Sony could be on the cusp of announcing a successor to the excellent WF-1000XM4 true wireless earbuds, if a series of leaked images published by The Walkman Blog are any indication. The new earbuds will reportedly be called the WF-1000XM5, which shouldn’t be confused with the over-ear WH-1000XM5 headphones Sony released last year. The Walkman Blog has a pretty good track record with these kinds of leaks given it published similar photos of the XM4 earbuds prior to their announcement in 2021.
Although it’s great to see evidence of a potential successor to the best true wireless earbuds available today, the images themselves suggest any changes could be minimal. The Walkman Blog notes that the earbuds seem to be more compact overall, with a curved underside that could make for a better fit in the ear. The position of the charging LED also appears to have shifted to the front of the case. Otherwise, the design of both earbuds and charging case is very similar to the previous XM4 earbuds.
Unlike the XM4s, however, these images show the XM5s with a glossy plastic finish on the earbuds themselves. But that might be because these are preproduction units submitted to a certification body (the source of these images) and might not represent the finished version. Wireless charging and touch controls return from the XM4s, though an FCC filing from last month suggests these earbuds will use Bluetooth version 5.3, a slight upgrade over the version 5.2 seen in their predecessor.