The Sonos Ace: Elevating the Game in High-End Headphones

Sonos, a company that has long enjoyed a devoted following for its home audio solutions, has made a radical turn. The Sonos Ace enters an increasingly crowded space of premium headphones and offers an alternative that might convince both hi-fi aficionados and casual listeners alike. This is an article exploring what makes the Sonos Ace more than just another pair of noise cancelling headphones.

SONOS: The New Contender in Supreme Audio

Fewer have been on about ‘personal audio’ as a singular experience; rather, discussions of the upper echelons of headphones have featured the same suspects for years: Bose and Sony, Sennheiser and Apple, JBL … but hardly Sonos. Responsible for producing some of the best speakers and soundbars in the business that can make your home a place to recapture the immersive benefits of good old-fashioned communal listening, Sonos has finally dipped its toes into the world of personal audio, with the Ace, its first pair of headphones. But just how much of Sonos’s celebrated home audio smarts has filtered down to the intimate, wearable realm?

First Impressions: Style Meets Substance

As soon as you take it out of the box, its stylish design and build quality make a statement. The Ace is finished in premium vegan leather and comes in two tones – soft white or classic black. It resembles a chic product from Apple, and – one could say the same of the infamous AirPods Max – it’s comfortable to wear too. A memory foam earcup and headband ensure that the Ace is nice to use for extended listening sessions, which is a relief on long-haul flights.

Sound Quality: Setting a New Benchmark

On the sonic side, the Sonos Ace plays on a level rarely heard in the wireless headphone universe, where prevailing protocol typically involves a tradeoff between clarity, detail and weight of tone to create a signature sound that emphasises warmth and prominence. But here, with a sound profile that combines clarity, detail and balance, it blurs the boundaries of what’s possible from premium headphones, delivering a soundstage that’s spacious and luminous. Whether you are listening to classical music, where the subtle overtones in the higher ranges are given their due or hip-hop with the deep bass punches having a spacious complexity unto themselves, the Ace’s authority is impressive to say the least. User-tweakable settings made through the Sonos app allow for further fine-tuning, but the basic configuration is enough to be definitive.

Smart Features: A Nod to Innovation

These are some of the qualities – comfort, incredible sound and extra features – that premium headphones are supposed to bring, but in which they frequently fail. Sonos’s ANC is good, but it’s the transparency mode – where ambient sounds reach you through the headphones, without removing them – that impresses. There is also, if you have a Sonos Arc soundbar, TV Audio Swap, which you use to move the audio off the TV and on to the headphones as you continue to watch your programmes at night without waking up your partner/children/parents.

The Verdict: A Bold Entrance With Room to Grow

Priced at $699, the Sonos Ace is expensive but not unjustified, given its excellent sound, ergonomics, build quality and design. It does have some room for improvement, especially in ANC, but the Sonos Ace is a solid debut for a brand in a totally new space and it’s a headset that Sonos fans or those who love the brand’s signature sound will gravitate to.

Exploring the World of Sonos

Sonos makes some of the best audio devices for the whole home. From multiroom music solutions to the latest soundbars and headphones, the brand offers amazing sound for every setting. Sonos is dedicated to making experiences incredible for everyone, everywhere, and its smart devices keep you connected to your music, content and loved parents. One of its latest products is the Sonos Ace, a personal audio device that blasts the sound to nearby surroundings so you can’t miss a second while you’re on the go.

Sonos ANC Bluetooth headphones launching 5 June are not just another product, they’re a statement of Sonos venturing further afield, but with the fearlessness that comes from a history of making good things. With the Ace, it knows what it’s capable of and so, if more stuff is coming from the firm, more things venturing into the audible unknown, then noise, you know what to expect.

Jun 06, 2024
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