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Hands on with the new Sonos Ace headphones

Sonos Ace headphones and box

Last updated

On Tuesday, Sonos announced the Sonos Ace headphones — its first product in the category. We got an early look, and here are our first impressions.

There's something exciting about when a major player enters a new and adjacent market space. Yes, Sonos is historically an audio company but for the past two decades, they've never made a set of headphones.

We only got to spend a few minutes with the headphones so far at a media-only preview event, but they left quite an impression on us.

Closeup of buttons on white ear cup of Sonos Ace headphones
Sonos Ace headphones have metal accents and nice physical buttons

Sonos' new headphones use custom 40mm drivers to produce rich audio with depth, clarity, and range. Eight microphones enable active noise cancellation and clear phone calls. Sonos partnered with Dolby for real-time head tracking that follows your movements, similar to Apple's own headphones.

Picking up the headphones we noted how lightweight they were, while still retaining these classy stainless steel accents.

Matte black Sonos Ace headphones sitting on table showing the lack of fingerprints or oil
The matte black has an oleophobic coating

They come in matte black and Soft White. We much preferred the latter and the black did feel a bit generic.

The lighter colorway has glossy metal that shine with the light. The black does at least have an anti-fingerprint coating that kept them looking clean.

Stainless steel toggle switch on the Sonos Ace headphones that can slide up and down
The Content Key is a great physical control

We were quickly smitten by what Sonos is calling the Content Key. That button is a spring-loaded multi-function button that can slide up and down to adjust volume but can be pressed too to invoke other features.

Our listening was limited to a self-guided tour as well as some time with a paired iPad mini. The audio sounded clear, dynamic, and very detailed.

Wearing the Sonos Ace headphones
Sonos Ace are lightweight and comfortable

The same went for when we swapped audio from a companion Sonos Arc. A clip from Barbie highlighted the precision as we heard America Ferrara walk down a hallway.

Dolby Atmos was amazing during a clip from Gravity.

In one demo, they played very loud airplane-like noise from a pair of Era 300 speakers. When we toggled ANC on, it quickly melted away.

Even the passive noise cancellation was good with the ultra-plush ear cups. They use a vegan leather here that Sonos has the best possible acoustic properties and can be easily cleaned.

Sage green interior of the Soft White felt carrying case with a small pouch shown
The Soft White case has a sage green lining and a magnetic cable pouch

It may be a small detail, but we're also huge fans of the carrying case. It's super slim which makes it easy to fit into a bag. Plus there's a magnetic holder for the included USB-C and aux cables.

We've been fans of AirPods Max. It's hard to keep recommending them after years go by without an update.

Sonos Ace headphones sitting open on a desk
The Sonos Ace headphones have some great features to test

Stay tuned for our full review of the Sonos Ace. At least on first glance, it appears Sonos has created a compelling set of cans.

These headphones will start shipping on June 5th and will run users $449. You can learn more and preorder them on the Sonos website.