Discover how to master the Sony WH-1000XM5 controls and make the most of the headphones’ advanced features.
Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones boast excellent noise-canceling capabilities and high-quality sound without sacrificing comfort. However, learning how to use the headphones requires either a cram session or some trial and error.
Not only that, but they have three different types of controls, making things trickier. Even after using them for a while, you may still fumble or worry that you’re not making the most of your headphones.
Fear not: our guide on Sony WH-1000XM5 controls will take you from newbie to expert in record time. To learn how to use the Sony WH-1000XM5 controls and maximize the device, read on.
3 Ways to Control Sony WH-1000XM5: Touch, Buttons, and App
There are three different ways to control the headphones:
Each method has its own functions. And once you get the gist of it, you’ll appreciate the headphones’ smooth design even more.
Here’s where the controls are located and how to download the Headphones Connect app:
Sony WH-1000XM5 buttons
The headphones have two physical buttons on the left ear cup: a button marked NC/AMB and a Power button right below that.
Sony WH-1000XM5 touch controls
The WH-1000XM5 have a touchpad on the right ear cup.
Headphones Connect App
The official Sony Headphones Connect app lets you control the headset from your mobile device and customize your listening experience.
How to Turn Sony WH-1000XM5 On or Off
Learning how to turn the headphones on and off is likely number one on your to-do list. And for this, you can use the manual power controls or take advantage of the Automatic Power Off feature.
Here’s how to turn your headphones on or off using the said methods:
Manual power controls
You can turn on the WH-1000XM5 headphones by pressing the Power button located on the left ear cup for about 2 seconds. To turn them off, simply press the Power button again.
Automatic Power Off feature
The headphones boast a feature called Wearing detection. This feature uses a proximity sensor, which detects when the headphones are worn or removed from your ears.
As a result, the headphones know how to do tricks like pausing music playback whenever you take them off. In addition, they also know to turn off after 15 minutes of not being in use.
This feature is automatically enabled when you first use your headphones. But in case it isn’t, just follow these instructions:
- Open the Headphones Connect App and go to the System tab
- Tap on Automatic Power Off.
- Select Off when headphones are taken off to activate the feature.
Unfortunately, the Wearing detection feature can occasionally malfunction. That said, if your headphones keep turning off chaotically, you can follow the same steps to disable the Automatic Power Off. However, instead of choosing Off when headphones are taken off, select Do not turn off.
How to Pair & Connect Sony WH-1000XM5
One of the best things about the WH-1000XM5 is how easily they connect to Bluetooth devices. Our step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.
The first time you turn on the headphones, they enter pairing mode automatically. Anytime after that, you can manually enter pairing mode and follow these steps to connect them to a Bluetooth device:
- Long-press the Power button for 5 seconds.
- Turn on Bluetooth on the device you want to connect and click Scan from the Bluetooth menu.
- You should see WH-1000XM5 on the list of available devices. Tap on the name to pair the two gadgets.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 should automatically reconnect to the last connected device.
If that doesn’t happen, connect them by accessing the Bluetooth menu on your device and tapping on the headphones from the list of previously connected devices.
Connect Sony WH-1000XM5 to two devices
Your headphones come with a cool feature that enables you to connect them to two devices at once. This lets you listen to music on your laptop, for instance, while staying connected to your phone to accept incoming calls via the headphones.
You can enable this feature from the Headphones Connect app using this method:
- Follow the steps described in the previous section to pair your headphones with your phone.
- Open the Headphones Connect App and go to the System tab.
- Tap the toggle for Connect to two devices simultaneously.
- Manually connect the Sony WH-1000XM5 to your second device.
Switch between two connected devices
The headphones are intuitive when it comes to switching between devices. If you’re listening to music on your laptop and a call comes in, you can simply accept the call and the music will pause.
But, you can also manually switch devices with the Headphones Connect app by:
- When two devices are connected, go to the Headphones Connect app.
- Under the Status tab, scroll down to the Device Currently Being Connected section on the app’s dashboard.
- If you tap on the section, you can switch between devices or connect new ones.
How to Control Audio Playback With Sony WH-1000XM5
When listening to music, the WH-1000XM5’s touch controls let you manage audio playback. Meanwhile, the Headphones Connect app enables you to boost sound quality.
Check out the main audio playback controls below:
- Play/pause music
- Skip to next track
- Skip to previous track
- Fast-forward current track
- Fast-reverse current track
- Control the volume
- Improve sound quality
Double-tap the touchpad to pause and resume playback.
Skip to next track
Swipe forward on the touchpad to skip to the next track.
Skip to previous track
Swipe backward to return to the previous track.
Fast-forward current track
Swipe forward on the touchpad and hold until you reach the desired part of the track, then release.
Fast-reverse current track
Swipe backward and hold until you reach the desired part of the track, then release.
Control the volume
Swipe up or down repeatedly on the touchpad to adjust the volume.
Improve sound quality
In addition to the Sony headphones’ touch controls, the Bluetooth Headphones Connect app lets you choose whether to prioritize a stable connection or sound quality.
To do so, open the app and follow these steps:
- Under the Sound tab, select Bluetooth Connection Quality.
- Choose between Priority on Sound Quality, which improves the sound, and Priority on Stable Connection, which minimizes Bluetooth connection problems.
How to Manage Calls With Sony WH-1000XM5
You can also employ touch controls to manage calls on your WH-1000XM5 headphones. Here’s how to use the different functions available:
- Answer incoming calls
- Decline incoming calls
- Cancel outgoing calls
- Adjust call volume
- End calls
- Switch between the smartphone and Sony WH-1000XM5 during calls
Answer incoming calls
Double-tap the touchpad to answer an incoming call.
Decline incoming calls
Hold your finger on the touchpad to decline an incoming call.
Cancel outgoing calls
Double-tap the touchpad to cancel an outgoing call.
Adjust call volume
Swipe up or down repeatedly on the touchpad to adjust the volume during a call.
Double-tap the touchpad to end an ongoing call.
Switch between the smartphone and Sony WH-1000XM5 during calls
Hold your finger on the touchpad during a call to switch the call device back and forth from the headphones to the phone.
How to Adjust Noise Cancellation and Ambient Mode on Sony WH-1000XM5
The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones have top-notch Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) performance, allowing you to disconnect from the outside world while working or listening to music.
Moreover, the headphones make switching between ANC and Ambient mode easy. This way, you can pay attention to your surroundings when required.
Here’s how to seamlessly control audio modes for your WH-1000XM5 headphones:
- Turn on ANC or Ambient mode
- Enable Quick Attention mode
- Activate Adaptive Sound Control
- Use the Speak-to-Chat feature
Turn on ANC or Ambient mode
To switch between ANC and Ambient mode, press the NC/AMB button located on the left ear cup.
Enable Quick Attention mode
You can use Quick Attention Mode to temporarily turn down audio and listen to ambient sounds while ANC is enabled.
To do so, use your hand to completely cover the headphones’ touchpad. Removing your hand from the touchpad deactivates Quick Attention Mode.
Activate Adaptive Sound Control
You can play around with the Adaptive Sound Control feature to bring the headphones’ noise cancellation capabilities to the next level.
Here’s how you can turn on Adaptive Sound Control from the Headphones Connect app:
- Under the Status tab, select Adaptive Sound Control.
- In the next screen, tap the toggle to turn the feature on and off.
Use the Speak-to-Chat feature
Speak-to-Chat is a convenient feature that lets you talk to people while wearing the WH-1000XM5 headphones without manually switching between audio modes or pausing your music.
When the feature is enabled, the headphones’ microphones detect that you’re speaking and switch to Ambient mode.
Speak-to-Chat is disabled by default. To activate the feature, simply hold two fingers to the touchpad. Do the same to deactivate it.
How to Use Voice Assistant With Sony WH-1000XM5
The WH-1000XM5 headphones let you control music and access other features using voice commands. All you need to do is set up your preferred voice assistant.
Here’s how to set up and activate the voice assistant on your headphones:
Set up the voice assistant
If you use another voice assistant (like Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s Bixby), you still have the option to enable the Voice Assist Function of Mobile Device. This turns the headphones’ microphone into an extension of your device’s mic, allowing you to give voice commands.
To set up your voice assistant, open the Headphones Connect app. From there:
- Locate the Voice Assistant section under the System tab.
- Choose among the four options: Voice Assist Function of Mobile Device, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Do Not Use.
- If you picked Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, use the on-screen instructions to sign in to your voice assistant account.
Activate voice assistant
Once the voice assistant is set up, follow these steps to activate it:
- Hold your finger on the touchpad on the right ear cup and wait for a chime to input a voice command.
- While still holding the touch controls, speak your command into the headphones’ mic.
- Release your finger to finish the voice command.
How to Customize Sony WH-1000XM5 Controls
The WH-1000XM5 headphones offer intriguing customization options. That said, you can use the tips below to personalize your device to better fit your needs.
Set the Quick Access function
The WH-1000XM5 headphones have a Quick Access function that allows you to access an app on your mobile device without reaching for your phone. You simply press a button on the headphones, and the app activates.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Spotify Tap is the only service available for Quick Access with WH-1000XM5 headphones.
You need to customize the Quick Access feature to activate Spotify Tap. And to do so, from the Headphones Connect app, follow these steps:
- Locate the Quick Access section under the System tab. Click on the Settings icon.
- You’ll see the Spotify Tap: Quick Access option on the next screen. Tap on that text.
- You can choose to trigger Spotify Tap with two or three presses of the NC/AMB mode button.
Change NC/AMB button functions
On the same note, you can change the NC/AMB button function to access Google Assistant.
This comes in handy if you rely on voice commands and don’t switch between NC/AMB modes often. It can also be useful if you prefer physical buttons over the touchpad or if you don’t feel like memorizing all the commands associated with the touchpad itself.
To do so, open the Headphones Connect app and follow these steps:
- Under the System tab, tap on the Change function of (NC/AMB) Button section.
- You can switch from Ambient Sound Control to Google Assistant on the next screen.
By now, we hope that you’re more knowledgeable when it comes to navigating the WH-1000XM5 controls.
You likely know how to control audio and accept an incoming call without reaching for your phone. Even better, you figured out how to configure the headphones’ features to make the most of your investment. Still, you might want to bookmark this page for future reference, just in case.
Did you experience any issues while learning how to use your Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones? Please let us know in the comments. When it comes to reader feedback, we never turn on ANC.