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The Best Sony Headphones of 2019
Reviews

Sony Headphones Lineup

We have currently reviewed 29 Sony headphones. They're a versatile brand that offers affordable headphones for mostly casual listening. However, they do have some pricier models that deliver more features and a better-balanced sound.


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Compared to other brands

  • Headphone variety. Sony has a diverse lineup of headphones that we have yet to test. They span the range from cheap, semi-open sports earbuds to really expensive over-ear headphones.
  • Above-average sound quality. Most of Sony's higher-tier headphones have a decently balanced audio reproduction that's good for both casual and critical listeners. Even their Bluetooth models have a better sound quality than comparable brands, thanks to the LDAC codec.
  • Inconsistent noise cancelling. Although Sony has a few models that block a phenomenal amount of noise, like the WH-1000XM3, most of Sony's noise cancelling headphones have mediocre-at-best noise isolation.
  • Premium price for good headphones. The better-performing Sony headphones are comparatively more expensive than other brands. Sony has a lot of affordable and cheap headphones, but they usually have poor build or sound quality and inefficient noise cancelling.

Overall, Sony has a varied lineup of headphones for multiple uses. Most of Sony's lineup delivers above-average sound quality, especially the pricier models. Unfortunately, this also means that Sony's best sounding and performing headphones are typically at a higher price than competing brands. They also sometimes struggle to get noise cancelling right, but more recent models like Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and the in-ear Sony WI-1000X Wireless succeed.

Best Sony Headphones


  1. Best Sony Headphones For Mixed Usage

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Critical Listening
    7.7
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.7
    Office
    5.8
    TV
    5.4
    Gaming
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best Sony headphones for mixed usage are the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. They're an updated version of the Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless, with a better headband design and a bit more control over their active features with the provided companion app. They perform just as well for commute and travel, and they're versatile enough for casual use in different environments. If you need a good pair of noise cancelling headphones to reduce the ambient noise of your daily commute, then these are an excellent choice and one of the best noise-isolating over-ear headphones that we have tested so far.

    See our review

  2. Best Sony In-Ears For Commuting

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.0
    Critical Listening
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    7.5
    Sports/Fitness
    7.3
    Office
    5.8
    TV
    5.4
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Balanced Armature

    The best Sony in-ears for commuting we’ve tested so far are the Sony WI-1000X Wireless. They’re well-built headphones with a neckband design that ensures your music is always at arm’s reach. They have good noise cancelling and don’t leak much sound, so you can raise your listening volume a bit to help block out even more sound without bothering your fellow commuters. They can sound a bit sharp right out-of-the-box, but thankfully they’re compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app so you can customize the way they sound to better suit your needs, which is great, especially if you like to switch between podcasts and music while commuting.

    See our review

  3. Best Sony Headphones For Mixing And Mastering

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    6.1
    Mixed Usage
    7.4
    Critical Listening
    5.4
    Commute/Travel
    5.6
    Sports/Fitness
    5.8
    Office
    5.9
    TV
    5.6
    Gaming
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : No
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : No
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best Sony headphones for mixing and mastering we’ve tested so are the Sony MDR-7506. They’re very lightweight over-ear headphones that are great for studio use thanks to their convenient design. They have a nice long, coiled cable so you can reach all your essentials without accidentally unplugging yourself from your source. They can fold up into a more compact format for easy transportation between gigs. They sound good overall, but those who prefer a more neutral audio reproduction may find they sound a bit hyped in the bass and treble ranges. That said, their timeless design is hard to beat and they remain a very popular choice among audio engineers, music producers, and DJs alike to this day.

    See our review

  4. Best Sony Headphones For Sports

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    6.7
    Mixed Usage
    6.5
    Critical Listening
    7.2
    Commute/Travel
    7.7
    Sports/Fitness
    6.8
    Office
    5.4
    TV
    5.2
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best Sony headphones for sports are Sony WI-SP600N Wireless. These are noise cancelling wireless headphones with a high-end and durable design. They are breathable and stable enough for sports and come with a variety of gel tips and stability fins to help you find a comfortable fit, which is great for exercising. Unfortunately, their noise isolation is not as efficient in noisy conditions. They won't be the best choice if noise cancelling is your top priority, but for sports, they offer the best value of any Sony headset.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Sony Headphones

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
    6.9
    Mixed Usage
    7.1
    Critical Listening
    7.2
    Commute/Travel
    7.9
    Sports/Fitness
    7.0
    Office
    5.4
    TV
    4.9
    Gaming
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best budget Sony headphones we’ve reviewed so far are the Sony WI-C310. They’re easy-to-use with a simple, portable design. They sound decent and have an excellent 17-hour battery life, which is among the best in-ear battery performances we’ve seen to date. Unfortunately, their cables are quite long and form large dangling loops around your ears, which can feel a bit odd, but their earbuds are magnetic for better cable management when not in use. If you’re looking for affordable Sony headphones and like the convenience and portability of wireless earbuds, then these are the way to go.

    See our review

Lineup

Sony has a vast lineup but does not have a clear naming strategy. They have some specific lineups that cover different types of headphone models, like the extra bass lineup that covers over/on ears and in-ears, but some of their better-performing headphones with features like wireless and noise cancelling share the same naming convention as featureless wired headphones.

Conclusion

Sony delivers a wide variety of headphone models that are geared for both casual and critical listeners. Most of their models deliver above-average sound quality, even the cheaper ones. But if you want the best that Sony has to offer, then you may spend a bit more than you would with other brands, as their best-performing headphones often have a premium price tag.

Discover our recommendations for the best headphones for commuting.

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