalize these headphones but actually most of these settings you can set once and then just ignore connectivity is a major strength we have bluetooth 5.2 google fast pair for quick setup on android and location tracking and the sbc aac and ldac codecs. So no app text here but there are arguments as to whether ldac the technically higher quality codec is preferred over aptx adaptive the more flexible stable and less power hungry option the best feature though is the multi-point because not all multi-point is created equally you don't need to pause on the first device before switching over you can simply tap play on the other device and the sound immediately switches over automatically causing the audio on the first device for you it's extremely satisfying to use and even reconnecting to both devices after powering on the headphones is very fast it's multi-point done. Right you can also use ldac and multi-point at the same time i mentioned that since it's often the case that they're mutually exclusive battery life here is also excellent at 50 hours with anc turned on so these are the only other pair that even come close to sennheiser and there's quite a gap between these and a third placed entry another strong point is the mic quality these are quite an aggressive cancellation of the background noise a setting you can actually increase in the app which works very well in noisy environments but can sometimes clip or buffer your voice generally though these are a great option for phone calls and secured second place for my quality strong mic performance is usually a good indicator for anc performance and the noise cancellation was indeed really good these do a really good job of blocking out the outside noise and also naturally amplifying it with transparency mode there's great customization over how strong each of these are as well and i like that you can cycle between all three modes with the touch pads my only complaint is that the initial setup for anc is confusing and it's not clear how exactly it's changing the performance it's not intuitive that the anc sounded best here these ranked in third overall for both categories but i do feel like there's a noticeable step up with our first and second place entries especially for anc after a great showing in the sound quality category for technics earbuds earlier this year i was optimistic about the headphones performance too but the competition is stronger here and sixth place is no mean fees these sound noticeably better than our seventh place bows anyway the a800s offer the most distinct v-shaped eq of the seven which makes for a consumer-friendly sound profile that will sound good to most people. Straight out of the box audiophiles may be moaned the slightly booming bass that lacks the control of our higher placed entries and the boosted vocals and treble to compensate for this. But it makes for a dynamic energetic and well detailed sound and you can really crank up the volume with these two the clarity is good here we can't quite match sennheiser's cleaner mid-range nor the depth and separation of the mw75 so as great as these sound i think they fall just shy of the audiophile classification these also scored well in the sound leakage test and would make a good choice for keeping your music to yourself the a800s retail for 349 or 299 pounds and whilst their main lack a premium design or a killer feature set to instantly draw you in they offer an undeniably strong overall performance with six second or third place finishes techniques go toe-to-toe with the big names and are well worth considering.

Bowers & Wilkins Px8

We'l move on now to the bows and wilkins px8 these come in one of those tough fabric exterior hard shell cases but have a cool magnetic compartment inside to hold the usbc to c and usb to three and a half millimeter cables like m d's mw75 these are another of the luxury models and the build quality here is simply outstanding from the stitching on the napa leather to the cast aluminum arms these look and feel extremely high quality the extension on the headband and the rotation of the earcups is satisfyingly smooth and there's some resistance here too which adds to the premium aesthetic. So although a non-vegan option is take a clear first place for build quality and look fantastic too these don't fold down for easier travel sadly but like sennheiser's headphones the ear cups rotate flat in both directions those materials do contribute to a relatively high weight though and with a reasonably firm clamping force they're not as comfortable for longer listening sessions as some of the lighter models fortunately the ear cups are large and spacious and the padding on both the headband and ear cups is very thick and plush so i can still wear these comfortably for hours the px8s are a great example of physical buttons done right they're large and tactile and actually easy to distinguish thanks to the ridge center button they feel great to press these do come with wearing detection although it was a little bit slow even when you set the sensitivity to be high you don't get much in terms of customization either the left side button can either be the anc mode or the voice assistant it seems strange to me that bmw don't even offer a double press option for something else surely that could easily be added through an update these do offer multi-point though and i'm pleased to say that it works like technics does so pressing play on the other device immediately switches over the audio source it's awesome connectivity in general was a mixed bag we get bluetooth 5.2 and great codec choices including aptex adaptive. But there's no google fast pair and for some strange reason i couldn't get the audio working via usbc there's no aux port on the headphones so this is actually the only wired option i'm waiting to hear back from bmw about this since there are others reporting this too but for now these don't seem to offer a wired listening option so that's potentially an issue if these run out of battery life which incidentally will happen after 30 hours of playback so that's pretty much on par with the industry standard the overall feature set here is very light you can see in the app there's not much beyond the anc mode a very basic equalizer for just the bass and treble and a couple of toggles for wearing detection and the auto power off the noise cancellation overall was one of the weaker aspects a step up from sennheiser and still fairly good but lacking behind the performance of sony and bows they definitely take out a lot of the low end frequencies but have little effect on the others beyond what they passively block out in fairness this is a good amount thanks to the great seal the ear cups form around your ears and this helps to keep the sound leakage very low as well interestingly the transparency mode was actually great it's amplified with a bit of a hiss but does make your surroundings really clear after testing the anc i wasn't too surprised to find that the mic quality also isn't great with these my voice was oddly quiet and slightly muffled so even though these do fairly well with isolating my voice in a noisy environment it can still be hard to hear for the caller so these take sixth place as former winners of the best sounding true wireless earbuds it's no surprise that bmw's over here headphones offer similarly great sound quality performance is offer an open and beautifully refined sound with an expansive sound stage the level of clarity and instrument separation in the mid-range in particular is extraordinary for a wireless pair of headphones there's a lot of depth and control over the bass although i'd say the treble isn't quite as crisp as what sennheiser or m d are offering so i'd personally add a touch of treble to the default war machine the lack of even a 5 band eq may put off those who really like to fine-tune their headphones the px8s offer a wonderfully rich and precise audiophile pleasing sound there's a step above the vast majority of competitors i've only heard one pair that can actually beat these bmw's px8 have a clear focus on build quality design and the sound quality so these factors obviously rank at the top for many people and could justify the relatively very high price tag at 699 or 599 pounds others may be looking for a more well-rounded or customizable option but if you're looking for a classy pair with fantastic sound quality that's exactly what you get here.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95

The penultimate entry is the bang olufsen h95 and before we get into it i know some of you will be wondering whether cheaper ajax model weren't included instead the h95s are insanely expensive and it might appear that the hx model are the more appropriate to compare against the others but the truth is that in testing the 95s overall performed better and more importantly what the hx are good at the h95 take to the next level so the hx end up being still incredibly expensive but also not as good as the 95s they're awkwardly stuck in the middle it just felt to me that you're paying this much money for a reason and you can justify that for the 95s but not really the hx. So that's why they've made the cards first of all just check out this insane aluminum carry case for the headphones and inside the nylon braided leather strapped usbc charging cable aux cable airplane adapter and even a microfiber cloth you open this case and everything just screams premium quality i mean these even smell good. So the overall package is second to none in terms of luxury again we have smooth adjustments of the headband and reassuring resistance when rotating the earcups though not quite as smooth as with the px8 which just snatched the win for the overall build quality the 95s could have easily taken the top spot though with their titanium fabric and genuine leather construction again these are one to avoid for the animal lovers but the premium build an aesthetic are on a level you can only expect with such a high price tag these are one of the few especially luxury models that actually fold down one of the benefits over the hx though i can't say these are super travel friendly with that metal case which is just begging to be scratched the weakest aspect of these headphones is the comforts you don't get the largest ear cups here they're quite heavy and the padding is a bit on the thin side the clamping force is reasonably firm though not too tight and despite the materials used the weight is actually kept fairly low so those aren't really the issue it's more the soreness of the crown of your head which i find creeps in after a few hours of listening what's most interesting about the design is the control scheme because we have a rotating dial on both earcups one side for the volume and the other for the anc level select the microsoft surface headphones this gives you instant intuitive control over these and it works really well my only gripe is that they're kind of loose and they also turn infinitely rather than stopping at the extremes there is a gentle beep when you reach full anc or transparency and the same with the volume extremes. But i think some tactile or better audible feedback as you move over each increment would make this much more satisfying or better still to physically feel some resistance here would have been great and it just doesn't feel like the dials keeper but the otherwise ultra premium feel we also have a metal switch for the power and bluetooth pairing a single button on the left for the voice assistant and the right ear cup has a touchpad for the usual play pause and skipping tracks it's responsive and works well one disappointment though there's no wearing detection feature wise the experience is pretty bare bones in the app you'l find a slider for the anc level toggles for the adaptive mode windows reduction and the autopower feature and there are also some preset eqs and a custom mode which is very easy to use especially for those unfamiliar with equalizers but for headphones aimed at audio files i would have hoped for a bit more precise control over the sound the noise canceling and transparency here is fairly good. But these are really only a middle of the pack performer and again there's quite a step up for the market leaders normally this wouldn't be so much of an issue but since these are so expensive one would hope for better performance like the others in this list they're still going to block out enough sound in most situations you'l find yourself in but don't expect great anc or transparency here on the plus side the passive noise isolation is quite good thanks to a good seal forward with the ear cups and these actually offer the least sound leakage from any of the finalists in keeping with our theme of average anc suggests average mic quality these were okay for phone calls they're not great they do a fairly good job of rejecting background noise which places them above sennheiser in fourth for my quality the revelation course still wasn't super loud or clear so these aren't great in noisy environments especially connectivity is interesting because we get bluetooth 5.1 a good codex selection including aptx adaptive and support for both google fast pair and microsoft swift pair these also have multi-point sadly not the super far switching multi-points you still have to pause on the first device beforehand and actually i did have some stuttering issues at first when switching over so that's an overall pretty good mix but sadly these don't play audio via usbc and even worse they don't work passively with the cable when the headphones are switched off so wired listening isn't an option for when the battery runs out these are the only headphones here for giving the px8s for now that aren't able to do this fortunately the battery life is really good you get 38 hours with anc turned on which ranks these in third place. But then we get to sound quality where these are really in a league of their own there were some comparisons that were very close to cool like sennheiser vs m. D. But with the h95 it just felt like nothing else could match the clarity and precision over the sound what sets these apart from the rest and i do think these open up a sound quality gap over the others is how wide the sound stage is and how clear the instrument separation is listening with these i was hearing details and drags i'd never heard before and to me this feels like the most accurate representation of the original sound from any pair of bluetooth headphones i've tested the base here is so natural and well controlled in fact it might even seem underwhelming to an average consumer since the majority of headphones are bass boosted the only other potential drawback to mention is that these don't get super loud like most of the others either but there's no muddying of the other frequencies and when balanced with an open and clear mid-range and crisp treble this is a sound that true audio files will appreciate and this is what i mean about justifying the price of the h95s not everyone has nine hundred dollars to spend on bluetooth headphones but if you want the very best sound quality then you can justify getting these so that let's face it ridiculous price tag is going to immediately alienate the majority of people and that's totally understandable especially when features like the mic quality and the noise cancellation don't justify it.

Sony WH-1000XM5

And our final entry is for sure going to be the least surprising of all which is sony's wh-1000x m5 and i have to hand it to sony there are a lot of great things about these headphones i'l start with actually the packaging sony is the only company bothering to use sustainable materials for the packaging tech companies it literally doesn't matter what the packaging looks like but choices like this really benefit the environment so well done sony the charging case is another of those tough fabric exterior ones and inside like the px8 case there's a magnetic compartment for the accessories a usb ac charging cable and a right angled aux cable let's start with arguably the weakest aspect which is the design and build quality it seems strange calling this a weak aspect because actually it's still really good here it's just that we're dealing with the very best headphones on the market so the lack of premium materials here places sony in fifth for build quality the minimal matte black design is similar to previous iterations from sony the big change this year is a shift towards a non-folding design with earcups that only rotate away from you so you trade some travel convenience for structural integrity i think the single most surprising result from the entire testing period was sony's first place for comfort i mentioned that one pair somehow beat bose's quiet comfort headphones and it turned out to be the mark fives these are super lightweight at 250 grams they have the biggest and most spacious ear cups of all and an ultra low clamping force so they took every box the padding is actually reasonably thin. But you simply don't need it to be any thicker with these. And actually this helps with keeping ear warming to a minimum the only downside is that without a very tight seal there is a bit more sound leakage than most of the others but what you gain in comfort is totally worth it. And i can happily wear these for hours on end the controls we have two buttons on the left for power battery and bluetooth pairing and the other for changing the anc mode on the right ear cup there's a touchpad to the music controls which are all very responsive my personal favorite is quick attention where you can cover the right ear cup to temporarily lower the music volume and turn on transparency mode which is so useful if you only need to quickly hear your surroundings i don't know if sony has patented this. But it's mad that no one else seems to be doing it too these also offer speak to chats a similar but hands-free feature for automatic transparency which you can customize in the app there's also hands-free. Hey google and alexa integration built-in spotify tab wiring detection multi-point it's clear the mark files take a deserved first place for the controls as well for connectivity we have bluetooth 5.2 google fast pair and microsoft swift pair and the sbc aac and ldot codecs. So that's all good except that multi-point and dell dac can't be used at the same time which is why i made the point that you can do this with the technics headphones you can keep listening passively by the aux cable when these run out of battery and these offer 30 hours of playback with anc turned on so that's pretty much the industry standard now but only awards only fifth place for battery it will likely come as no surprise to tell you to the mark 5's noise cancellation is fantastic somehow a step up from the also great mark ivs and these block out a huge amount of external noise with no hissing sound either i mentioned the low clamping force and the lack of a super tight seal so this goes to show just how much work the anc is doing these don't have to rely on passive noise isolation and can still be extremely comfortable whilst offering excellent anc this only just beaten by bose these two really are in a league of their own though when it comes to noise cancellation it's superb although beau is a slightly more powerful at blocking out noise sony's anc is more advanced and has some advantages i mentioned quick attention and speak to chat already but there's also features like adaptive sound control which gives you automatic switching of custom anc profiles based on either your movement or location sony has been doing this for a while now and the feature is pretty well optimized the mark files have automatic nc optimization for the environment too including for air pressure changes so combined with the best comfort there's actually no better pair for a long-haul flight or really any kind of travel one of the things i noticed when compared to bose is the lack of the cabin pressure-like sensation when using anc i feel it slightly with bose's se but not at all with sony's mark 5s and finally the simple fact that i can easily turn ambient sound off with these is a huge plus bose forces you to use either anc or transparency which drains the battery even if you don't need it so overall sony could easily have taken the anc award instead i should also mention that the transparency mode is excellent the best in this video there is a tiny hiss so it isn't perfect but you do get the clearest amplification of your surroundings with these and you're able to adjust the transparency level in the app based on that anc and transparency performance. It came as no surprise that the mark 5's my quality was excellent but what did surprise me was how much better it was than the mark ivs and the rest of the competition these take first place by a big margin no other headphones can compete with the volume and clarity of my voice and it could even use these for calls in noisy environments i think the main aspect letting these headphones down is the sound quality sony still has a warm bass focused sound signature that's lacking the detail precision and accuracy of the market leaders the bass is actually tighter and more controlled than the previous mark ivs this is the best sound sony has offered and there's more control than say technics headphones there's a lot of depth and volume with the sound too loads of customization with the mini preset or custom equalizers and even an albeit limited spatial audio feature but there's still an emphasis on the low end and the rolled off treble though pleasant sounding and free from any harsh sibilance is lacking that sharpness and detail that would balance out the sound again it seems strange talking about sound quality as a sort of weakness because if you're not an audio file then any one of these with the exception of bose perhaps is going to sound really good of all the hundreds of anc headphones on the market these still sound comparatively fantastic and lots of people actually like sony's base focus tuning but an audio file listening to these and then switching to the px8s or the h95s will instantly notice that step up and quality in particular with regards to balance and clarity sony's wh-1000xm5 are clearly an extremely well-rounded pair of headphones with a great feature set 349 or 299 pounds they undercut those premium alternatives that offer superior sound quality but also beaten for comfort controls and the anc and mic performance they're certainly an attractive all-rounder and comfortably make it into this year's headphones awards.

Final Awards/Results

Okay so we covered a lot of information there but let's break down what all of it means first of all here are the final rankings for all seven pairs of headphones you can immediately pick out the strengths and weaknesses for each one you may notice now that the order i review them in was from worst to best according to their overall performance bows in 7th and sony in first sony not only scored the best all-round performance but also the highest number of wins with four statistically it is by far the overall winner and the best pair of bluetooth headphones you can buy right now. But everyone has their own specific factors that they prioritize for instance if you want the best sounding headphones then sony may be no good and the same if you want one of the more luxury models with a premium build quality so you may be looking more towards bno or bows and wilkins. But you should factor in that there's a comfort versus luxury trade-off the top three most comfortable pairs were actually 5th 6th and seventh in build quality but even if there was an objective winner that doesn't mean that it's your winner equally seventh doesn't mean bad. It just means not as good as the other six in some cases only very slightly bose's se scored the most seventh place finishes for instance but if your priorities and noise canceling and comfort then they may be your winner anyway most of us will have to take price into consideration too and actually if you look at the cost adjusted table you'l see changes like the h95s drop from second into sixth. And bose move up from seventh into fourth once again though sony's m5s are still the overall winner after factoring in the price and to throw my two cents in i would pick sony's m5s on a personal level as well they still sound good enough for me and if i really wanted true audiophile level sound quality then i wouldn't be looking at bluetooth headphones they would be my recommendation to most people. And hopefully you can now see why in fact they're so good that even the previous mark iv share most of the same great features you should be able to find those now at an even cheaper price obviously i couldn't go into super in-depth detail on each model here so as to keep the video concise at ham over 30 minutes. But hopefully this breakdown has been helpful and if so then please drop a like to let me know if you have any questions about these or one of the many other pairs that were tested then leave a comment and i'l do my best to answer you we've got loads more content coming up on the channel soon including the true wireless earbuds awards so make sure to subscribe and hit the bell so you get notified when new videos go live happy new year everyone thank you all very much for watching and i'l see you in the next one.

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