Sony has established itself as a mainstay in the audio industry, making some of the best wireless headphones, earbuds, and wired over-ear headphones. Sony headphones, in particular, run the gamut from budget-friendly earbuds for the casual commuter to high-end headphones that sound great. No matter what type of headphones you’re looking for, Sony is sure to have what you’re looking for.
1. Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds
Sony is largely responsible for the health of the true wireless ANC headphone market. With the WF-1000XM4, the company has combined performance, ergonomics, and build quality more effectively than ever before.
Compared to its predecessor, the Sony WF-1000XM3, these new wireless earbuds offer enough quality-of-life features that they’re worth the upgrade even though they’re more expensive. What they may lack in aptX support, they make up for in great call quality, great in-app features, and the feeling that you’re buying a pair of classic earbuds.
When listening to Kate Bush’s Lake Tahoe, the WF-1000XM4’s ability to pick out the smallest details or the most fleeting transients and integrate them into the wider picture was evident. “Communication” might seem like a redundant word when it comes to one’s singing voice, but it’s entirely appropriate here: If anything, the WF-1000XM4s are communicative.
That could mean that other true wireless earbuds outperform the Sony WF-1000XM4 in some ways — such as noise cancellation — but no other model offers overall superior quality. Because of this, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are easily the best true wireless earbuds you can buy today.
2. Sony LinkBuds S True Wireless
If you prefer headphones that are more portable and lighter than over-ear headphones, the best Sony earbuds we’ve tested are the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless. They’re the closed siblings of the open-back Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless. While the original LinkBuds had an open design that allowed ambient noise to passively mix with your music, the S model has both ANC and ambient noise modes. It gives you the freedom to hear your surroundings without having to take out your headphones or block out ambient noise when needed. Their ANC systems do a particularly good job of reducing the quiet roar of a bus or airplane engine, as well as ambient noise. They have about 7 hours of continuous battery life, which is pretty good, and they store an extra two full charges in the carrying case, bringing their total battery life to nearly 24 hours.
They sound less bass-heavy than their predecessors, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless, which some users may prefer. Even though they’re missing some hum and hum, they’re still warm without bloated vocals and instruments. Like our top earmuff picks, they work with Sony | The compatible Headphones Connect app offers EQ options to fine-tune the audio to your liking. Although they have high latency on PCs, they have low latency when connected to Android and iOS devices, which is great when you’re watching videos on your phone. They also support Sony’s LDAC codec if you want to hear hi-res audio.
3. Sony WF-1000XM3
Despite being superseded by the newer WF-1000XM4 (above), these true wireless earbuds are still easily comparable to the best Sony in-ears we’ve tested. Since they’re no longer Sony’s latest and greatest earbuds, you’ll find plenty of deals on the WF-1000XM3.
The WF-1000XM3s feature innovative Active Noise Cancellation technology and come with a portable carrying case that doubles as a charger, giving you up to 32 hours of wireless playback time.
The fit is snug and secure so it won’t fall out when riding an escalator. Feature-rich – including subtle touch controls for music playback and volume – they’re vibrant, detailed and musical. Sony’s home run.
5. Sony LinkBuds S
Unlike the “open” LinkBuds, the LinkBuds S are traditional sound-isolating earbuds with spikes that fit into the ear. They’re more compact and lighter than Sony’s flagship WF-1000M4, and also feature Sony’s V1 processor. While their sound and noise cancellation don’t quite match the WF-1000XM4’s, they’re close and cost less. They’re Sony’s headphones for those who can live with larger headphones like the WF-1000XM4 but want 80-85% of the power and performance of those headphones for less money.
4. Sony MDR-7506
The best Sony studio headset we’ve tested is the Sony MDR-7506. Unlike the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless, these over-ear headphones aren’t designed for casual use or everyday listening on the bus or at the office. However, they have been around for years and have become the standard for mixing and recording due to their balanced sound. The vocals and lead instruments in the mix are clear, precise, and detailed. They also provide consistent audio after reset and come with adapters so you can connect directly to an amp or mixer. They’re also good for things like recording podcasts because they don’t lose much audio.
They’re comfortable and lightweight, making them ideal for long days in the studio. They also fold down to save space if you decide to toss them in your bag. However, the build quality feels a little cheap, which means there’s more potential for wear and tear depending on how often you carry it. The coiled audio cable isn’t detachable, which is a little inconvenient, but it’s four feet long, giving you more room if you want to move around.