Skip to main content

Best Sony Headphones: In-Depth Guide For Top 7

Last updated: 2 years ago
7 min read

HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The best Sony headphones and Sony earbuds you should consider today.

Rating Price Design Type Battery life Noise cancelling More info
Sony WH-1000XM4 Best noise cancelling
Sony WH1000XM3 wireless headphones
Bluetooth 5.0
38 hours (28h with ANC)
Sony WF-1000XM4 Best true wireless
Sony WF-1000XM4
True wireless
Bluetooth 5.2
8 hours + 16h in case
Sony MDR-7506 Best studio
Sony MDR-7506
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
Sony WF-SP800N Best for sports
Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds
True wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
13 hours + 13h in case (ANC off)
Wireless & wired – 3.5mm
12 hours
Sony WF-C500 Best under $100
Sony WF-C500
True wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
10 hours + 10h in case
Sony IER-Z1R Best audiophile
Sony IER-Z1R
Wired – 3.5 & 4.4mm
CONTENTS (show more)

    Introducing the best Sony headphones you can get today. Find a bargain among all the options and make an educated decision. See all the Sony headphones below and compare them instantly in the comparison table.

    Sony Wireless Headphones

    Best Sony headphones are known for having an amazing active noise cancelling, with their premium Bluetooth headphones performing equally if not even better than those from Bose, Apple, and Sennheiser. Top-notch technology that can compare to the best headphones in the world.

    To explain further, you can find various noise levels around you that limit your listening experience. Noise cancelling reduces background noise so you can hear more of the music.

    1. Sony WH-1000XM4

    anc Best noise-cancelling
    Sony WH-1000XM4 on a desk

    Flagship WH-1000XM4 are the best Sony headphones out there.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 38h (28h with ANC) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 3h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: No | Features: ANC, Ambient mode, multipoint, auto play/pause, 360 Reality Audio, 3.5mm port
    • Outstanding noise-canceling performance
    • Audiophile-grade sound quality
    • Premium-feeling build
    • Useful Headphones Connect app
    • Great battery life
    • Support for LDAC
    • Amazing comfort and fit
    • The speak-to-chat feature is a gimmick
    • Voice Priority mode doesn’t work correctly
    • No IPX rating

    The sound performance is quite impressive. They’re well-balanced, with a slight bass boost.

    We found the Neutral preset to sound the best, with nicely controlled low-end, lush midrange, and sparkly treble. All of that is accompanied by a pretty good soundstage and imaging.

    First of all, these best Sony headphones are supremely comfortable, with just enough space for the earpads to go around your ears.

    Housing is mostly plastic, but it feels premium to the touch. You can also fold and rotate them for easy storage in the carrying case. Also, these over-ear headphones have long battery life, enduring 38 hours (without noise cancelling).

    The most prominent feature is, without a doubt, active noise-cancellation.

    It’s an industry standard and works almost flawlessly, eliminating outside noise from engines to human speech. Automatic Adaptive sound control adjusts the background noise cancelling based on whether you walk, run, or commute.

    There is also Aware Mode so that you don’t have to put your Sony headphones down when speakinging to other people.

    Sony WH-1000XM4 review

    See for yourself which are the best wireless headphones on the market right now.

    2. Sony WF-1000XM4

    anc Best true wireless
    Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds with case

    By far the best true wireless earbuds for sound quality, noise cancellation, and additional features inside the Sony app.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz (20-40.000Hz with LDAC)
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 16h in case (with ANC) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1.5h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Ambient mode, 360 Audio, Speak-to-chat, EQ, DSEE Extreme
    • Audiophile-grade sound quality
    • Unique, sweatproof design
    • Great battery life
    • Excellent active noise cancellation and ambient mode
    • Feature-rich app
    • In-depth custom EQ
    • Comfortable hybrid ear tips
    • No official ear tip replacements
    • Limited touch control customization
    • Poor microphone performance in loud places
    • Too bulky to fit smaller ears

    Sony decided to tune their new TWS XM4’s to almost neutral frequency response, making these buds an appealing choice for a wider range of users, even audiophiles.

    The sound is tight and detailed, with smooth highs that avoid getting harsh or sibilant. While the soundstage is spacious, the imaging could be better.

    Earbuds are surprisingly comfortable, despite their housing being a bit bulky. If you wear them correctly, you can use them for hours without experiencing fatigue. An above-average battery life also means long listening sessions.

    Their special foam-silicone hybrid ear tips ensure great passive isolation and stability. Let’s not forget the active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode, both working splendidly.

    Inside the Sony Headphones app, there’re many more features to play with, from EQ, 360 Audio, adjusting active noise cancelling sensitivity, and more. While they don’t support aptX HD, they do use LDAC Bluetooth codec.

    Sony WF-1000XM4 review

    Find the best pairs of ANC models in the best noise-cancelling earbuds guide.

    3. Sony MDR-7506

    trophy Best studio
    Sony MDR 7506 wired headphones

    An iconic set and the best Sony headphones for sound engineers to monitor their audio.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm / 6.3mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 40mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-20.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 63 Ohm | Weight: 8.1 oz (229g) | Cable lenght: 9.8 feet (3m) | Features: Foldable
    • Accurate and powerful sound
    • Lightweight & foldable design
    • Long cable good for studio work
    • Decent noise isolation
    • Fits well with larger head sizes
    • Non-detachable cable
    • Foldable design feels a bit flimsy

    The Sony MDR-7506 are great classic Sony headphones used in studios all around the world. These closed-back over-ears are a staple Sony product for many years due to their excellent quality and value for money.

    You’re getting great professional sound with clear treble and punchy bass, combined with the long-lasting build quality. Big ear cups also ensure good comfort. All of this makes them one of the best headphones under $100.

    You can see them on television and radio stations all the time since they’re technicians’ favorite headphones. The design might be a bit outdated compared to modern Sony headphones but that’s because it works.

    If you want tested, “no-brainer” professional Sony headphones for studio use, get the MDR-7506.

    Sony MDR-7506 review

    4. Sony WF-SP800N

    weights Best for sports
    Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds

    Best Sony earbuds for sports with a water-resistant design and ear fins to prevent them from falling out of your ears.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 7mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 13h + 13h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: ANC, ambient aware, EQ, ear fins, 360 Reality Audio
    • Fun sound
    • Stability for sports
    • Class-leading battery life
    • Unreliable touch controls

    While they have decent sound out of the box isn’t the most engaging, you can correct it inside the Sony Headphones app. That way, you can bring out extra punch and sparklines.

    The latter is exactly what you want from workout earbuds such as WF-SP800N. These are more premium sports headphones with a comfy design and ear fins for a stable fit.

    They even come with active noise cancellation. Unfortunately, it isn’t as effective at blocking ambient noise from the outside world as they lack a high-end ANC chip. Their touch-sensitive controls are also a bit unreliable when skipping tracks and calling Google assistant.

    On the other hand, the WF-SP800N have a fantastic battery life, providing up to 13 hours of playtime on a single charge and another 13 hours of extra charge inside the charging case.

    5. Sony Playstation Pulse 3D

    trophy Best for gaming
    PlayStation PULSE 3D Wireless headsets

    The best Sony headphones for gaming if you own a PS5 gaming console.

    Connection icon Connection: Wireless 2.4GHz & 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: n/a | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: / | Water resistance: No | Features: Tempest 3D AudioTech
    • Big, skull-rattling bass
    • Impressive surround sound (for supported titles)
    • Attractive design
    • Mediocre microphone performance

    The sound experience is tuned for gaming in particular, with a strong bass presence (it can get a bit muddy at times) to amplify in-game effects. This sound profile is also suitable for watching movies.

    What makes these a great set for PS5 is their integration with the console. On top of wireless connectivity, they support Sony’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, which boosts the surround sound effect.

    The minimalistic, lightweight design and generous padding provide comfort. On the right ear cup, you find multiple physical buttons for muting the mic and adjusting the volume of music and chat.

    You get a decent battery life of 12 hours on a full charge. You can always use a 3.5mm connection if you don’t have time to leave them charging.

    Strangely, despite being geared towards multiplayer gamers, the microphone doesn’t have very impressive call quality.

    Check more best PS5 wireless headsets to pair with your Playstation 5.

    6. Sony WF-C500

    dollar Best under $100
    Sony WF-C500

    New affordable in-ears from Sony that keeps the pleasant, warm sound usually found on their products, but cut away all the extra features.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 5.8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 10h + 10h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2.5h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: DSEE audio processing
    • Good sound quality
    • Comfortable fit
    • Great battery life per charge (10h)
    • App with custom EQ
    • Barebone feature set

    For the budget range below $100, the sound quality is more than adequate. It’s punchy and warm but also quite bright in the upper mid-range and treble.

    Thankfully, WF-C500 can connect with the Sony Headphones app, giving you a choice of tweaking EQ to your likings.

    You’ll also like how comfortable they feel in your ears. Thanks to their ergonomic design, they even stay in quite well during sports activities, whereas their good battery life will make sure they don’t die during exercise.

    Controls are physical and offer fixed commands. Fortunately, you can access anything, from play/pause, skip tracks, volume controls, and calling voice assistant.

    Earbuds lack tangible features like noise cancellation and ambient sound mode, which for the lower price point is to be expected.

    You can find the best budget noise-cancelling headphones in our separate guide.

    7.  Sony IER-Z1R

    trophy Best audiophile
    Sony IER-Z1R

    Sony’s Signature Series is highly respected among audiophiles, and the IER-Z1R in-ear monitors are one of the best Sony earbuds on the market.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5 & 4.4mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm + 5mm + BA
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 3-100.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitor | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No | Impedance: 40 Ohm | Weight: 26 g (both buds) | Cable lenght: 48 inch (1.2m) | Features: Detachable MMCX cable, balanced cable, silver-plated
    • Exceptional clarity
    • Meaty bass response
    • Luxurious build quality
    • Some might find them uncomfortable

    The sound signature tilts slightly towards V-shape, with excellent extensions on both ends. Everything sounds tight but not bass-heavy, and a detailed retrieval is outstanding.

    They achieve this exceptional, Hi-Res audio by using two dynamic drivers, one 12mm and the other 5mm, and one balanced armature. It also helps to use the included silver-coated balanced cable.

    The housing of these Sony earphones is made of zirconium alloy and magnesium, providing excellent sturdiness.

    Two included cables are silver-plated and have pre-formed arches to contour your ears better.

    Sadly, they don’t feel comfortable for everyone, and it’s better to try them out before buying. Earbuds are also a bit hard to drive if you want to squeeze the most out of them.

    Looking for the best workout headphones?

    Or maybe best bass earbuds?

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What Kind of Brand is Sony?

    This company from Japan has become a major player in the headphone market in recent years.

    They started the Walkman revolution and in a way created a new market for small in-ear headphones. Today, they still make top-notch headphones in any price range.

    From super cheap ones that are selling en mass to premium, expensive ones that can cost over $2000.

    However, they don’t have a reputation of a premium brand but something in between. They’re more of an average consumer brand with some premium models for those that want more.

    What Sony Headphones Have the Best Sound Quality?

    Looking at the very high-end, you can’t go wrong with Sony IER-Z1R in-ear monitors. These multiple driver earbuds are tuned to sound fun and punchy but come packed with tons of details.

    For a more reasonable price, you might want to check Sony WF-1000XM4 as they have close to neutral tuning and sound excellent for wireless earbuds.

    Are Sony WF-1000XM4 Worth It?

    Yes, if you’re looking for premium TWS earbuds with high-end features and sound, these are the best out there.

    Active noise cancellation and ambient mode work excellent, and the audio quality is superb for a product like that. Compared to the competition, they’re worth every penny.

    Is Sony or Sennheiser Better?

    Sony makes better-sounding and more attractive consumer-focused audio products, whereas Sennheiser is still a king for more serious, audiophile products.

    Therefore, which one is better really depends on what kind of product you’re looking for.

    What’s the Difference Between Sony WF-1000XM3 and Sony WF-1000XM4?

    The newer XM4 model has longer battery life (2 hours more), better passive isolation due to hybrid foam tips, a neutral sound signature, an IPX4 rating, support for Qi wireless charging, and a more comfortable design.

    Are Sony WF-1000XM3 Worth It in 2021?

    Since you can get Sony WF-1000XM3 at a heavy discount, they’re still a great choice. The XM3 true wireless model can still outperform most earbuds in noise cancellation and outputs a strong sound quality with a good bass punch.

    Of course, the design is a bit outdated and the charging case is insanely large for today’s standards.

    Are Sony WH-1000XM3 Worth It in 2021?

    The XM3 and XM4 Sony headphones are very similar in both design, sound, and noise cancelling performance. The battery life is practically the same, and apart from the proximity sensor and slightly different ear pads, there are no visible differences.

    For the price of around $200, the older Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-cancelling headphones are a great deal.

    You might lose some smart features like automatic play/pause, Speak-to-chat, and multipoint for connecting two devices, but it’s hard to justify a $150 price difference only for those extra features.

    What Makes Sony Headphones Different From Other Brands?

    Generally, the best Sony headphones are well made and have good durability. Of course, there are cases where a specific headphone model is badly made (MDR-1000X…) but they update them fast enough and have a decent responsibility to the consumer.

    When it comes to the audio you can find 2 distinct sound signatures.

    • The “Extra Bass” Sony headphones have emphasized bass, like best bass headphones, and are geared towards bassheads and people liking strong lows.
    • The second is the general Sony sound signature which is usually balanced or slightly V-shaped. This is audio quality that sounds great for all music types.

    They make headphones that sound good for the general taste in music to catch the biggest market group.

    Additionally, the best Sony headphones are made to be popular with the masses. This is why they offer a lot of wireless headphones with a sleek design and all the latest new features at many different price points.

    What about the value for money?

    You pay a fair price in most cases. If it’s a cheaper model it’s going to show in features and design. And if it’s a premium headphone you will have to pay a premium price that’s normal in the category.

    They aren’t the cheapest and neither more expensive. Sony headphones have overall good value for money.

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *