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The best Sony headphones offer outstanding audio performance and generally fall into two different sound profiles: bass-heavy or neutral. This variety means that most consumers will find something to like in these excellent headphones. Plus, with superb noise-canceling technology, a comfortable ear design, and plenty of hours of battery life, these are the best headphones for extended listening sessions.
Sony headphones also offer a wide variety of user-focused features and functionalities, like compatibility with voice assistants, easy touch controls, and a stellar companion app for greater control. If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of headphones with an excellent all-around performance, you can’t go wrong with Sony.
Keep reading to learn more about the best Sony headphones and how you can find the right pair for all of your music listening needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This option has a closed-ear design, which offers more comfort to the listener and a higher quality experience. You’ll love that the construction is rugged, making these headphones far more durable.
You’ll love how powerful this pair of headphones proves to be. There are neodymium magnets included in the design, alongside impressive 40-millimeter drivers. This combination provides a robust, precise sound that comes through crystal clear. The listening experience you’ll have with this pair is unparalleled by most competing models in the same class. Unfortunately, there is no option to connect with these headphones through a wireless medium. For some consumers, the lack of wireless connection may be a dealbreaker.
The closed-ear design means that you’ll be totally comfortable during long listening sessions. They’re made to softly enclose the ear so that ambient noise is blocked out. Because of this, these headphones are capable of producing an entirely immersive experience for the listener. If you’re looking to travel with these headphones, you’re in luck. They fold up easily for quick storage on the go, and there is even an included soft case.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll be able to listen undisturbed when you choose these headphones because they’ll get rid of distracting ambient sounds. Beyond this, they connect through Bluetooth and fold up for easy storage.
Those who seek the ultimate in noise cancellation will love the experience that these headphones deliver. They can block out a shocking amount of ambient noise, allowing the listener to immerse themselves entirely in the audio they’re playing. They also have a touch-based control system. However, this touch-based system does have drawbacks, according to consumers. For example, some miss the tactile sense given by physical buttons. Others said they were hard to use.
There is plenty of technology packed into this pair, such as the Sense Engine, which provides “smart listening.” If you’re looking to take calls often, this is a great option. There is a built-in microphone to answer the phone quickly without taking your headphones off. The brand includes a carrying case so that taking them with you is super easy, and you can also store them correctly. Correct storage practices will extend the already long life of this impressive pair of headphones.
Award: BEST FOR CALLING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This option has a built-in microphone, so you can easily switch from music to calls without removing your headphones. There is also Dual Noise Sensor technology to help maintain clear audio.
These long-lasting headphones provide up to 35 hours of battery life under optimal conditions. This is a great way to enjoy hours of your favorite content without worrying about your headphones dying halfway through. They’ll also hook up with your smartphone’s voice assistant, allowing you to have precise control. Unfortunately, the brand does not include a complimentary carrying case for these headphones. At this price point, most consumers assume that this would be a feature that comes standard.
The noise reduction capabilities of these headphones cannot be overstated. They have Dual Noise Sensor technology built into them. This means they’ll automatically sense your environment and provide what you need accordingly. If you’re on the go, you can switch over to an Ambient Sound mode. This allows you to hear your surroundings to stay safe when crossing the street or hanging out in a busy environment.
Award: BEST FOR PORTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to travel often, this is an excellent option that is incredibly lightweight. You’ll be able to fold them up and store them away with ease. Beyond that, they offer a rich, complete frequency response.
If you need an option that is ready to go wherever you do, these headphones are an excellent option. This is a highly compact option that will fold up easily so that you can store them anywhere. If you have a backpack, purse, or even luggage, they’ll be able to slip into a pocket and take up very little room. Even though they’re highly comfortable headphones, some folks don’t like the on-ear design. This means they’ll settle on your ear instead of surrounding it with over-ear options.
You’ll enjoy the high-quality design that you would come to expect from this brand. The design includes dual 30-millimeter drivers. This means you can expect a rich, full sound no matter what audio you’re listening to. This also provides a full frequency response. Their swivel design is another feature that allows you to store these headphones easily. The cord used to connect these headphones to your device is tangle-free for better convenience.
Award: BEST FOR ADJUSTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: The highly adjustable housing on this pair means that you’ll be able to customize your fit. This leads to a far more comfortable experience. They are also incredibly durable and have powerful driver units.
These highly customizable headphones will prove a comfortable choice for any consumer. You can look forward to the ability to take calls hands-free, which adds to how convenient they are. This means you won’t have to fumble with your phone every time you want to talk to somebody. While most consumers were able to get their fit just right, quite a few found these headphones just plain uncomfortable. This is something that you should consider before investing.
The fully integrated microphone means that audio comes crystal-clear for whoever you’re talking to. There is also a multi-function control button on one of the wires that connect to your headphones. This allows you to control the functions of the call without having to reach for your phone. There are sizeable 30-millimeter driver units so that you’ll have a bold, powerful sound. These are combined with ferrite magnets to improve the accuracy of audio reproduction and a broad frequency range.
Award: BEST FOR RUNNERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a runner, these earbuds are perfect for ensuring you can fully enjoy your favorite music when you hit the pavement. They offer a comfortable silicone design and are incredibly lightweight.
You’ll love how lightweight this option is, especially if you’re somebody who enjoys physical activity. These earbuds are perfect for slipping in with ease and providing long-lasting audio for your workout session. Because of their size, they’re also highly convenient to travel with. Unfortunately, there is less room in this model to include audio technology. Because of this, they will not provide the same listening experience that larger, over-ear headphones can give you.
They also have incredibly balanced sound, which improves the overall quality of your audio. You can take calls with them thanks to the built-in microphone that is fully integrated. You’ll enjoy neodymium drivers, and this part helps the headphones provide a better frequency range. The smartphone playback control gives you a better ability to play music right from your favorite device. You’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable experience, thanks to the silicone build of the earbuds.
In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started a humble electronics shop in a department store in Tokyo, Japan. A few months later, Ibuka partnered with Akio Morita to form the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Group. This new company created Japan’s first tape recorder and later rebranded to become Sony in 1958.
In subsequent years, Sony continued to expand its business by selling portable transistor radios. Then, in 1968, Sony released the Trinitron, an innovative cathode ray tube (CRT) color television. Trinitron TVs were brighter and more colorful than the competition, which led to Sony winning an Emmy for the technology.
The company continued to focus on televisions and other audio equipment until 1979 when it released the world’s first portable music player, the Sony Walkman. At the time, the Walkman was bundled with a pair of MDL-3L2 headphones. This combination started a massive change in the everyday consumer’s music listening habits since the lightweight headphones made portable listening much more accessible.
After the success and popularity of the Walkman and MDL-3L2 headphones, Sony began to pour more resources into the production of these audio devices. Throughout the years, Sony had many more firsts, including the first neckband headphones in 1997 and the first world’s first digital noise-canceling headphones in 2008, which reduced ambient noise by 99%.
Today, Sony continues to release high-quality headphones with advanced features and functionality to the general public at a generally affordable price. They offer a wide range of options, including wired headphones, wireless headphones, earbuds, and over-ear headphones.
(Pro 1) Excellent Noise Cancelling Technology in Premium Models: One of the biggest selling points for Sony’s premium headphones is their excellent noise cancellation functionality, which does exceptionally well at eliminating external noise and ambient noise.
The company’s flagship headphones, like the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones and their predecessor, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, brought superior Active Noise Cancelation (ANC) technology to the masses at a relatively affordable, sub-$400 price point. Plus, Sony also includes Active Noise Cancelation functionality with the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, which are some of the best true wireless earbuds available today. They allow you to drown out background noise while traveling or commuting without lugging around a massive pair of headphones.
(Con 1) Sub-par Noise Cancelling Technology in Budget Models: While Sony’s noise-cancelation technologies in premium headsets are the best in the industry, the same technology in their budget headsets is lacking. These headphones will do the trick if you’re on a strict budget, but they will only reliably eliminate quieter ambient sound during on-the-go listening sessions.
(Pro 2) Headphone Lineup Offers Tons of Choices: No matter what you’re looking for in your next pair of headphones, Sony likely has something to fit the bill. From standard over-ear headphones to truly wireless earbuds and Hi-Res audio-compatible headphones, you’ll find it in Sony’s headphones lineup. Plus, Sony offers some of the best USB-C headphones on the market today.
Let’s take a look at some of the company’s most consistent naming standards:
(Con 2) Minimal Studio-Quality Options: Unlike the best Sennheiser headphones, there are minimal studio-quality headphones in Sony’s lineup. Of course, you’ll have the option of purchasing the ever-popular Sony MDR-7506 over-ear headphones on the cheap for use in your studio, but that’s essentially where your choices end. If you’re looking for the best audio quality for use in audio production, you may need to consider a different brand.
(Pro 3) Good Variety in Sound Profile Options: Generally, you can categorize Sony’s headphones into one of two sound profiles: bass-heavy or neutral. Bass-heavy models naturally favor the lower end of the frequency range, while neutral models offer a more balanced sound quality. These sound profiles allow you to find a model that works better for your preferences.
(Con 3) Lacking in Some Advanced Features and Functionalities: Even the most advanced and feature-packed headphones that Sony offers can lack some of the more advanced and sought-after features found in other premium brands. Options like microphone controls, auto-off functionality, and audio during charging are missing from some models in Sony’s lineup.
If you’re looking for superior audio quality, fantastic noise cancelation technology, and an overall comfortable and durable build quality, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Sony headphones. These options tend to ride the middle line when it comes to value and functionality, although there will always be some outliers on either end of the price range.
Due to Sony’s extensive and truly massive headphone lineup, you’ll be able to find a pair of headphones for essentially any consumer application. Whether you listen mainly at home or while traveling, you’ll be able to find an option that works for you in Sony’s catalog.
Experts in the audio equipment world agree that a solid pair of headphones should last you between five and ten years if treated well. The range is slightly wider because of the differences in build qualities and components used. However, as long as you’re taking good care of your cans, they should last you a few years at least.
Generally speaking, Sony headphones follow this same expected lifespan. More expensive models will last longer since they’re built better, and budget models will stick to the lower end of the lifespan range.
Sony headphones, along with the majority of Sony’s consumer electronics products, carry a limited one-year warranty. Like most warranties in the electronics industry, this warranty covers problems that occur with your headphones when they are caused by a defect in the manufacturing of the device. For example, if your headphones don’t stay charged as long because they were installed with faulty rechargeable batteries, then you’d be able to file a warranty claim and get the device fixed or replaced.
Of course, Sony will not honor the warranty if the problems are caused by things like accidental damage, water damage, loss, or theft. In those cases, you will be on the hook for the full cost of repair or replacement.