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Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Oct 20, 2023 at 01:53 pm
Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless  Picture
Neutral Sound
Wireless Gaming
Wired Gaming
Phone Calls

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless are the next generation of the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless. They have an improved noise cancelling (ANC) performance and have a USB-DAC mode, so you can take advantage of a better bit depth and sample rate via wired USB. They also have added spatialization presets via their companion app, which can help create a more immersive audio experience, depending on your content.

Our Verdict

7.1 Neutral Sound

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are satisfactory for neutral sound. Out of the box, their default sound is pretty excited and isn't very neutral. They deliver intense boom while vocals and instruments are harsh in order to balance the extra bass. Luckily, if this isn't to your liking, you can finetune their sound using their companion software's parametric EQ and presets. There are even a couple of spatialization features for a more immersive audio experience. Wired USB lets you use their built-in DAC, so you can stream higher-quality audio than via Bluetooth.

  • USB DAC mode available.
  • Parametric EQ and presets available via companion app.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage performance.
7.7 Commute/Travel

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are good for commute and travel. These comfortable over-ears come with a carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go. They also have an adjustable noise cancelling system, although it struggles to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines even on the strongest setting. With the ANC on, they last over 34 hours continuously, and you can even use them via wired USB or analog in a pinch.

  • Comfortable, premium design.
  • Long lasting continuous battery life.
  • ANC struggles to reduce bass-range noise.
7.2 Sports/Fitness

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are over-ears and may not be the best choice for sports and fitness. While they have a wireless design, they can still fall off of your head with intense movement. They also lack an IP rating for water resistance, but that's to be expected based on their design. On the upside, they have a comfortable fit.

  • Comfortable, premium design.
  • Not the most stable for this use.
7.5 Office

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are good for the office. These comfortable headphones have a long battery life, so you don't have to recharge them every day, and they're equipped with ANC, allowing you to easily block out chatty coworkers. They also support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously. Audio bleed is low, too, so you can crank up the audio to your favorite tunes without others hearing it.

  • Comfortable, premium design.
  • ANC can block out background noise like ambient chatter well.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Long lasting continuous battery life.
  • Mic has trouble separating speech from noise.
5.9 Wireless Gaming

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones, and their latency on PC is likely too high for gaming, though they do support aptX Adaptive, which can help lower latency. Audio lag is a lot less on Android and iOS devices, making them a better choice for mobile gaming.

7.4 Wired Gaming

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are decent for wired gaming. If you're gaming via wired USB, you'll have full audio and mic compatibility, while if you're using the analog cable, you can only receive audio. Their excited sound can help sound effects like footsteps stand out in the mix, but dialogue and instruments sound harsh and piercing. On the upside, the headphones are comfortable and well-built.

7.1 Phone Calls

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are decent for phone calls. They have an integrated mic, and while it can capture your voice well so that you're clear and easy to understand, it has trouble separating speech from background noise. As a result, if you're taking a call from a noisy environment like a busy street, your voice can be drowned out. On the upside, the headphones have an ANC system to help block out a good amount of sound.

  • Decent recording quality.
  • Mic has trouble separating speech from noise.
  • 7.1 Neutral Sound
  • 7.7 Commute/Travel
  • 7.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.5 Office
  • 5.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.4 Wired Gaming
  • 7.1 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Oct 20, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 13, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Oct 10, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Sep 18, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Sep 11, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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Black AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless
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Black AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless
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Black AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless
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Black AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 come in one color variant: 'Black'; you can see our model's label here and here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 are the successor of the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless, and there have been a few updates to their design. Their noise cancelling system has improved and can block out more noise than their predecessor, although it still falls short of competitors like the Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless or the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless. Like the Focal Bathys Wireless, they also have a USB DAC mode, so if you're using them via USB, you can take advantage of streaming audio in higher bit depth and sample rate.

Check out our picks for the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, the best headphones for music, and the best noise cancelling headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless have the edge over the Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless. The Sony have a more neutral sound, though they're still bass-heavy, and their ANC does a better job of blocking out background noise. However, the Shure are more comfortable, are better built, and have a longer continuous battery life. They also have a USB DAC mode, which is handy if you're looking for a more audiophile experience from your headphones since it can give you better sound quality.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless have the edge over the Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless. While both headphones feel premium and have similar levels of noise isolation, the Sennheiser have a more neutral default sound, which some users may prefer, and their continuous battery life is significantly longer. Their companion app also offers a lot more customization features. However, the Shure have a built-in DAC, giving you better sound quality via wired USB.

Shure AONIC 50 Wireless

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless are the next generation of the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless. While they nearly have the same look and feel as their predecessor, there have been a couple of large changes. The Gen 2 have a USB DAC mode, so if you're using the headphones via their USB cable, you can take advantage of a higher bit depth and sample rate. They also have a significantly better noise isolation performance, a spatialization feature to help give you a more immersive audio experience, and a longer continuous battery life. Their overall mic performance is better, too, and they support aptX Adaptive codec. Their carrying case is smaller, making it easier to take on the go. Their sound profile has been adjusted, too, though it's less neutral than their predecessor.

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 Wireless are better than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless. The Shure are better built, have a slightly more neutral sound out of the box, and have a longer continuous battery life. They also have a USB DAC mode, which allows you to stream higher-resolution audio via wired USB. If you're shopping for something cheaper, the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless are still worth checking out, especially as their noise isolation performance is superior.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

These headphones look nearly identical to their predecessor, the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless, but have an all-black color scheme. Their hinges curve to the back of the ear cups, which makes them look a bit unique, and the manufacturer's logo is placed in the center of the ear cup. They only come in one color variant: 'Black'.

Weight 0.75 lbs
Clamping Force
1.2 lbs

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 have a comfortable fit. They have plush padding on the ear cups and along the headband, so you can wear them for long periods of time without experiencing much fatigue. That said, the hinges are a bit stiff and can be annoying if you wear glasses since it can disrupt the seal. The ear cups aren't the deepest either, and this can be bothersome, particularly if you have large ears.

OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 have a good physical control scheme. They're found on the right ear cup, and the buttons have indents or embossments so you can differentiate them. They also have good tactility but can feel a bit mushy. Unfortunately, sliding the noise cancellation switch can be difficult, and you may need to hold down the ear cup just to toggle the switch. There are sounds to let you know when you play and pause audio, reach minimum and maximum volume, and when the headphones are turned on and off.

Power button:

  • Double press: Checks the battery level.
  • Press and hold: Powers the headphones on and off.
  • Press and hold (when off): Activates Bluetooth pairing mode.

Center button:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio.
  • Double press: Skips the track forward.
  • Triple press: Skips the track backward.
  • Press and hold: Activates voice assistance.

Volume buttons:

  • Single press the '+' button: Raises the volume.
  • Single press the '-' button: Lowers the volume.

Three-level switch:

  • Switch in the top position: Activates 'Environment' mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings without pausing your audio.
  • Switch in the center position: Bypass noise control. This setting turns the ANC off.
  • Switch in the bottom position: Turns the ANC on.

L 7.8" (19.9 cm)
W 8.0" (20.3 cm)
H 1.9" (4.8 cm)
Volume 118.33 in³ (1,939.06 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones aren't the most portable. While the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, they don't fold inwards into a more compact form.

Type Hard case
L 8.7" (22.1 cm)
W 8.7" (22.0 cm)
H 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Volume 172.09 in³ (2,819.96 cm³)

The carrying case is great. It's a lot smaller than the original generation's circular case. It's lightweight, sturdy, and made of faux leather. There's a zipper to help keep the case closed, and inside is a little pouch to store the cables.

Build Quality

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 feel pretty well-built. They're mostly made of plastic and aluminum with faux leather padding. The included USB and analog cables feel of decent quality as well. Overall, the headphones feel sturdy, but the faux leather padding can deteriorate with long-term use.


They're decently stable. They won't fall off your head if you use them while listening to music or walking to work. However, they can easily fall off of your head if you try to wear them during tough workouts.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
In The Box

  • Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 headphones
  • USB-C charging cable
  • 1/8" TRRS to 1/4" TRS cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manuals

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.88 dB
Treble Amount
0.71 dB

Using Bluetooth and with ANC on, these headphones have a somewhat excited sound. They have a lot of extra bass, so they deliver extra thump, punch, and a lot of boom to mixes. Vocals and instruments, in comparison, are bright but harsh, while sibilants like cymbals are piercing. Luckily, if you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers a parametric EQ and presets to help you fine-tune them to suit your tastes. That said, their sound changes slightly, depending on whether the ANC is on or off. With ANC off, there's a bit more bass to mixes, while vocals and instruments are slightly less bright.

These headphones also have a USB DAC mode and can be used via analog. Their sound doesn't really change when using either cable (and ANC is on), though.

Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.4 dB

The Shure AUONIC 50 Gen 2 have great frequency response consistency. If you have thick hair or wear glasses, you'll experience a slight drop in bass, as these features can disrupt the headphones' seal on your head. Once you get a good fit, positioning, and seal, you'll experience consistent audio delivery each time you use them.

Raw Frequency Response
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10.44 Hz
0.55 dB
2.82 dB
5.09 dB

These headphones have good bass accuracy. The response is mostly overemphasized, resulting in extra thump, rumble, punch, and warmth. They have a lot of extra high-bass, so mixes sound boomy and muddy.

Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.54 dB
0.91 dB
1.18 dB
5.55 dB

Their mid accuracy is decent. The low-mid is fairly flat and even, resulting in present vocals and instruments. That said, there's a bump in the response from the mid to high-mid, causing vocals and instruments to be nudged forward in the mix and sound harsh.

Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.2 dB
3.29 dB
6.7 dB
-1.83 dB

The treble accuracy is passable. Like in the bass range, the response here is also overemphasized. This results in harsh vocals and instruments. In songs like Roxanne by The Police, sibilants like hi-hats throughout the track are also sharp and piercing.

2.01 dB
1.47 dB

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2's peaks and dips performance is satisfactory. A few prominent peaks and dips indicate that the headphones struggle to control their sound profile. A dip in the low-bass lessens thump and rumble, but a peak in the high-bass adds a lot more boom to the mix. While the frequency response is a lot more flat in the low-mid, there's a dip in this response, which means that the headphones have a hard time controlling this range, resulting in thinned-out vocals and instruments. A peak in the high-bass makes vocals and instruments sound more harsh, too, though a dip in the low-treble veils them slightly. A peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants even more harsh and piercing.

Weighted Group Delay
Weighted Phase Mismatch
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
Weighted Frequency Mismatch

The imaging performance of these over-ears is outstanding. Across all the headphones from this manufacturer that we've tested, they've had solid imaging performance, which indicates the brand's quality control and ergonomics. Keep in mind that imaging varies across units, though. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, resulting in tight bass and transparent imaging. These headphones are also well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement of objects like voices in the stereo image. While there's a large spike around 10Hz, which causes some fuzziness and static in audio, the headphones likely struggle to reproduce frequencies this low. It could also be the ANC raising the noise floor, but it won't be an issue with real-life usage since the affected frequency is so low.

Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.27 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.93 dB
PRTF Distance
9.51 dB
Acoustic Space Excitation

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2's passive soundstage is disappointing, but that's pretty common for closed-back headphones. Their soundstage doesn't feel very open or spacious. That said, it still seems natural and large.

Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
Speaker Modeling
Room Ambience
Head Tracking
Virtual Surround

These headphones have three speaker modeling presets via their companion app, which are based on different kinds of audio genres. 'Music' makes the soundstage feel a bit wider and spaces out instruments like guitars and drums. 'Cinema' sounds more concentrated in the center and emphasizes mids more. That said, it seems wider than 'Music', and higher-pitched details have a wider presence. Finally, 'Podcast' pushes the center outward, so the mid-range takes up more space while the bass and treble are more recessed. It also seems like it adds reverb to the edges of the soundstage to create depth. We don't consider this a virtual soundstage feature since it applies DPS filters over all content, not transforming true surround signals into a virtual soundstage. Additionally, the performance of these features depends highly on the content you're listening to, as each track is mixed differently.

Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
WHD @ 100

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. All frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Test Settings
Bluetooth 5.0
aptX HD, 24-bit, 48kHz

These are the settings used to test the Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2. Our results are only valid when used with these settings.

Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.14 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
-13.32 dB
-20.42 dB
-27.39 dB

When using the 'Max' ANC setting, the noise isolation performance of these over-ears is good. While they can't compete with options like the Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless, especially when it comes to the low rumble of bus and plane engines, they're still a suitable choice if you're looking to cut down ambient chatter or high-pitched noise like the hum of AC units. Their companion app also offers a couple of different ANC levels to help you block out your preferred amount of sound.

Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
37.63 dB

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2's leakage performance is decent. Leakage is spread out across the range, but it's a bit more prominent in the mid to treble range, causing escaping audio to sound a bit thin. However, it still falls below the noise floor of an average office, so if you want to listen to audio at high volumes, others around you won't hear it.

Microphone Style
Detachable Boom
Mic Yes
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
359.19 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.01 dB
6,544.63 Hz
Weighted THD
33.03 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is decent. Your voice sounds natural and easy to follow but lacks depth and body.

Noise Handling
33.75 dB
Noise Gate
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is mediocre. Unfortunately, even in moderately noisy environments, vocal quality takes a hit, so speech sounds muffled. Louder noise, like a train arriving at the station, results in the sound drowning out your voice.

Active Features
Active Features
Battery Type
Continuous Battery Life
34.5 hrs
Additional Charges
Total Battery Life
34.5 hrs
Charge Time
3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Passive Playback
Charging Port USB-C

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2's battery performance is outstanding. The manufacturer advertises that their battery lasts up to 45 hours continuously. While we measured under that at roughly 34 hours, battery life varies depending on use, including volume level and whether the ANC is on or not. You can use these over-ears while charging or even use them passively if you forget to turn them off.

Active Features
App Support
App Name ShurePlus Play
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Parametric + Presets
ANC Control
Mic Control No
Room Effects
Playback Control
Button Mapping No
Surround Support

The ShurePlus Play app is good, and you can see a video of it in action here. There's a parametric EQ and presets to help you customize your sound and a spatializer with four different settings ('None', 'Music', 'Cinema', and 'Podcast') to help you get a more immersive audio experience. For noise cancelling control, you can toggle this feature on, off, or activate their transparency mode, in addition to setting one of the following strengths: 'MaxAware', 'Max', 'Moderate', and 'Light'. You can even activate sidetone so that you can hear yourself during calls.

In addition to these controls, you can also adjust your USB mode between 'Communication' (16-bit/48kHz) and 'Hi-Res Listening' (32-bit/384kHz, but turns off the mic and other listening features). You can adjust multi-device pairing, change your prompts and tones, and access user guides.

Bluetooth Version
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
244 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
241 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
174 ms
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
iOS Latency
72 ms
Android Latency
48 ms

These headphones have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected with up to two devices simultaneously. They also support a wide range of codecs, including aptX Adaptive and LDAC. While their latency is very high across most aptX codecs and using LDAC, aptX Adaptive is designed to keep latency low while still ensuring good sound quality. Luckily, their latency is lower on Android and iOS devices, which is handy if you want to stream video from your phone without lip-sync issues. However, some apps and devices compensate for latency.

Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
Non-BT Latency
Analog Audio
USB Audio
USB Type A
Detachable Yes
Length 4.92 ft (1.50 m)
1/16" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
12 ms

You can use these headphones wired, whether by using their 1/8" TRS to 1/16" TRRS cable or via their USB-A to USB-C cable.

PC Compatibility
Audio Only
Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
Non-BT Wireless

The Shure AONIC 50 Gen 2 have full audio and mic compatibility with Bluetooth-enabled PCs and when using their USB cable. If you're using USB Audio, you can switch between two modes with different bit depths and sample rates: 'Communication' (16-bit/48kHz) and 'Hi-Res Listening' (32-bit/384kHz). While 'Hi-Res Listening' increases your bit depth and sample rate, this mode also turns off your mic, ANC, and spatializer. If you want to connect these headphones via analog, you'll only be able to receive audio.

PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PS5 Non-BT Wireless

These headphones can connect to your PlayStation console via wired USB with full audio and mic compatibility. That said, their analog connection will only passthrough audio, so you won't be able to use their mic.

Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless

You can only use these headphones on Xbox consoles via analog. You'll only be able to receive audio, though, as they can't passthrough mic audio.

No Base/Dock
USB Input
Line In
Line Out
Optical Input
RCA Input
Dock Charging
Power Supply
No Base/Dock