Sonos has ventured into the headphone market with its Ace headphones. Priced at $449, the Sonos Ace plans to compete with high-end offerings from Bose, Apple, and Sennheiser and has features like supreme comfort, sleek styling, and a home-cinema feature for Sonos soundbar owners.

Sonos Ace Review: A Debut with Some Bumps Along the Way

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The Sonos Ace headphones showcase a stylish design, mixing elements from Sony’s WH-1000XM5 and Apple’s AirPods Max.

They are available in black or a soft white, featuring a subtle Sonos logo that is only visible in certain lights.

The Weight is 0.69 pounds (312 grams), a balance between the airy feel of Bose QuietComfort Headphones (0.52 pounds) and the heavier AirPods Max (0.85 pounds).

The headband includes two types of foam for enhanced comfort and the magnetic memory foam ear cushions are easily removable.

Comes in a covered case made from recycled plastics featuring a flat design that makes it easy to carry. A magnetic pouch inside the case stores the included USB-C and USB-C-to-3.5mm cables.

The Sonos Ace delivers high-fidelity audio with a soundstage that enhances various music genres. It favors balance and overall fidelity over boomy bass, making it less in-your-face than Sony’s 1000XM5.

Users can adjust treble and bass EQ in the Sonos app, and the headphones include a “loudness” feature to boost highs and lows at lower volumes.

The Sonos Ace offers adequate noise cancellation although it doesn’t surpass Bose or Sony in this area. The transparency mode is impressive, providing a natural, lifelike quality second only to Apple’s AirPods Max.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is effective but not industry-leading. Transparency Mode is exceptional, useful for travel or quick interactions.

The feature allows users to transfer audio from a Sonos Arc soundbar to the Ace headphones with a press of a button. This feature supports spatial audio and head tracking.

Instant audio transfer from the TV soundbar to the headphones and back suitable for various devices connected to the TV.

This feature is only available for iOS users with the Sonos Arc soundbar. Android compatibility is expected later this year.

Support for the Beam and Ray soundbars is also in the pipeline. Low latency makes it suitable for gaming, providing an experience with accurate audio sync during gameplay.

It Offers a more cinematic experience effective with content that includes a 5.1 or Atmos surround mix. The feature can be toggled on or off depending on the content.

The Sonos Ace supports Bluetooth 5.4 with multipoint capability allowing connection to two devices simultaneously.

The headphones also support Qualcomm’s AptX Adaptive for higher-quality streaming on compatible Android devices.

Up to 30 hours with ANC active over Bluetooth and about 14.5 hours when connected to the Arc soundbar.

A full charge takes approximately three hours with a quick charge providing three hours of playback from a 10-minute charge. Possible with USB-C and USB-C-to-3.5mm cables included in the package. The USB-C port is also used for charging.

The Sonos Ace headphones are built with a sophisticated design that combines style and functionality. The stainless steel slider arms offer precise fit adjustments and the pleather headband and ear cushions are designed for long-term use.

The case is made from 75% recycled plastic and the headphones include 17% recycled plastic. The ear cushions are easily replaceable and the battery is designed for at least 500 full charge cycles.

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Sonos Ace offers trade-in and recycling programs and commits to a minimum of five years of software support for feature updates.

The redesigned Sonos app has received mixed reviews with many users finding it buggy. This has affected the overall experience of using the Ace headphones with the TV Audio Swap feature.

Some users have reported inconsistencies with the TV Audio Swap feature requiring the headphones to be turned off and on again to resolve issues. Sonos is aware of these bugs and is working on fixes.

Price at $449 (€499/£449/A$699) positioning the Ace among other high-end headphones like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra, Sennheiser Momentum 4 and Apple AirPods Max.

While the Sonos Ace competes well in terms of sound quality and comfort, the limitations of the TV Audio Swap feature and the current app issues make it less appealing for Android users.

Until Sonos resolves these issues and expands compatibility, alternatives like Sony’s WH-1000XM5 and Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 may offer better value.

The Sonos Ace is priced at $449, positioning it at the high end of the market comparable to the Bose QC Ultra ($429), Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399), and Apple AirPods Max ($549).

The design is thin, lightweight, and fits comfortably into the included slim carrying case. Sonos uses recycled plastic for the ear cups available in black or white.

The ear cups are made from memory foam covered with vegan leather providing a cushy feel. The Ace includes three physical buttons.

The left ear cup houses a large power button, while the right ear cup has two buttons, one for toggling between active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes and a “Content Key” for playback functions and volume adjustment.

The Sonos Ace fits comfortably with a cushioned headband and ear cups. It’s lighter than the AirPods Max, weighing 11 ounces compared to 13.6 ounces and doesn’t clamp tightly to the head.

The vegan leather padding, while comfortable does not breathe well making the headphones less suitable for hot environments or workouts.

The sound quality is on par with competitors like Bose, Apple, and Sony. The Sonos Ace offers effective ANC, beneficial for environments like airplanes.

Sonos plans to leverage its ecosystem allowing audio handoff between the Ace headphones and the Arc soundbar.

Future updates may expand this functionality to other Sonos devices. The Ace offers a robust 30 hours of battery life with ANC and spatial audio enabled, surpassing the AirPods Max’s 20 hours.

The Sonos Ace uses standard Bluetooth for connectivity lacking the quick pairing and automatic switching features of Apple’s AirPods Max.

The AirPods Max priced at $549 features a more premium feel with brushed aluminum ear cups and a u-shaped mesh headband.

It offers better connectivity with Apple devices through fast switching and one-tap pairing via iCloud.

It lacks USB-C and has a shorter battery life. The Bose QC Ultra and Sony WH-1000XM5 offer similar sound quality and features at slightly lower prices.

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