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Top 10 Best Sony Headphones You Should Buy 2020 Reviews

An industry leader in the world of electronics that needs no introduction, Sony produce as wide a range of headphones as you would imagine. From uber high-end to bargain basement and everything in between, you can’t fail to find a pair of Sony headphones to match your needs. People know they are getting reliable quality when they choose to buy Sony.

With such an overwhelming choice, we thought it would be a good idea to review 10 of the best Sony headphones from right across the price range and design spectrum. Whether superior audio delivery, wireless capabilities, or price are top of your considerations, our list will help find the best Sony headphones for you. We’ll also announce an overall favorite and explain why we like them so much.

So, let’s get into it with a quick guide about what to look out for when buying Sony Headphones.

Buying Considerations

Audio Quality

How important is sound quality to you, and what level of audio performance do you require from your headphones. Are you a committed audiophile looking for cutting edge balance and bull bodied range, or do you just want some music in your ears and aren’t bothered about quality.

Critical music lovers who favor vocal and instrument driven sounds would be advised to spend a little more. The good news is that even at the lower end, Sony delivers headphones that sound great for the money, and at the high end, you’ll be adrift in audio heaven.

Best Sony Headphones

What Will You Be Using The Headphones For?

What will their primary function be, and what kind of environment will you mainly be using them in? Do they need to be suitable for exercise, commutes, office, or simple home use? Will you be using them for phone calls too?

Durability

You don’t want to be replacing headphones every year. Look for a pair that will last the test of time. This is particularly important if you’ll be using your headphones outdoors or whilst exercising. Durability and build quality tend to increase with price.

Noise Cancellation

How important is noise cancellation to you? Traveling a lot, or living and working in loud environments, then go for headphones with good noise cancellation capabilities. Listening by yourself in quiet surroundings, then this won’t be an issue for you.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Do you need the convenience provided by wireless headphones, or are wired headphones good enough? Bear in mind, even with improvements in wireless technology, wired speakers in the same price range nearly always offer higher audio quality.

Without further delay, let’s look at the ten contenders for Best Sony Headphones.

Best Sony Headphones Comparison Table

NameComfortExtra

Features
Build

Quality
Audio

Quality
Comfort
4
Extra

Features
5
Build

Quality
4
Audio

Quality
4
Comfort
5
Extra

Features
3
Build

Quality
5
Audio

Quality
5
Comfort
5
Extra

Features
5
Build

Quality
5
Audio

Quality
5
Comfort
3
Extra

Features
4
Build

Quality
3
Audio

Quality
3
Comfort
4
Extra

Features
4
Build

Quality
4
Audio

Quality
4
Comfort
2
Extra

Features
1
Build

Quality
2
Audio

Quality
2
Comfort
3
Extra

Features
4
Build

Quality
3
Audio

Quality
3
Comfort
3
Extra

Features
1
Build

Quality
3
Audio

Quality
4
Comfort
3
Extra

Features
2
Build

Quality
2
Audio

Quality
2
Comfort
2
Extra

Features
2
Build

Quality
3
Audio

Quality
2

Top 10 Best Sony Headphones In 2020 Reviews

best sony headphones reviews

1 Sony WH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones

First, on the list are these high-end wireless headphones. They really showcase why Sony has developed into the industry leader in over the ear headphones that combine exceptional audio quality and an abundance of features.

The WH1000XM2’s outstanding Active Noise Cancellation technology is on a par with comparable Bose and Sennheiser models and easily the best on this list.

Quick Attention Mode

A nice feature is the Quick Attention Mode, which allows you to lower the volume of the headphones by covering the right earpiece. As soon as you release your hand, the sound returns to its former level. You’d be surprised how often this comes in handy. A solid 30 hours of battery time is another great selling point.

The atmospheric pressure sensor is also unique to this model. It adapts the frequency range of the headphones after a shift in air pressure, which can upset frequency balance. Impressive attention to detail going on here.

A well cushioned headband and ear pads ensure a comfortable experience, even after prolonged use: no vice-like hold here, just a secure fit.

Nicely balanced across the frequencies…

Audiophiles will love the sound signature these headphones deliver. Dynamically broad ranges at low and high frequencies bookend a wonderfully rich and detailed mid-range. While the Bass ranges are weighty whilst never overpowering the overall sound.

Although some may consider the price prohibitive, Sony has sold a ton of these at this price point, so listeners obviously think the price is worth paying. A solid contender for best Sony headphones if Sony hadn’t already released a new, improved generation in this line.


Sony WH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Top-notch audio quality
  • Great noise cancelling tech.
  • Packed with clever features
  • Long battery life.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Wireless capabilities

Cons

  • Expensive, although not necessarily bad value for money.

2 SONY MDR-Z1R WW2 Hi-Res Signature Headphones

Far and away the most expensive entry on our list, the MDR Z1R blows its stablemates out of the water when it comes to the highest Audiophile level sound quality. So it should at almost five times the cost of the next most expensive headphones we’ve featured. These are up there with the best closed-back headphones we’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to.

Completely hand-built in Japan by one man, the moment you pick these up, you know you’re dealing with luxury, finely crafted headphones. Sheepskin ear cups rest against your head wonderfully and should cover ears of any size. Relatively light and extremely comfortable in all aspects, these headphones can be used for hours with zero discomfort.

The best of the best…

No expense has been spared in the research and development department to create the most sophisticated sound signature available in the Sony range. Gorgeous range tonality compliments any kind of music, with literally nothing getting lost in the ether. If you’ve never experienced super high-end headphones before, putting these on will be quite an eye-opener. This is another realm of audio excellence that most of us never experience.

The bar can be raised even higher by matching these gems to a quality headphone amplifier. You risk disappointment with all other headphones after using these for any length of time.

Quality comes at a price…

Only the mega-rich or audio obsessed should consider buying such high spec headphones, but if money is no hindrance, then go ahead and indulge yourself.


SONY MDR-Z1R WW2 Hi-Res Signature Headphones

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Unrivaled audio excellence.
  • Highest grade material construction.
  • Handcrafted build.

Cons

  • Stratospheric price.

3 Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Headphones

The next generation on from the WH1000XM2’s, Sony, has made a number of significant improvements to the previous model. Microphone quality and quantity have been raised, making calls a more satisfying experience.

The already excellent noise cancelling features have also been advanced. Listeners can now leave noise cancelling on when not listening to music, lowering the volume of their surroundings for some peace and quiet. Very useful on long haul flights.

Quick as a flash…

An hour has also been shaved off recharging time, dropping from four to three hours to fully charge. A quick 10-minute charge will give you 5 hours of use. Fantastic for those times you’ve forgotten to place your headphones on charge.

On top of these technical improvements, Sony has also managed to elevate overall audio quality by moving over to analog amplification. All that work has reaped dividends with a level of spaciousness and range eloquence that surpasses the XM2s comfortably.

Comfort levels have also been increased…

With a lighter overall weight and thicker cushioning on the headband, you barely notice any weight on your head at all. The ear-pads have also been widened. Headphones don’t come much more comfortable than this.

Sony has taken the WH1000 range to the next level with the XM3’s. Not only have they improved all departments, but they’ve also knocked almost 20% of the price. Makes a straight choice between the XM3 and the XM2 a no brainer. A real frontrunner for best Sony headphones.


Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Headphones

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Unbeatable sound quality in this price range.
  • Market leader in effective noise cancellation.
  • Long battery life and quick charge ability.
  • Feature rich.
  • Supremely comfortable.
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Relatively expensive.

4 Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Headphones

Dropping down to a mid-range price point, the WH-CH700N’s are just over half the cost of the WH1000XM3’s, but do they bring enough quality to the table?

For general everyday use, these headphones are a great solution. As with most Sony products, the build quality is good. Headband aside, the housings are all dense plastic, which looks like it would be able to survive most drops. The joints where the phones swivel could be a potential point of weakness.

Comfort all the way…

Comfort levels are well catered for with large, well-padded ear cups covering all ear sizes. The headband could do with more padding, but overall, you can wear these for long periods with no problems.

As always, Sony has packed a lot of features in for the price. Equipped with a decent microphone, they handle calls well enough and will connect to Google Assistant or Siri if you like that sort of thing. An impressive 35-hours of battery life will keep these headphones going for as long as you need them.

Active noise cancelling also features but was a little underwhelming when compared with the WH1000XM3. They’re effective to an extent, but in loud city environments, they will let a lot of outside noise in.

A satisfying listen…

Although not capable of sound reproduction on the level of Sony’s top tier models, the CH700N’s have enough panache to satisfy most listeners. They are easy to listen to and offer enough depth and balance across the spectrum to serve most musical genres well — the kind of sound you’d expect from Sony at this mid-price range.

A practical and feature rich set of headphones that won’t blow the budget and because of the fantastic value they offer, ther are a solid challenger for our number one pick for best Sony headphones.


Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Headphones

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Balanced sound ranges.
  • 35-hour battery life.
  • Good value for money.
  • Packed with features.

Cons

  • Noise cancelling not the best.
  • Swivel joints look weak.

5 Sony MDR-1000X/B Wireless Headphones

Heading back up to the higher end of the price range, the MDR-1000X’s are high-quality headphones with excellent noise cancelling capabilities. Although three years old now, Sony’s first attempt at high-quality wireless cans with ANC technology, was a great success. The 2nd and 3rd generation of these headphones has pushed the boundaries even further, making the MDR–1000X somewhat redundant now.

But, there’s a catch…

If they were significantly cheaper than their successor, the WH1000-XM3, then maybe they would make a sensible purchase. They’re actually 20% more expensive. So technically and financially, they make no sense to buy.

Yes, they’re comfortable with a ton of cool features and great sound, but they are outperformed in every department by the XM3. Three years ago, they may have been top of the list but, that’s a long time in the world of wireless audio.


Sony MDR-1000X/B Wireless Headphones

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Great noise canceling.
  • High performing all-rounder.

Cons

  • A cheaper and better successor is available.

6 Sony MDRZX110 Wired Headphones

These are about as cheap as headphones can get, over 100 times cheaper than the top end MDR-Z1R WW2’s! As you can imagine, there is a chasm between the two in terms of quality. But if you want functional simplicity and aren’t too concerned with audio excellence, then these would probably fit the bill

They weigh next to nothing and are initially comfortable. How would they be after prolonged use? I’m not so sure. One AAA battery provides enough power for a marathon 80 hours of use, which is a lot, but we would still prefer a rechargeable battery for convenience and cost.

Good sound quality considering the price…

The audio delivery is perfectly acceptable, given the ridiculously low price. Expectations were suitably low, and we were neither excited nor disappointed by the sound signature. It’s a bass heavy experience that overshadows the higher ranges. Instrument and vocal driven music will suffer on these headphones. They definitely lend themselves more to the bass of EDM and hip-hop.

They have a swivel and fold design for easy storage and, to be honest, have a rather cheap look to them, which is surprising for a Sony product. It is possible to make cheap products that look expensive. Sony hasn’t managed that here.

In summary, if your requirements are basic and money is to tight to mention, then the ZX110’s do exactly what you’d expect of them.


Sony MDRZX110 Wired Headphones

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Headphones don’t come any cheaper.
  • Lightweight design.

Cons

  • No mic for call handling.
  • A very average sound.
  • Don’t look durable.

7 Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Extra Bass Headphones

These low/mid-priced bass-centric headphones are comfortable enough for on-ear headphones. The various parts are well padded, although the material used is of low quality and can feel a bit sweaty on the skin. Still, they don’t grip too tight, and the lightweight design rests well on your head.

Design wise, the WH-XB700’s aren’t the most exciting looking headphones Sony produce. Cheap plastic is the order of the day, and they feel a little fragile when handled.

EDM anyone?

As given away in the name, the XB range is designed for people who prefer a little more punch to their basslines. We can’t help but feel the lower ranges are too over-emphasized, but that’s probably a matter of taste. Vocals and refined instrumental music don’t fare so well, but then I guess these headphones aren’t designed with delicate music in mind.

The companion app has a lot of adjustable sound settings and needs to be played around with before you achieve a more satisfying sound. Bass can be adjusted, and there are a load of pre-set sound options that create quite a wider range of soundscapes.

All-day long and some…

Other decent features include a battery that can provide 30 hours of musical playback and is fully charged again after only four hours. A built-in microphone can handle calls, although, in busy street environments, it may struggle to differentiate between speech and moderate background clutter.

For the cost, these headphones are good value for money that deliver a sound that punches above its price point.


Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Extra Bass Headphones

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Companion app improves audio range.
  • Bass-heads will love it.
  • Thirty hours of continuous use.

Cons

  • No noise isolation.
  • Not good for vocal and instrumental music.
  • Bland aesthetics.

8 Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones

The MDR7506’s are affordable studio style headphones that have been part of the Sony range for many years. Looking for a relatively cheap pair of critical listening headphones for studio or recording purposes, then these might be the cans for you.

They have a very simple over-ear design that might please traditionalists but will probably disappoint those looking for a more contemporary style. Build quality also feels a little cheap. Faux leather provides comfortable cushioning for the headband and ear-cups, although it feels a little rough on the skin and doesn’t look particularly durable. The hinges are a possible weak point in the design.

Crystal clear…

The sound signature is led by a deep, strident bass, complemented by a very clear mid-range and trebles. These headphones will represent all musical genres well whilst not providing the audio excellence of Sony’s more expensive models.

Extra features are thin on the ground. No inline controls or mic, no wireless capabilities or noise cancelling technology, or just about anything else, make these a purely functional rather than a versatile set of headphones. No battery is required as they are passive headphones with no power requirements. Forgetting to recharge will never be an issue.

Great for the studio, not so great for…

Designed purely for studio and critical listening use, they don’t make good headphones for commuting or exercise purposes. They poorly block outside noise interference and are not stable enough to go jogging with. Not really a contender for the best Sony Headphones. A good pair of domestic or studio listening headphones only.


Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Well balanced sound ranges.
  • No battery to recharge.

Cons

  • Cheap feel.
  • Questionable durability.
  • Lack of extra features.

9 Sony MDR-ZX310-L Dynamic Headphones

Back down at the rock bottom end of the price range, the MDR-ZX310 offers a highly portable, no-frills design with audio that doesn’t disappoint when considering the price.

When buying headphones this cheap, you don’t expect high-end build quality or sophisticated audio performance, and that is the case here. The all plastic design looks more expensive than it is, and even though the padding is minimal, they are not uncomfortable to wear. This is mainly because they are so light you hardly notice them. Durability is questionable. You’ll need to be kind to them if you want more than a couple of years of use.

Somewhat lacking…

A one button inline remote means it’s compatible with iPhone and Android products, although that’s about it for any extra features.

Like most cheaper headphones, the audio signature is heavily bass orientated, although without the murkiness that often occurs at this price point. Simply put, bass is what most people like to see emphasized. So for cheap models with more mass appeal, it makes total sense for Sony to focus on that. Mid-ranges don’t have much life to them, rendering vocals rather unexciting and flat.

It might be worth spending a little more…

At this price, it’s very hard to criticize the ZX310’s. They represent excellent value for money and would be great as a pair of backup headphones to be used on the go or for exercise. They would probably win the best budget Sony headphones award. But for an extra $50, you get a giant leap in audio pleasure, which we think is worth the outlay.


Sony MDR-ZX310-L Dynamic Headphones

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Affordable to all.
  • Value for money.
  • Suitable for exercise.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Questionable longevity.
  • Predictably bass heavy sound.
  • No mic.

10 Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds

The XB50AP’s are the only earbuds to make it onto our list of best Sony headphones. Firmly on the low end of the price range, if you prefer in ear listening to over the ear, then these cheap and cheerful buds offer good value for money.

Part of Sony’s Extra Bass range, the audio is predictably focused on providing throbbing lows that overpower the middle and treble ranges. Great if that’s the sound staging you prefer but unsatisfactory if you prefer more subtlety to your listening.

On the plus side…

They block a decent amount of noise if you can get a good fit from the range of silicone tips provided. Comfort is good with the right fit, and they feel stable when moving around.

Build quality appears to be high for the low cost. The driver housings are made from metal, and sturdy rubber, and the cable is tangle free and well protected. Of the cheap products reviewed here, these would probably last the longest.

Basic and functional…

The remote control features a microphone and the ability to play/pause music and answer calls. Annoyingly there’s no volume control or track selection options, but maybe we’re expecting too much at this price.

The most portable of the headphones here, with good noise cancellation, they’re great on commutes rather than private listening.


Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Sturdy construction.
  • Affordable.
  • Noise cancellation effective.
  • Most portable.

Cons

  • Bass overwhelms vocals and instruments.
  • Control options limited.

That wraps up the review section. All that remains to recommend some further reading and find out which headphones have triumphed.

More Options

If you’re still undecided, it may be worth checking out our reviews of the Best Workout Headphones and Earphones, the Best Waterproof Headphones, the Best Bone Conduction Headphones, the Best USB C Headphones, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones currently available.

So, What Are The Best Sony Headphones…

For its abundance of smart features, comfortable fit, and world-class audio quality, we found it impossible to see past Sony’s 3rd generation noise cancelling, wireless…

Not only have they improved every aspect of these high spec performers from the XM2’s, but they’ve also managed to knock $70 off the price. You can’t say fairer than that. Although still relatively expensive, they offer amazing value for money. Audiophiles will love the captivating sound signature and the superb noise cancellation achieved.

For those on a budget, the…

…are a feature rich set of phones with a well-balanced sound available at half the price of the XM3’s.

Unshackled by money, then treat yourself to an awesome pair of…

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