Sonos Ace Headphones Review: A Good Start

We tested the new Sonos Ace, Sonos's bet to enter the complicated world of headphones, competing directly with the most traditional brands in the sector. Superior sound quality, good finishes and materials, and an ace up its sleeve to stand out from the rest.

The headphone market is not a paradise, especially when we talk about the most premium range of wireless headphones. Brands like Sony and Bose have been dominating a category for years in which only Apple has managed to successfully enter. The list of brands that tried and did not achieve the expected results (or failed miserably) is enormous. Sonos' bet on entering this market is, therefore, very risky, and in order to achieve the expected success, It is not enough to present a quality product, you must incorporate something different from the otherssomething that makes it special and that makes the user not opt ​​for the safe bets of the usual brands. Will it achieve this with these Sonos Ace? Time will tell, but the ingredients, for now, are promising.

Characteristics

  • Over-ear headphones
  • 40mm Dynamic Driver
  • Weight 312 grams
  • Bluetooth 5.4 Multipoint Connectivity
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound AptX (Android only)
  • Spatial sound (Dolby Atmos)
  • Head tracking
  • Usage detection (autoPlay and Pause)
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Aware Mode (Transparency/Ambient)
  • TV Swap and Sonos TrueCinema (coming soon)
  • USB-C connection
  • Autonomy 30 hours (ANC active), fast charge (3 minutes equal 3 hours of use)
  • Semi-rigid carrying case with cable pocket
  • USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to 3.5mm Jack Cable

The Sonos Ace are top-tier wireless headphones, and you can tell from the moment you open the box. Including a semi-rigid case to transport them and the USB-C and 3.5mm jack cables is a nice touch.such as the small cable pouch that magnetically attaches to the main case. We're not used to accessories being included when purchasing products, and the detail is appreciated, especially since the case isn't your typical cloth bag.

Sonos Ace Headphones

Sonos has decided to use mostly plastic for its headphones, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing, far from it. The plastic is of good quality and thanks to it the headphones are lighter than, for example, the AirPods Max. Excellent finishes, memory foam pads on the headphones and headband, perfectly adaptable size for all heads with the steel extenders in chrome finish for the white model and black for the black model. They are extremely comfortable headphones.and this is coming from someone with an XL-sized head, on which headphones tend to be too tight. I've worn these headphones for hours, and the only thing I've noticed these summer days is that they're hot… obviously, but not tiring or uncomfortable. By the way, the 30-hour battery life is amazing, allowing you to use them for a week intensively without having to recharge them, so they're extraordinary for travelling.

Sonos has taken inspiration from the AirPods Max for some things about its headphones. Their design is certainly reminiscent of them, but the magnetic system for your pads It's clearly a copy of Apple's headphones. The ear cushions have different colored meshes for each earpiece, and putting them on and taking them off is super easy so you can clean the headphones. The magnets are placed in such a way that you can't put the right ear cushion on the left, so there's no chance of error. And when they end up wearing out from use, you can just buy new ones and replace them in a second, without adhesives or anything similar.

Sonos Ace Headphones

For controls They have opted for the right decision: physical buttons. I don't like touch controls, especially on such large products. I know many will disagree, because touch controls allow for a much “cleaner” design and can even give a more premium look, but the usability is nowhere near the same as that offered by traditional buttons. We have a button on the right earpiece that we press to control playback and slide to control the volume, and another to control Noise Cancellation and Aware mode, as well as voice control. On the left, the power button and the USB-C connector. The main control button is also the one we will use for the TV Swap function, which we will talk about later.

Connectivity and sound

We are looking at Bluetooth headphones, so there are no surprises in this section. They are compatible with Bluetooth 5.4, and if we are Apple users, that's the end of the story. If we have an Android phone, we can continue saying that We can listen to lossless audio thanks to the Qualcomm Sound AptX codecas long as our phone is compatible, of course. If Apple users want to use lossless audio, we have to use a cable. In the case of the iPhone 15, we can use the one that comes in the box, if not, we will have to use an adapter for the Lightning connector. The multipoint connection allows you to add two devices that connect simultaneously to the headphones, so you won't have to switch from one to the other, it will be automatic depending on where you start playback.

Sonos Ace Headphones

Personally, I can't tell any significant difference between the wireless and wired connection with my iPhone 15 Pro Max and using Apple Music at maximum quality. The sound of these headphones is very balanced, perhaps too much for my taste. After a lot of testing, I've managed to get an equalization to my liking, with somewhat reinforced bass. The sound is really detailed, you can perfectly distinguish instruments, and the voices are very crystal clear. In addition to equalization, you can choose the “loudness” mode in the application. which increases bass and treble at low volumes. You can enjoy spectacular sound without blowing your ears out. These headphones are at the same sound level as the competition, a merit that must be recognized for being their first product. As for Dolby Atmos and head tracking, for those who like music… perfect. Not my case.

In addition to the sound quality, we must mention its Noise Cancellation and Aware mode. The first is at a very good level, for me above that of the AirPods Max, headphones that I have been using for a long time and whose sound I am very used to. They manage to isolate you very well from the outside, and the sound is not affected, an important detail. But where I have been most surprised is in the Aware mode.as Sonos calls its ambient mode, in which you can hear everything that's going on around you, because these are the headphones that come closest to the AirPods Max or Pro 2, and that's something to note. The sound you receive is really clear and natural, far from the tinny sound that most headphones offer in this mode.

Sonos Ace Headphones

TV Swap, the difference

With such a well-defined ecosystem like Sonos', we've all been hoping that its headphones would take advantage of it, and Sonos has fulfilled our wishes with a feature that you can only use if you already have Sonos speakers at home. Specifically, you'll need to have a home theater system that includes at least a Sonos Beam, Beam 2, Ray, or Arc. At the moment, it only works with the Sonos Arc, its most premium soundbar, but it has promised that other bars will be compatible soon. The operation is very simple: you're watching and listening to your TV through your Sonos soundbar, you hear your headphones, You press a button and the sound is automatically transferred to the headphones.. That simple, that fantastic.

In the first reviews I could read complaints about the instability of the connection, with audio cuts or outright interruptions and failures when trying to connect. The truth is that this has not happened to me, I have been able to enjoy this functionality and I love it. It is also true that the headphones have received a couple of updates during this time that may have corrected these possible failures. And things promise to improve, because TrueCinema sound that simulates a 7.1 system in your headphones is not yet available. This is another promise from Sonos for the near future that I look forward to because if I already enjoy the sound of my movies and series with the Sonos Ace, I can't imagine what it will be like when this feature arrives. Curiously, this feature makes use of the Sonos Ace's WiFi connection (yes, WiFi, that's not a typo), which is only used for this. Could there be more integrations with Sonos speakers in the future, such as music transfer? That wouldn't be bad at all.

Sonos Ace Headphones

Sonos App

The Sonos app has recently been revamped, with mixed reviews as always when there are changes. Personally, I like the new app better once I've gotten over the period of adaptation to the new interface and navigation. But when I started using my Sonos Ace I have to admit that I was a bit confused about how it works. Until now, whenever I used my Sonos speakers I had two options: open Apple Music and play the music via AirPlay or open the Sonos app and play the music from there, and this last option is the one I generally use. So I tried to do exactly the same with headphones, but it's not possible. It makes perfect sense, since they are Bluetooth headphones so they can't play music directly from the internet, which is what the Sonos app does with its speakers. You must use your music app (Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal…) and play it on your Sonos headphones just like any other Bluetooth headphones.

From the app we can configure aspects such as equalization, TV Swap, ear detection or multipoint connections, as well as install firmware updates as they are released. Once that is done and with the headphones already configured to your liking, you can forget about the app. The options it offers for customization are sufficient, but I miss being able to customize noise cancellation or ambient mode, or being able to save different equalization profiles for different content that I play on them.

Editor's opinion

The new Sonos Ace live up to expectations for sound quality, materials and finishes. The sound signature is what we can expect from a Sonos product, its noise cancellation is up to what we can ask for from a product of this price and the ambient mode (Aware) is only slightly below that offered by the AirPods Max, which is no small feat. Its comfort, excellent autonomy and the TV Swap mode that allows you to enjoy the content of your television with just the push of a button are the differential points, provided that you are already a Sonos user, of course. The only “but” that can be put to them is the fact that there are still features that are promises and not realities, but that is something that time will solve. For its price, 499€ on Amazon (link) are An excellent option for those looking for wireless headphones that are among the best.

Sonos Ace
  • Editor's rating
  • Score 4.5 stars

499


  • Sonos Ace
  • Review of:
  • Posted on:

  • Last modification: July 9, 2024


Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent autonomy
  • High quality sound
  • Custom EQ
  • TV Swap function at the touch of a button
  • Multipoint connection
  • Carrying case and cables included

Cons

  • Poor integration with Sonos speakers