Sonos Ace review: I listened to my favourite album and it was like hearing music for the first time

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But our reviewer had some caveats 🎧
  • Sonos Ace headphones are the best I’ve ever tried.
  • The sound quality and battery life are excellent.
  • But the high price point means they aren’t for everyone.

How good are the Sonos Ace headphones? I won’t beat around the bust - they are the best headphones I’ve ever used and it is not even close. 

I have been lucky enough to be able to try out the first headphone offering from Sonos for the last week and it has been a revelatory experience. During the 2010s, I was one of those people taken in by the Beats hype and found them deeply underwhelming - as well as surprisingly uncomfortable. 

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So I have naturally become weary when it comes to heavily hyped, big name brand headphones. Fool me once, etc, etc. 

But the Sonos Ace headphones shattered all my expectations and completely blew me away. Let’s find out why: 

Look and design 

The pair of Ace headphones I had were in white and the very first thing I noticed when I opened the box was how luxurious they looked. The finish was high quality and made the headphones instantly look like a premium product. 

In the past I’ve had bluetooth headphones that look incredibly bulky but the Ace are very compact and don’t make your head look absolutely massive when you’ve got them on. The classy design just looks incredibly stylish and I felt like a million quid every time I caught myself in the mirror with them on. 

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The headphones are incredibly sturdy but also extremely comfortable. Not once after a longer listening session did I take them off and find my ears feel tender or painful. 

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How good is the sound? 

Simply put it is the best quality sound I’ve experienced with a pair of headphones - over-ear or otherwise. In recent years I’ve become an increasingly avid listener of Latin Trap and Reggaeton music - something I imagine my teen self would be rolling his eyes at if he could hear me say that. 

I mention this because music from these genres is very, very bass heavy - it is the reason I enjoy it so much, the hypnotic thrumming of the beats just activates something in my monkey brain. Which means that often listening to my favourite albums with headphones can end up with a very tinny, metallic sound - it isn’t enough to ruin the experience, but it is noticeable. 

But when I fired up Bad Bunny’s ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’ album - a favourite of mine for a couple of years now - I was completely blown away. It was almost like listening to the music for the first time again, as if I had unlocked an extra special version of the tracks I was so familiar with. 

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I also tried out Knocked Loose’s acclaimed 2024 album ‘You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To’, which I had admired but not quite managed to love so far. It is an aggressive, in your face, challenging work of heavy rock - and experiencing it with such high quality sound truly made it sing. 

It will be hard to go back to my usual headphones after this! I am also a heavy duty podcast listener and found the sound quality to be equally excellent as when listening to music. 

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How easy are the headphones to set up and use? 

The only minor issue I experienced during my time with the Ace came after I unboxed them and tried to set them up. Initially I was unable to get them to pair with the Sonos app, but after a quick factory reset it was all sorted and ready to go. 

All I had to do was find the Sonos headphones on my bluetooth tab in the settings and boom I was away listening to music. The button on the headphones for pausing and unpausing audio was very quick and responsive, but I did find it a bit of a fumble to locate initially before I developed that muscle memory. 

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The noise cancelling is extremely easy to turn on and off and is almost instantaneous after pushing the button. In the past I’ve had AirPods Pro headphones and the noise cancelling would cause this awful sucking sensation that was unpleasant but with the Ace it is barely noticeable and it's only when you switch it off again that you realise how effective it is. 

What is battery life like? 

I have been using the Sonos Ace headphones daily for a week now and aside from initially charging them, I have not had to plug them in again. I will caveat that with not having to commute or go on any long journeys that would see me use the headphones heavily for hours on end, but they have been part of my daily routine and I’ve used them regularly when I need to particularly concentrate at work. 

Sonos has promised that the Ace will have a battery life of over 30 hours - which is more than a full day - and from my experience that doesn’t seem like an exaggeration. Although be warned that while the headphones come with a charging wire, they don’t come with a plug - but the USB-C wire works with all compatible plugs, which you probably have someone in the house.

Who should buy the Sonos Ace? 

The Sonos Ace headphones are truly premium and high quality but that means that they have a price tag to reflect that. At £449 in the UK, listed on Amazon, it is not a price point that will be justifiable for many people. 

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If you are an audiophile and want the best possible experience when rocking to your tunes, then if you are in a position to afford the headphones, they really are worth it from my experience. But if you only use headphones now and then, it might be wiser to consider a more affordable alternative. 

What is the best pair of headphones you’ve ever tried out or owned - we’d love to hear about them. Send your experiences to [email protected]

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