Sonos unveils new Ace Headphones! – 9to5Mac

Sonos has officially announced the Sonos Ace headphones, marking their first foray into the over-ear headphone market. Best known for its wireless home speaker solutions and ecosystem, particularly with Apple products, Sonos aims to bring the same value, quality, and ease of use to their new premium Ace headphones. Sonos customers have long wondered when the company would create its own headset, and it is finally here. We were fortunate enough to get an exclusive first look at these new headphones, and they did not disappoint. Here is everything you need to know!

Sonos Ace specs:

  • Custom 40mm drivers in each earcup
  • Eight microphones for noise cancellation and clear phone calls
  • Supports spatial audio and Dolby Atmos
  • Active Noise Cancellation & Aware mode
  • Lossless Audio over Bluetooth and with a wired USB-C connection
  • Adjustable EQ in the Sonos app
  • Magnetically removable earcup cushions
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life with ANC/Aware modes on
  • Supports fast charging, get 3 hours of listening with a 3-minute charge
  • Bluetooth 5.4
  • Physical and tactile controls
  • 2 different colors: Black & Soft White

The robust spec list that the Sonos Ace bolsters immediately puts it at the top with competitors like the Bose QC Ultra, the Sony WH1000XM5, and the AirPods Max. The feature set, build materials, and Sonos ecosystem integration are what will really set the Ace headphones apart from others in this category.

Defining features

I was lucky enough to get some quick hands-on time with the product, so this is by no means a full review (stay tuned for that early in June). But I wanted to share some of my initial impressions of the Sonos Ace. Three main aspects of the headphones really stood out to me.

Build quality

During my hands-on time, I got a good feel for the size, weight, and material choices made for the Sonos Ace. They struck a great balance between keeping them fairly lightweight and adding some quality materials like stainless steel to make these feel as premium as possible. The Sonos Ace weighs just 312g, which is about 70g lighter than the AirPods Max, and it sits comfortably on your head with its memory foam earcups and headband.

Sonos also decided to use real tactile controls on the earcups so that users can easily interact with the headphones without needing to look at them. I am a big fan of tactile buttons versus touch capacitive buttons. Lastly, they added a modular aspect to these headphones with removable ear cushions for easy replacement when needed.

Sound quality

My initial reaction to the sound coming out of these headphones was one of private immersion. Again, this is after a quick 10-minute demo tailored for the headphones, but nonetheless, it sounded great. The ANC was top-tier, combined with head tracking, making for an epic listening experience. The volume also got plenty loud, which was great for those bass-heavy tracks. I will be sure to listen to a wide range of music, podcasts, and other media to see how far these can be pushed.

One thing I could not test was the microphones for phone calls and Zoom meetings. I want to see how the microphones hold up in different scenarios, like phone calls in a quiet room versus a busy city sidewalk.

Ecosystem features

This is where I think Sonos has a leg up. Sonos has been building up its ecosystem for years with products like the Sonos One, the Arc soundbar, the Move 2, and others. So if you have something like a Sonos Arc, you can take full advantage of features like swapping TV audio from the soundbar to the headphones and a new feature called TrueCinema. We got a demo of TrueCinema, and it was a unique experience. You can pass the audio from your Arc to the Ace, which will mimic a multi-channel home theater setup and do it extremely well.

Combining the Sonos Arc with the Sonos Ace and HDMI eARC will create an amazing home theater setup. I will be able to use my Sonos Ace to listen to my movies in amazing quality without disturbing anyone, and I will also be able to use them with my Xbox, which is also connected to my Arc.

Sonos unveils new Ace Headphones! – 9to5Mac

Other notes

There are some other aspects of the Sonos Ace to consider:

  • There is no official IP rating. I think it would withstand some light rain or sweat but I would not consider these water resistant. I will test them in a gym environment to see if they get warm or snug enough for that scenario.
  • For the TrueCinema experience, it will be available after the launch through an update to the Sonos App. It will roll out with the Sonos Arc first, eventually trickle down Beam Gen 1 & 2 and the Ray.
  • Unlike most Sonos audio products, the Sonos Ace connects via Bluetooth and doesn’t connect via Wi-Fi.
  • Each Sonos Ace has a color-matched flat carrying case, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a 3.5mm jack adapter.

Pricing & availability

The Sonos Ace are available to pre-order from Sonos and Amazon as of today for $449 USD. As I mentioned above, they come in two different color options: Black and Soft White (I personally prefer Soft White). Included in the box, you will get a matching colored flat hard shell carrying case, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. The Sonos Ace will be fully available for purchase on June 5th.

Let us know what you think. Will you be picking up a paid of the new Sonos Ace headphones? Are you a current Sonos customer? What are you most excited about? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our full review when they release!

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