The Sonos Ace Are a Very Good First Attempt at Headphones

The Sonos Ace Are a Very Good First Attempt at Headphones

Sonos released the product we have all been waiting for, and the wait has been worth it, my friends. 

The Sonos Ace headphones were released a few weeks ago and I have been using them non-stop, sorry Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

The U.S. sound company is known for its great speakers, soundbars and sub woofers and now it’s jumping into the wearable audio category. 

We recently called these headphones Sonos’ “worst kept secret”, as all the advertising from Sonos seemed not-so-subtle. I mean what other audio product would we want from Sonos? 

Regardless, these headphones have been hard to pry from my head for a number of reasons. 

First, let’s jump into what I loved about them. 

What I loved about the Sonos Ace?


When it comes to Sonos and sound, they know what they’re doing, if you’re avid readers of Gizmodo, you know that we like Sonos. 

So creating a pair of long-awaited headphones puts teeny tiny bit of pressure on the sound company. 

But luckily, they’ve come through with the goods. 

I tested out the headphones with my usual Carry Me Higher by The Blessed Madonna. The bass is loud and clear, and with the active noise cancelling (ANC) switched on the sound is even more delightful. 

Listening to the Dolby Atmos spatial audio version of Cardigan by Taylor Swift was a spiritual experience. After four years of listening to this song, with these headphones I noticed horns during the pre-chorus. I am a swiftie, we all know this, but how did I not know there were horns in this song?! It is the power of Sonos, I guess. 

Whether I’m listening to music with the ANC on or off, I still get an immersive auditory experience and I am forever grateful for that. 

I also loved the fact I could pull the headphones off and they’d pause the music, a feature a lot of other headphones have, but its good to see they’ve put in little time savers here and there. 

Image: Athina Mallis/Gizmodo Australia

Comfortable AF

These headphones are a joy to wear. One of the major issues I have with over-ear headphones is that after hours of donning them, they begin to hurt my ears. It’s not a jarring pain but it’s a dull ache. 

The cup has been perfectly designed to sit just over my ears so that it doesn’t press on my lobes. 

I also have a lot of piercings which also impacts my over-the-ear headphone experience and normally with my Bose, they give me a princess and the pea situation where I can still feel them regardless of the padding. 

I can wear the Sonos Ace for hours at a time, even a full workday and not have that dull pain. 

The Sonos Ace headphone pads are magnetic and can be replaced for $79, which is absurd, especially when Sonos recommends they be replaced every year or so. 

Turning the ANC off, I can still get a great audio experience, but I need to up the volume a tad to get that spiritual experience I’ve been yearning for. 


The Sonos Ace headphones are sexy AF, I chose the white ones or should I say “off-white”. Speaking to Sonos reps at the launch the design of them was modelled after the Sonos Arc soundbar and also looks very similar to another brand which shall not be named. 

These headphones are some of the better-looking wearable audio pieces out there. Inside the headphone cups, the right cup is a green tinge to help users easily determine which side is which, handy!

They also have three buttons that do everything and no intuitive touching, which is a relief for someone who nearly burst her eardrum by accidentally brushing her hand against her Bose headphones. 

Image: Athina Mallis/Gizmodo Australia

What I Loathed about the Sonos Ace?


You would think with a pair of Bluetooth headphones the one job they could do is connect. For me I would have some issues with connecting to my laptop, my phone could easily connect, but everything else was a struggle. 

My home MacBook Air could connect to them easily, but my work one still refuses to find them. 

Sonos app

We’ve done an extensive feature on this app and how it is the bane of everyone’s existence. And it is, I just want to log on and see the battery quickly or check the EQ levels and it takes ages to load. 

Sonos products are controlled via an app, so if the control centre isn’t working then the products are pretty much null and void. 


The Sonos Ace headphones are $699, I do not like that, I don’t think they are worth that much. But Sonos is an expensive brand, so it makes sense for them to be priced higher than its competitors. Bose’s most expensive headphones are the Quiet Comfort at $649 and the Sony WH-1000XM5 is $549 and these are the elite, S-tier headphones. 

Home theatre mode 

The Sonos Ace can connect to the Sonos Arc for the home theatre mode. But it only works for the Sonos Arc and one pair of headphones can be used at a time. I experienced it during the press day for the Ace headphones and wasn’t that wowed. 

It was a cool feature and the dynamic head tracking was a fun gimmick, I just feel like this feature was trying to one-up its competitors and it didn’t feel complete. Hopefully, an upcoming software update can iron out these issues. 

The carry case with a removable, magnetic cord pouch. Image: Athina Mallis/Gizmodo Australia

One thing that blew me away

Battery life 

These headphones are the headphones that would not die. I kid you not, I used them for two weeks straight, for hours on end and the darn things wouldn’t die. 

I had noise cancelling on, attached to Bluetooth, volume up and the battery would stay strong. 

I tested the big, bold claim Sonos made that three minutes of charging equals three hours of battery life and, yep, they were correct. 

Charging up the headphones took 2 hours, which is par for the course, I’m neither displeased nor pleased with that. 

Verdict: Should you buy the Sonos Ace headphones?

These headphones have the beautiful Sonos sound with a near-perfect noise-cancelling feature. There are still a few kinks Sonos needs to sort out but for the first crack at headphones, Sonos has done a bloody good job. 

Buy the Sonos Ace for $699 at Sonos and JB Hi-Fi

Image: Athina Mallis/Gizmodo Australia

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