The Sony WF-1000XM5 might have just leaked early — here’s what we know

Sony WF-1000XM4 with charging case placed on rocks
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It seems like Sony is nearly finished working on the Sony WF-1000XM5, its next pair of flagship true wireless noise-cancelling earbuds, with a plan to release them sooner rather than later. The earbuds in question are the successors to the Sony WF-1000XM4 that are some of the best wireless earbuds on the market. 

Some critical information on the next earbuds appeared in a recently posted FCC filing from Sony that uses the hardware identification number “YY2963” — just a few numbers away from the Sony WF-1000XM4 that used the name “YY2948” when it launched in 2021. 

The filing, first spotted by The Walkman Blog, tells us how soon Sony’s likely to announce the earbuds — August 22 at the latest — and lists that the earbuds will use the latest Bluetooth standard, Bluetooth 5.3. 

The Walkman Blog also notes that the new earbuds will also use touch-capacitive controls on each bud just like the WF-1000XM4 and a battery voltage of 3.85V. Unfortunately, the filing doesn’t specify battery life, but it’s likely to be around the WF-1000XM4’s eight hours per charge with 16 more hours of juice in the case.

Another award-winning pair of Sony headphones? 

This isn’t the first time Sony had its unveiling plans foiled by an FCC filing. In fact, it happens pretty much every year like clockwork. 

Last year, an FCC filing ruined the surprise launch of the Sony WH-1000XM5. Before that, it happened to the Sony WF-1000XM4, the Sony WH-1000XM4, WF-1000XM3, WH-1000XM3, all the way down the line. 

At this point, you could probably predict when the Sony WH-1000XM6 and Sony WF-1000XM6 just based on when previous models were released. 

What we’ll have to wait for, sadly, is more information around the earbuds’ specs — specifically how long their battery will last, what wireless codecs they support and, most importantly, how Sony has improved the sound since the WF-1000XM4.

Since the Sony WF-1000XM4 came out in 2021, we've seen the Apple AirPods Pro 2 that pose a real threat to Sony's dominance. It'd be great to see Sony's new earbuds pull a few tricks from Apple's playbook by implementing spatial audio anytime the earbuds are on, rather than only during Sony 360 Audio tracks.

Thankfully, based on the date listed in the filing we won’t have long to wait for them— and you can bet we’ll be covering them when Sony lifts the curtain.

Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.