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The 5 Best Sony Headphones of 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Sony Headphones

We've currently tested over 46 pairs of Sony headphones. They're a versatile brand that makes a wide range of headphones at various price points. They have many affordable headphones for casual listening but also have some pricier models that are more feature-packed.

Updates

Best Sony Headphones


  1. Best Sony Over-Ear Headphones

    The best Sony over-ear headphones that we've tested are the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. These comfortable, well-built over-ears are the upgraded version of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. They offer multi-device pairing, a longer continuous battery life, and new touch-sensitive control features. For example, the Quick Attention feature lets in ambient sound when you cover the right ear cup with your hand, so you can easily chat with a coworker without having to remove the headphones. They have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump and punch to your mixes, and you can also customize their sound using the graphic EQ and presets in the Sony | Headphones Connect app. Also, they have outstanding noise isolation, so you aren't distracted by background noises during your commute or while working in a busy office.

    Unfortunately, their integrated microphone has a disappointing recording quality, so your voice can sound thin, muffled, and lacking in detail to whoever's on the other end of the line. Your voice may be drowned out in background noises if you're calling from a loud or crowded setting. Also, like most over-ears, they're a bit bulky, although they fold into a more compact format. That said, these versatile, premium over-ears still rank among the best wireless Bluetooth headphones we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Sony Earbuds

    The best earbuds from Sony we've tested are the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless. These well-built in-ears are the next generation of the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and have a significantly better noise isolation performance as well as a more comfortable fit. Thanks to their ANC, they can block out a great amount of ambient noise around you, like the low rumble of bus or plane engines, which is nice if you travel a lot. They also have longer continuous battery life at over 10 hours, and their carrying case holds an additional two charges if you need it. Although this generation doesn't support NFC pairing, you can still connect them to supported devices using Google Fast Pair or Windows 10 Swift Pair, though we don't currently test for this.

    Unfortunately, their integrated mic has a disappointing recording quality, so it sounds thin and somewhat distorted. While some users may prefer their smooth and warm sound profile, others may find it sounds dark and lacking in low-bass. Luckily, their companion app has graphic EQ and presets, meaning you can customize their sound to your liking.

    See our review

  3. Best Sony Headphones For Mixing And Mastering

    The best mixing and mastering Sony headphones that we've tested are the Sony MDR-7506. These over-ears have been around for years and have been the standard for recording, thanks to their well-balanced sound. Vocals and lead instruments are clear, accurate, and detailed in mixes. They also deliver audio consistently across reseats. They have a decently comfortable and lightweight fit, which is well-suited for long listening sessions at the studio. They can also fold up to help conserve space if you want to take them with you on the go. Their coiled audio cable extends over four feet too, which should give you a bit more room if you like to move around when listening to audio.

    Unfortunately, their build feels a bit cheap and plasticky. They creak when you're putting them on, and the hinges feel particularly weak, which can make them prone to damage over time. Their audio cable isn't detachable either, so if you damage it, you'll need to replace the entire unit. However, if you're looking for more affordable studio headphones with a balanced sound, they're worth checking out.

    See our review

  4. Best Sony Headphones For Sports

    The Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are the best Sony earphones for sports that we've tested. These colorful in-ears have a comfortable and stable in-ear fit, thanks to their stability fin design. They're also well-built and are certified IP55 for resistance against dust and direct water contact. Out of the box, they have a fairly bass-heavy sound profile with extra thump, rumble, and boom, which can pump you up during tough workouts. That said, you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ plus presets. The buds also have over nine hours of continuous playback time, which should last through long days at the gym, and their carrying case holds an additional charge if you need it.

    Although they have an ANC system, it doesn't improve their passive noise isolation capabilities that much. Even with the ANC on, they struggle to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. They also lack volume controls by default. While you can remap the controls to add them, you lose either the ANC on/off or playback controls. That said, if you're looking for sports-friendly headphones, they offer a robust and customizable design.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Sony Headphones

    The Sony WI-C310 Wireless are the best budget-friendly Sony headphones that we've tested. These in-ear headphones have a lightweight, flexible cable that goes around your neck and an in-line remote that allows you to answer calls and control your music when you're on the go. The buds are decently comfortable and stable and don't protrude too much from your ears. Their sound profile is well-balanced, with a bit of extra boom in the bass range that may suit fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop, but it doesn't overwhelm instruments and lead vocals, so they're versatile enough for most types of audio content. Their 17 hours of continuous playback can also last you through a few long days at work without any need to recharge.

    Unfortunately, they don't have the best build quality. The neck cable feels like you could easily yank it from the buds, which feel thin and fragile. Their in-line mic also makes your voice sound thin and lacking detail, so they may not be ideal if you take a lot of phone calls. That said, it's much better at separating your voice from ambient sound, so it shouldn't be much more difficult to understand you if you take a call from a moderately noisy office or a busy street.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Headphone variety. Sony makes everything from open-back sports earbuds to noise cancelling RF wireless TV headphones at all kinds of different price points. We've yet to review their entire line-up, but they generally have something for everyone.
  • Different sound profile options. Sony's headphones generally fall into two sound profile options: neutral or bass-heavy. It helps them cater to a wider range of listeners since some people find a neutral sound too flat or boring, but others find too much bass overwhelming.
  • Great mobile app. Many of their Bluetooth headphones are compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app. You get a good graphic EQ with most models, but with more premium models, it provides many virtual soundstage options.
  • Inconsistent noise cancelling performance. Although Sony have a few models that block a phenomenal amount of noise, like the Sony WH-1000XM4, most of their models' noise cancelling is only decent.
  • Premium price for good headphones. Sony's best headphones might be industry leaders, but they'll also set you back a pretty penny. Their cheaper options usually have poor build or sound quality, especially compared to models from dedicated budget brands.
  • Some features missing. While Sony has many feature-packed models, even some of their most premium Bluetooth headphones are missing features taken for granted with other brands; these include microphone controls, multi-device pairing, audio while charging, or an auto-off timer.

Overall, Sony has a wide range of headphones for different needs. Their top performers are expensive but provide good value for those who want the best of the best. Unfortunately, quality varies across models, and their less pricey options are generally rather expensive for what you get. Noise cancelling can especially be a bit hit-or-miss, but their more premium models get it right.

Lineup

Sony has a couple of different headphone lineups, but their naming strategy isn't always very clear. Some of their more feature-packed headphones with Bluetooth or active noise cancelling might appear to be in the same family as their basic wired headphones, which can be confusing. Their most consistent naming conventions are:

  • WH = Wireless over-ears and on-ears.
  • WI = Wireless in-ears and earbuds.
  • WF = Truly wireless headphones.
  • IER = In-ear monitors.
  • XB = Extra Bass, headphones with a more bass-heavy sound signature.

However, their MDR lineup includes both wired over-ears and in-ears, as well as wireless over-ears and on-ears; SP includes some, but not all, of their sports models; and it's unclear what the many other common naming schemes, like CH or ZX, represent.

Recent Updates

  1. Mar 09, 2022: Renamed 'Best Sony Headphones' to 'Best Sony Over-Ear Headphones'. We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability.

  2. Dec 10, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.

  3. Oct 13, 2021: We've made minor updates to the text and checked for product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

  4. Jul 15, 2021: Replaced the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless with the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless.

  5. Apr 16, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

Conclusion

Sony makes a wide variety of headphone models geared for all kinds of listeners. Most of their models deliver reliable sound quality with either more bass-heavy or neutral-sounding options to choose from. Their best-performing headphones come at a premium price, though, as their cheaper models can be hit-or-miss. That said, their higher-end models are among some of the best headphones we've tested and are easy to recommend.

If you're a fan of Sony's noise cancelling models, you'll also want to check out our recommendations for the best headphones for commuting.

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