Best Sony Headphones for 2024


$398 at Amazon

Best new noise-canceling headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5


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$200 at Amazon

Upgraded Sony midrange wi-fi ANC headphones with further bass

Sony ULT Wear


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$150 at Amazon

Top worth Sony midrange noise-canceling headphones

Sony CH-720N


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$198 at Amazon

Compact noise-canceling buds with large sound

Sony LinkBuds S


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$348 at Amazon

Still a favourite Sony ANC headphone

Sony WH-1000XM4


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$99 at Walmart

Oldie however goodie wired headphones

Sony MDR-7506


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$10 at Amazon

Best funds Sony wired headphones

Sony MDR-ZX110


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What are the very best Sony headphones and earbuds total?

I’ve been testing headphones for nearly 20 years, and Sony makes a few of the greatest headphones and earbuds in the marketplace, with fashions accessible at a wide range of worth factors. At least in relation to wi-fi fashions, the corporate’s present flagship noise-canceling WH-1000XM5 headphones and WF-1000XM5 earbuds, are the very best. Both provide top-notch noise-muffling capabilities, wonderful sound high quality and voice-calling efficiency.

I’ve examined all of the Sony fashions on this listing and I’ll replace it with new Sony headphones and earbuds as they hit the market. The newest addition to this listing is the brand new ULT Wear headphones (the ULT-900N), that are the successor to the favored WH-XB910N further bass mannequin.

Read extra: Best Wireless Earbuds for 2024

When you might have a product that lots of people love, change will be dangerous. Such is the case for Sony’s WH-1000XM5, the fifth era of the 1000X collection headphones, first launched in 2016 because the MDR-1000X Wireless and have turn out to be more and more in style as they’ve improved with every era. Over the years Sony has made some tweaks to the design, however nothing as dramatic as what it is finished with the WH-1000XM5. Other than the upper $400 price ticket ($50 greater than the WH-1000XM4), most of these modifications are good, and Sony’s made some dramatic enhancements with voice-calling efficiency, in addition to even higher noise canceling and extra refined sound.

When Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds got here out in 2021, we awarded them a CNET Editors’ Choice. And whereas they’re wonderful, we had some quibbles — they’re on the massive facet and are not an excellent match for sure ears. Clearly, Sony took these gripes to coronary heart when it got down to design its next-generation WF-1000XM5 flagship noise-canceling earbuds. Not solely are the XM5s smaller, however in addition they provide improved efficiency just about throughout the board, with higher noise canceling, sound and voice calling. Are the XM5s excellent? Not fairly. And at $300 — $20 greater than their predecessor — they’re pricey, too. But total they’re actually spectacular — simply among the many very prime earbuds in the marketplace.

The ULT Wear (WH-ULT900N) is the successor to Sony’s in style further bass mannequin, the WH-XB910N, and options upgraded drivers (higher sound) together with improved noise canceling and voice-calling efficiency. Both Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM5 and entry-level CH-720N provide extra balanced sound, however the ULT Wear ship on their promise of delivering dynamic, highly effective sound with deep bass. The solely draw back is that bass can get generally get somewhat too boomy, particularly while you interact the bass enhance mode with the ULT button.

Sony’s improved entry-level noise canceling headphones, the CH-720Ns, have a little bit of a plasticky funds vibe, however they’re light-weight and really snug. Part of me was anticipating them to sound fairly mediocre, however I used to be pleasantly shocked. No, they do not sound nearly as good because the WH-1000XM5s. But they sound extra premium than they appear (and really feel), and their total efficiency is a step up from their predecessor, the CH-710Ns. Are they price $150? Maybe — or possibly not. But the excellent news is that, just like the CH-710N and WH-XB910 earlier than them, these have already seen important reductions, with costs dropping to as little as $100 throughout flash gross sales.

Sony launched its new entry-level CH-720N noise-canceling headphones in 2023. They’re fairly good, however if you cannot afford them (they listing for $150), the corporate’s new funds on-ear CH-520 headphones are an intriguing choice for lower than $50.

They lack noise canceling and are fairly no-frills, however they function good sound for his or her worth, are light-weight and fairly snug for on-ear headphones, and now have wonderful battery life (they’re rated for as much as 50 hours at average quantity ranges). Additionally, they’ve multipoint Bluetooth pairing, so you possibly can pair them with two units concurrently (comparable to a smartphone and pc) and swap audio. Voice-calling efficiency is respectable, although lower than the extent of what you get with the CH-720N. 

Note that there isn’t any wired choice — it is a wi-fi Bluetooth-only headphone. The CH-520 presents an total balanced sound with respectable readability. The bass has some punch to it however would not pack a wallop, and you are not going to get fairly as broad a soundstage as you get from Sony’s costlier over-ear headphones. These positively sound higher than Sony’s earlier entry-level on-ear headphones, they usually sound higher than I assumed they might. I attempted the white colour however in addition they are available blue and black. 

Sony’s upgraded its entry-level true-wireless earbuds, including energetic noise canceling (the WF-C500 didn’t have noise canceling). These light-weight earbuds aren’t fairly nearly as good as Sony’s Linkbuds S earbuds, which listing for $80 extra, however the WF-C700N are somewhat smaller and a good worth, particularly after they go on sale for lower than $80.

Unlike the “open” LinkBuds, the LinkBuds S are conventional noise-isolating earbuds with suggestions you jam into your ears. They’re extra compact and lighter than Sony’s flagship WF-1000M4 and likewise function Sony’s V1 processor. While their sound and noise canceling do not fairly measure as much as the WF-1000XM4s, they’re shut and price much less. They’re the Sony buds for individuals who can cope with bigger buds like WF-1000XM4 however need 80 to 85% of these buds’ options and efficiency for much less cash.

Sony has launched its new WH-1000XM5 however WH-1000XM4 stays on sale. While I choose the WH-1000XM5 — it is somewhat extra snug, has improved noise canceling, extra refined sound and considerably higher voice-calling efficiency — the WH-1000XM4 remains to be an ideal headphone and a few folks might choose its barely extra energetic sound and the way it folds up right into a smaller case than that of the WH-1000M5. It additionally prices much less and we must always see some good reductions on it going ahead.

The LinkBuds are, in a way, Sony’s reply to Apple’s commonplace AirPods. While they do not sound nearly as good as Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM4 noise-isolating earbuds, they provide a discreet, progressive design and a safer match than the AirPods, in addition to good sound and superb voice-calling efficiency.

Like the third-gen AirPods, their open design permits you to hear the skin world — that is what the ring is all about. That makes them a sensible choice for people who wish to hear what is going on round them for security causes or simply do not like having ear suggestions jammed of their ears. They even have just a few distinguishing further options, together with Speak to Chat and Wide Area Tap. Instead of tapping on a bud, you possibly can faucet in your face, simply in entrance of your ear, to manage playback.

They’re IPX4 splash-proof and because of their fins — Sony calls them Arc Supporters — they lock in your ears securely and work effectively for operating and different sporting actions.

Introduced method again in 1991, the Sony MDR-7506 has lengthy been a favourite headphone of recording engineers and different sound professionals (sure, these are wired headphones). The origins of its design date even additional again, for the reason that MDR-7506 headphones are, in truth, a refresh of the Sony MDR-V6 that rolled out in 1985. Both fashions had been designed for the professional sound market, however stay massively in style with shoppers.

While the 2 fashions have the identical design and are very snug, they do not sound an identical. Both provide very well-balanced sound and wonderful readability for his or her modest costs — and each are nice total values. But the MDR-V6 headphones make somewhat extra bass and sound extra laid-back and mellow, whereas the 7506 headphones are leaner with a extra accentuated treble vary, which makes the sound somewhat crisper and livelier. Read our Sony MDR 7506 overview.

If you are in search of tremendous low-cost on-ear wired headphones, the ZX Series is nearly as good a wager as any. It prices $10 — or $15 for the model with a microphone.

Sony MDR-Z7M2: The MDR-Z7M2 (round $600) will not be the flagship audiophile headphone in Sony’s lineup (that may be MDR-Z1R), however it’s nonetheless a high-end mannequin that lists for a number of hundred {dollars}. I reviewed the sooner model of the Z7 (the M2 on the finish stands for Mark 2, or second era) and it sounded nice and was snug. To be clear, that is an audiophile headphone and sounds greatest with the correct audio tools, which can embody a headphone amplifier or a high-resolution transportable music participant (discover the Sony Walkman participant, which is not included, within the photograph).

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