In the competitive jungle of the noise-canceling headphones market, Sony has just added a fifth option from the selection. The first impression of this new helmet, tested in its cream version, is its lightness: just 250 grams on the scale. The Japanese manufacturer’s now intent to build its helmets from recycled ABS plastic, from auto production, like the packaging, has something to do with it: if they seem less “premium” in the materials used than some competitors, their design has great sobriety and its environmental virtues certainly bring an added advantage. The front comes naturally, with real comfort in the main ring, while the sound is very rich, as is often the case with Sony. Depending on the songs, the instruments or vocals stand out clearly, the bass is round without being overly intrusive, even if the pure sonic quality sometimes seems a little laggy when compared to the previous version, the XM4.
in a bubble
On the other hand, where the headset excels is active noise reduction. The microphones, doubled in number, play their vocal counter role perfectly and really feel like a bubble when listening, without any particular oppression. Calls are crystal clear too, while Talk to Chat is an asset: Ambient mode starts as soon as you speak. Another notable change: it does not fold. The result is a little overweight for the front desk. In practice, the autonomy is more than enough, with more than 30 hours on paper and a fast charging capacity to avoid frustration: in three minutes, you’re back for three hours of listening. Alexa and Google Assistant enable easy voice control, with the home app for the rest of the advanced features. Also available in an equally subtle black version. Good antique despite the high price.
Price: 419 euros.
Creative, Zen Hybrid
Creative comes with nice surprises from time to time, like the ANC (Active Noise Reduction) headset whose microphones filter up to 95% of ambient noise and make conversations crystal clear. Ultra-fast charging, five minutes for five hours of music and 27 hours on a full charge. In addition to folding, it’s ready for immersive Super X-Fi technology, which should come to select select PCs and TVs soon. Light in addition, at its weight of 271 grams, it is guaranteed for two years. Price: 109.99 euros.
Audio technology, ATH-M20xBT
We don’t change listening who wins. So Audio-Technica reiterates the release of a wireless version inspired by the professional headphones of the M series. We salute their standard autonomy, with nearly 60 hours of listening. Featuring 40mm transducers with neodymium magnets and an aluminum coil, it delivers crystal-clear acoustics. Two devices can pair with it, low latency for gaming. There is no noise reduction for this affordable model. Price: 89 euros.
Skullcandy, the inequality crusher
Skullcandy’s flagship Evo model takes color, in support of the LGBTQIA+ cause (part of profits to be donated). This limited edition helmet is stylish, comfortable to wear and functional. Wirelessly, the Inequality features volume controls, good bass management, or even a 40-hour battery life and fast charging. Even better, it has the integrated “Tile” tracking system, to find it in case of loss. Price: 199 euros.
#Technology #tested #Sony #XM5 #headphones