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Best Sony Headphones: Our favourite Sony headphones and earbuds

Sony is a brand that consistently earns a place at the top of our audio best lists, with its over-ears and true wireless earbuds impressing us with each new generation. So if you’re after for a new pair of headphones, where better to start than with Sony?

We’ve created this guide to round up the best headphones sold by Sony whether you’re already a fan and what to see what else they have, or perhaps you haven’t tried them before and want to see what the company has to offer. 

When we review headphones we take into account the sound quality, performance of the features, comfort, battery life and wireless performance before we give our opinion on the headphones. With so many factors to take into account when shopping for a new pair of headphones, we aim to do all the hard work for you, so you can get on with finding the best headphone that suits you. 

So, whether you love your current Sony headphones and are in need of an upgrade or this is your first pair from the brand, scroll down to see our top Sony picks.

For those after headphones from different brands, we also have a range of other best lists such as our best headphones, best wireless earbuds, best noise-cancelling headphones and best running headphones. Whatever your need is, we have a best list that can cater to them.

Best Sony headphones at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test headphones

Not just anybody can review a pair of headphones. You don’t need superhuman hearing to tell what’s good, but you do need to know what to listen out for.

Our headphone tests are done by some of the best and most prolific reviewers in the industry, with years of experience listening to everything from the plasticky freebie earbuds that come with your smartphone, to five-figure beasts of glass and marble. We love music and we want your tunes to sound good, too.

So we listen every pair of headphones we can get on or in our ears. We use a variety of sources, from basic MP3s playing on a laptop to high-quality tracks on dedicated hi-res audio players.

Our test tracks are wide-ranging to give headphones a thorough challenge. They’re also familiar, so we know every track backwards, and we know which bits might trouble the lesser performers.

We listen again and again, and we do that for weeks in case the sound changes – because it usually does. Then we’ll listen to similarly priced rivals and come up with a verdict that reflects the performance and features for the money.

Sony WH-1000XM5

Best Sony wireless headphones
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Pros

  • Excellent comfort
  • Musical, rich audio performance
  • Impressively clean and natural noise cancellation
  • Superb Ambient Mode
  • Great call quality

Cons

  • Don’t fold anymore
  • Connection can get choppy in busy areas
  • No water resistance
  • Slight jump in RRP

The Sony WH-1000XM5 aren’t just our favourite pair of Sony headphones, we rate them as the best headphones you can buy right now. 

The headphones are an evolution of the WH-1000XM4, taking a more modern look and eking out a slightly more comfortable fit. The headphone’s design no longer folds flat like previous generations, a design choice that mirrors the likes of the Bose NC 700 and Apple AirPods Max, the reason being to improve noise cancelling performance by reducing the surface area that could cause wind noise.

Testing out the ANC, we did find that the XM5 were more adept at suppressing high frequency sounds than the XM4 although we didn’t find them be quite as good at dealing with voices. That said, the headphones perform an excellent job in a variety of settings, plus with the clear and detailed Transparency Mode you can hear what’s around in crystal clear clarity. 

Features like Speak-to-Chat and Quick Attention mode make it possible to hold conversations while still wearing the headphones, and built-in voice assistance offers convenience for hands-free operation of the headphones. The Adaptive Sound Control builds custom sound profiles based on the locations you frequent most, and there’s 3D sound support with Sony’s 360 Reality Audio

The battery life is 30 hours, and we managed to get through a week without requiring another charge when listening for a few hours a day. Battery life is better than the Bose QuietComfort 45 but the same as the older model despite the new, improved V1 processor that features on this model. Where the processor granted longer battery on the WF-1000XM4, through various reasons that couldn’t be done here. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until the WH-1000XM6 for longer endurance.

Of course, audio quality is the most important aspect here and the XM5 build on the foundation of the XM4 model, with even more texture and depth in the bass frequencies, a richer and more detailed midrange, and slightly more expressive high frequency performance. There are potentially more accurate-sounding headphones like the B&W Px7 S2, but few that are as fun to listen to as the Sony.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WF-1000XM4

Best Sony in-earphones
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Pros

  • Impressively rich sound
  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Compact design
  • IPX4 rating
  • Comprehensive feature set

Cons

  • Beaten by Bose for noise cancellation
  • More expensive than before
  • Call quality suffers in noisy areas

Like the WH-1000XM5, the WF-1000XM4 take on a different look from their predecessor. They’re smaller and more ergonomically-shaped than the WF-1000XM3, offering a more secure and comfortable fit, and the charging case is more pocketable too. 

The XM4 are powered by Sony’s new V1 processing chip that is responsible for its noise cancellation and wireless performance. It ekes out a more efficient performance from the battery, as the XM4 carries the the same battery life as the XM3 with ANC on despite the much smaller charging case. The total battery life is 24 hours, or 36 hours with ANC off. 

The ANC has also seen improvements, though we still found the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds to be more effective. Virtually all the features found on the over-ear models have been transplanted here, with Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-to-Chat, Quick Attention Mode and Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, as well as fast pairing for Android devices and EQ customisation in the Headphone app. 

As far as audio quality goes, the XM4 are the best sounding earbuds we’ve reviewed so far. They’re as versatile as the XM3 in the music genres they can handle, offering a natural and balanced presentation that’s supplied with plenty of energy and subtlety. We found they offered more dynamism, flow and width than the Bowers & Wilkins PI7, and a richer tone the Bose earphones, so if you’re after the best sounding earbuds, we’d recommend this Sony pair.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony Inzone H7

Best Sony gaming headphones
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Pros

  • Immensely comfortable
  • Superb passive noise isolation
  • Detailed audio
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Middling mic performance
  • Fiddly software
  • No option for a wired connection

If you’re in the market for a wireless gaming headset, we suggest you look no further than Sony’s Inzone H7. InZone is a new range of peripherals from Sony, a range made up of three pairs of gaming headsets, with the H7 sitting in the middle. 

The design borrows cues from the WH-1000XM5, with a smooth and clean appearance that also borrows from the aesthetic of the PlayStation 5. At 325g, they’re lighter than the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max and we found them to be very comfortable to wear during our gaming sessions. 

The headphones offer some of the best passive noise isolation we’ve experienced on a gaming headset, blocking out music from a room over and loud neighbours with ease, though anyone after noise cancellation should look at the more expensive H9 model. 

The playback controls are thoughtfully placed on the headphone and compatibility is good as you’re able to connect to a PC or PS5 using Bluetooth or the bundled USB receiver. Unsurprisingly there’s no Xbox Wireless compatibility, nor is there a headphone jack to support wired connections. 

The InZone H7 offered refined and detailed audio with good tonal balance. The soundstage is wide, which makes it possible to pinpoint enemies based on their speech, though we did think the low end could be more tightly defined as it occasionally drowned out more subtle sounds in horror games. 

At $229 / £199, the H7 isn’t among cheaper gaming headsets but the design is comfortable, the sound is detailed and the battery life is great. 

Reviewer: Reese Bithrey
Full Review: Sony Inzone H7

We also considered…

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FAQs

Why don’t the Sony WH-1000XM5 fold anymore?

Sony has taken away the foldable design to improve the noise cancelling performance on its flagship headphones series.

How waterproof are the headphones in this list?

The WF-1000XM4 are water resistant up to IPX4. The other headphones in this list have no IP rating.

What is Sony 360 Reality Audio

Sony 360 Reality Audio is an audio format that places you in the midst of the audio, making it sound more immersive. You can read more about it in our guide.

Comparison specs

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Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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