Hands-On With the New Sonos 'Ace' Headphones

Sonos today announced the launch of the Sonos Ace, the company's long-rumored over-ear headphones that are designed to compete with the AirPods Max. We were able to spend some time with the Sonos Ace last week, getting a firsthand look at the design and sound quality.


Compared to the ‌AirPods Max‌, the Sonos Ace headphones are lighter weight and don't exert as much pressure on the side of the head. Sonos designed the ear cups from a soft memory foam that's wrapped in vegan leather, and the cups are designed to create a seal around the ears without catching on hair.

The cup material isn't quite as premium looking as the aluminum of the ‌AirPods Max‌, and the Sonos Ace has a more traditional headband compared to Apple's version. There's a subtle logo on the right side of the Ace, and a set of buttons. The main button can be used for changing volume and controlling music playback, while the button underneath swaps between Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Aware Mode. ANC drowns out ambient sound, while Aware Mode allows sounds from the surroundings to come through.

Sonos did a solid job with the ANC, though real world testing is needed to see exactly how the Ace measures up to the ‌AirPods Max‌. Sound quality was also impressive, with support for Dolby Atmos and lossless over Bluetooth or USB-C, as well as spatial audio. TrueCinema, which maps the space around the user for better surround sound, will be implemented later this year. There are two custom-designed 40mm drivers in the Ace, which Sonos says should bring "impeccable precision and clarity," along with eight beamforming microphones.

There's some unique integration with other Sonos products. When using the Ace with a TV that has an Arc soundbar, pressing on the button on the Ace will swap the TV's audio to the headphones instead of the Arc. Sonos plans to bring this to the Sonos Beam and Sonos Ray in the future.

The Ace headphones don't fold, and Sonos offers them with a travel case for protection. Sonos says that the headphones are able to provide 30 hours of listening time with ANC, which is 10 hours over the ‌AirPods Max‌. A three minute charge provides three hours of battery life.

The Sonos Ace headphones are priced at $449 and are set to launch on June 5, and they come in black and soft white.

Tag: Sonos

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Top Rated Comments

hansmoleman Avatar
5 weeks ago

Sorry, but no more SONOS products for me since the disaster of the actual SONOS App update with lots of errors and missing functions.
Are there things missing? Sure, absolutely, 100%.

But I don't exactly think they're folding up shop and saying "too bad, this is all you get."

Obviously it's a work in progress.

They cut over too soon to the new app -- no question there. But I suspect it has to do with the Ace launch -- they couldn't get Ace out the door with the old app, but the new app wasn't 100% finished yet.

So they made a call to get Ace moving, and now will finish the missing features.

A few months from now - probably not even - we'll have alarms back, and wifi reconfig and all the things missing from the app.

But so many folks are throwing the baby out with the bathwater (so to speak) -- I don't understand the overreaction. Perfectly understand being upset, but the reactions I'm reading seems just overdramatic. It'll all be fixed shortly.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
satchmo Avatar
5 weeks ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2024/05/21/hands-on-sonos-ace-headphones/')


The cup material isn't quite as premium looking as the aluminum of the AirPods Max, and the Sonos Ace has a more traditional headband compared to Apple's version.


Aluminium does not equal premium.

IMO, this Sonos looks more premium (and better) looking than the AirPods Max. Instead of bulbous aluminum cups, we have a more nuanced and tapered design in the Sonos Ace.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coachgq Avatar
5 weeks ago
Finally. Now we can expect the AirPods Max with USBC to be released soon.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iamdmann Avatar
5 weeks ago
"vegan leather" sigh (not that this is unique to this post/product/etc by any means).
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hansmoleman Avatar
5 weeks ago

Are you serious? Who removes BASIC features from an app and therefore the system and says "it took courage" and we will gradually add some basic features I. Over the next few months (MONTHS) and until then most of your system is unusable....what a joke of a company
So the alarms are missing - BFD. The phone you're using to control the system has an alarm app. Solid workaround until they come back.

It's not perfect for sure -- but the music still flows and that's the key ... what feature is missing that makes you say your system is unusable? I know of the alarms, and the wifi reconfiguration stuff -- but what else?

Listening to my system right now so I can't say it's unusable ...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
knightsabre7 Avatar
5 weeks ago

So the alarms are missing - BFD. The phone you're using to control the system has an alarm app. Solid workaround until they come back.

It's not perfect for sure -- but the music still flows and that's the key ... what feature is missing that makes you say your system is unusable? I know of the alarms, and the wifi reconfiguration stuff -- but what else?

Listening to my system right now so I can't say it's unusable ...
Alarms are back in the recent update. Timer is still missing, but it's on the list.

Once you figure out the new app layout, it's not bad.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)