The Sonos Ace are the brand's first pair of over-ear headphones

Sonos Ace headphones in black and soft white.
(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Sonos is launching its first-ever pair of headphones with Ace, Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones designed to fit in its wider ecosystem.
  • The Sonos Ace has active noise cancelation (ANC), supports hi-res audio, and features a battery life of up to 30 hours.
  • They are compatible with Dolby Atmos, include head tracking, and can integrate with select Sonos soundbars to listen to TV audio through the Ace.

It only took two decades, but Sonos has finally branched out from making speakers. The Sonos Ace is the brand's first-ever pair of headphones, engineered in-house with its trademark penchant for resonant sound. Now, you'll be able to bring that sound into any room.

The Sonos Ace will ship in black or soft white, mirroring Sonos' more recent color choices with its Era speakers. In a unique design trait, the ear cups are removable, making them easier to clean or swap out for new colors or replacements.

Sonos Ace ear cups are removable.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

These are Bluetooth wireless headphones but also offer wired playback through the lone USB-C port. Two cables — one a USB-C-to-USB-C, the other a USB-C-to-3.5mm — will come in the box to accommodate a wide range of playback devices when you want to go wired or prefer to listen to hi-res tunes at the highest quality.

Sonos is also throwing a bone at those wanting wireless hi-res playback by supporting Qualcomm's Snapdragon Sound through its aptX Lossless Bluetooth codec. With the right device and content source (think Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music, or Apple Music), you can get higher bit rates. It marks the first time Sonos is supporting any hi-res Bluetooth codec, as previous Sonos speakers like the Move, Move 2, and Roam haven't done the same.

There are 40mm dynamic drivers and four microphones arrayed on each cup, the latter to help deliver effective active noise cancelation (ANC) and a clearer Aware mode. Sonos says they're beamforming mics that will muffle background noise and ensure voices are clearer during phone calls as well. Built-in wear sensors will detect if you remove the headphones and auto-pause playback until you put the headset back on.

Trying on the Sonos Ace headphones.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

Swappable cups also explain why the Ace doesn't have any touch-based controls. A button on the right cup toggles between ANC and Aware mode. Holding it down awakens your phone's voice assistant. The Content Key slider button controls volume, playback, and phone calls.

The Sonos app isn't required to set up the Ace, though you will need it if you want to adjust the basic EQ (bass, treble, loudness) and connect to compatible Sonos speakers. 

At launch, the Ace will integrate with the Sonos Arc first, so you can swap TV audio from the soundbar to your headphones for more private listening. After setting it up in the app, you can hold down the Content Key to switch between them. This ad hoc connection happens over Wi-Fi without having to manually connect the Ace to a Wi-Fi network because the headphones piggyback onto the Arc's existing connection. 

Sonos says it will soon expand compatibility to its other current soundbars, like the Beam, Beam 2, and Ray.

Sonos app showing Ace headphones swap with Sonos Arc.

(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

The Sonos Ace comes with Dolby Atmos support and can stream spatial audio content from supported services, including head tracking, wherever available. Later in 2024, it'll add "TrueCinema," new tech that will map the space around you and create a virtual surround sound system meant to emulate the room you're in. This is slightly different from how Sonos' Trueplay adjusts sound by measuring a room's acoustics. It uses Ace's microphones to complete the virtual map and is specifically aimed at spatial audio.

Sonos will include a felt case made of 75% recycled plastic water bottles to fit the Ace (and all cables) inside snugly. Battery life is rated at 30 hours per charge with ANC on for audio playback, though Sonos didn't quantify how much it drops when using it in a home theater setting connected to a soundbar. A quick three-minute charge with the USB-C cable delivers up to three hours of playback.

They'll come at a premium for $449 and will be available for pre-order from Sonos starting May 21, with general availability on June 5.

Ted Kritsonis
Contributor, Audio Reviewer

Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.