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Best Sony Headphones: In-Depth Guide For Top 7

Last updated: 2 months ago
7 min read

Sony is one of the leading consumer audio companies, making some of the best Bluetooth headphones on the market.

Here are the best Sony headphones and Sony earbuds you should consider today.

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Rating Price Design Type Battery life Noise cancelling More info
Sony WH-1000XM5 Best noise cancelling
Sony WH-1000XM5 small image
4.4
$380
Over-ear
Bluetooth 5.2
40.5 hours (28h with ANC)
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Sony WF-1000XM5 Best true wireless
Sony WF-1000XM5 small image
4.0
$250
True wireless
Bluetooth 5.3
6 hours + 16h in case
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Sony MDR-7506 Best for monitoring
Sony MDR-7506
4.8
$87
Over-ear
Wired – 3.5mm & 6.3mm
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Sony WF-SP800N Best for sports
Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds
4.2
$198
True wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
13 hours + 13h in case (ANC off)
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4.7
$99
Over-ear
Wireless & wired – 3.5mm
12 hours
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Sony WF-C500 Best under $100
Sony WF-C500
4.3
$78
True wireless
Bluetooth 5.0
10 hours + 10h in case
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Sony IER-Z1R Best audiophile
Sony IER-Z1R
4.4
$1,698
In-ear
Wired – 3.5 & 4.4mm
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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 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-1000XM5

    anc BEST NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES FROM SONY
    Sony WH-1000XM5 in a table

    Flagship WH-1000XM5 are the best Sony headphones out there – Sony WH-1000XM5 review.

    $309.99
    $399.99
    in stock
    Walmart.com
    $398.00
    in stock
    22 new from $398.00
    74 used from $200.92
    as of March 1, 2024 8:05 am
    Amazon.com
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 30mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 4-40.000Hz
    Type: Over-ear | Battery life: 40h (with ANC) | Wireless range: 65 feet (19.8 meters)(Connection priority) | Noise cancelling: Yes, adaptive | Charging: 3.5h – Quick charge – USB-C (PD) | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: None | Features: App, Adaptive ANC, 360 Audio, Speak-to-chat
    • Fun sound that can become natural after EQ
    • Modern, comfortable & stable design
    • Class-leading active noise cancellation performance
    • Excellent battery life of more than 40 hours (with ANC)
    • The best call quality in consumer BT headphones
    • Not the most detailed sound
    • Too much plastic for the price

    Hear the Sony WH-1000XM5 A/B Sound Test:

    Sony WH-1000XM5 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    The sound performance is above average but not quite audiophile-grade. They’re a bit uneven out of the box, but after applying custom EQ, their sound becomes much clearer and airier. All of that is accompanied by a pretty good imaging and a rather intimate soundstage.

    These Sony headphones are very comfortable, with just enough space for the earpads to go around your ears. Furthermore, they provide a very stable fit if you’re accustomed to wearing headphones during workouts.

    Housing is entirely plastic, but it feels premium to the touch. They come with a taller but flatter carrying case since they no longer fold inwards. Also, they have long battery life, lasting 40.5 hours (with noise cancelling).

    Active noise-cancellation performance is an industry-standard and works almost flawlessly, eliminating outside noise from engines to human speech. Adaptive Sound Control can even adjust the background noise cancelling based on whether you walk, run, or commute.

    2. Sony WF-1000XM5

    anc Best True Wireless Sony Earbuds
    Sony WF-1000XM5 buds on table

    By far the best true wireless earbuds for sound quality, noise cancellation, and additional features inside the Sony app – Sony WF-1000XM5 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8.4mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz (with LDAC)
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 16h in case (with ANC) | Wireless range: 35 feet (10.6 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC, LC3 | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Multipoint, app, equalizer, spatial audio
    • Unmatched audiophile-grade sound quality
    • Comfiest & most stable Sony earbuds to date
    • Incredible passive noise isolation that even blocks rumble
    • Negligible sound leakage at max volumes
    • Good active noise cancellation…
    • … but not even close of being class-leading
    • Terrible call quality in noisier environments
    • Protective mesh is built into ear tips, not into earbuds' nozzle
    • Too many features wants your personal data

    Hear the Sony WF-1000XM5 A/B Sound Test:

    Sony WF-1000XM5 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Sony WF-1000XM5 once again proved they’re the best-sounding wireless Sony headphones. They deliver great control and clarity, although the midrange is slightly more recessed than in WF-1000XM4.

    Earbuds sport a slimmer design, making them vastly comfier than the previous generation. Hybrid ear tips have also improved, providing a gripper surface and higher stability.

    That makes them even more suitable for workouts and running. They have an IPX4 rating, ensuring sweat resistance.

    Of course, earbuds do well for commuting and traveling, too. Thanks to great active noise cancellation and splendid passive isolation, you can forget about outside noise interfering with your music.

    Battery life should last up to 6 hours with ANC on and at least an hour more if you decide to leave the ANC off.

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

    3. Sony MDR-7506

    trophy Best Sony Headphones For Monitoring
    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 media production 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.

    4. Sony WF-SP800N

    weights Best True Wireless Sony Headphones 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, it 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 Sony Headphones 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 could’ve had a better call quality.

    Check out the best PS5 wireless headsets to pair with your PlayStation 5.

    6. Sony WF-C500

    dollar Best Sony Earbuds 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 liking.

    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 Sony Headphones For Audiophiles
    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 the 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, so you need an amp if you want to squeeze the most out of them.

    Looking for the best workout headphones?

    Or maybe the best bass earbuds?

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Sony Headphones

    What kind of brand is Sony?

    Sony is a company from Japan that made a ton of influential products, from Walkman, CDs, Blu-Rays, and of course, high-quality headphones. They make everything from super cheap ones to 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.

    Are Sony WH-1000XM4 worth It in 2023?

    Sony WH-1000XM4 are still worth it in 2023 thanks to their discounted price and overall similar performance to the WH-1000XM5. Furthermore, they might even be more comfortable for longer listening sessions. The new model primarily looks sleeker, has better battery life, and much-improved microphone quality.

    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.

    Are Sony WF-1000XM4 or Sony WF-1000XM5 better?

    The newer Sony WF-1000XM5 model has slightly better technical audio performance but a relatively similar active noise cancelling performance. They’re also smaller and more comfortable than the bulkier Sony WF-1000XM4.

    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.

    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.

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