Alternative Sony WH-1000XM5 Ear Pads: A Double-Edged Sword for ANC


Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones, known for their superior Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and comfort, have found an intriguing aftermarket complement through Wicked Cushions’ replacement ear pads. These ear pads aim to elevate the user experience by offering enhanced comfort and potentially improving sound quality. However, users have reported mixed effects on ANC performance, with some noting a slight decrease in noise cancellation effectiveness. The alternative ear pads are praised for their ease of installation, increased durability, and the immediate comfort they provide, making long listening sessions more enjoyable. Despite the minor trade-off in ANC for some, the overall feedback highlights a positive shift towards customization and personal preference in high-end audio gear.

Key Highlights:

  • Enhanced comfort and reduced sweat with new ear pads.
  • Some users report a slight decline in ANC performance.
  • Noticeable improvement in wearing duration due to increased firmness.
  • Diverse feedback on the impact of new pads on sound quality and ANC.
  • Quick and easy installation process.


The Comfort vs. ANC Trade-Off

The introduction of alternative ear pads for the Sony WH-1000XM5 by Wicked Cushions has sparked interest for several reasons. Primarily, users have praised the increased comfort these pads offer over the original Sony ear pads, highlighting their suitability for prolonged use without discomfort or excessive sweating. However, this comfort comes at a cost; some users have noted a slight reduction in the headphones’ ANC performance, a key feature of the WH-1000XM5. The feedback varies, with some users barely noticing the difference when media is playing, while others point out minor compromises in noise isolation, particularly in quiet environments.

User Experiences and Feedback

Customers have shared mixed feedback on these aftermarket ear pads. The comfort improvements are universally acknowledged, with users appreciating the thicker padding and softer materials, which alleviate discomfort during extended listening sessions. The installation process is straightforward, with no special tools required, further adding to the appeal of these alternative pads.

Yet, the impact on ANC performance has been a point of contention. While some users report minimal to no impact, others have noticed that the ANC is slightly less effective, particularly in silent settings where background noises become more perceptible. Despite this, the general consensus remains positive, with many willing to accept the minor ANC trade-off for significantly improved comfort.

Enhanced Features and Durability

Wicked Cushions’ alternative ear pads are not just about comfort; they also boast features that aim to extend the lifespan of your headphones. The ear pads are designed with durability in mind, featuring reinforced stitching and a robust construction to withstand regular use. Additionally, the ear pads are compatible with the Sony WH-1000XM5 model, ensuring a perfect fit that rivals the original cushions.

A Unique Perspective on ANC and Comfort

In conclusion, the alternative Sony WH-1000XM5 ear pads by Wicked Cushions present a compelling option for users seeking enhanced comfort and a personalized touch to their headphones. While the slight compromise in ANC performance may deter purists, the overall improvements in wearability and durability make these ear pads an attractive upgrade for many. Ultimately, the choice between the original Sony ear pads and Wicked Cushions’ alternative will depend on personal preferences and priorities, whether they lie with absolute noise cancellation efficiency or with achieving the best possible comfort for long listening sessions.


About the author


Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson is the Marketing Communications Manager for Vast Conference, a meeting solution providing HD-audio, video conferencing with screen sharing, and a mobile app to easily and reliably get work done."