Hands-On With the New Sonos ‘Ace’ Headphones

Sonos today announced the launch of the Sonos Ace, the company’s long-rumored over-ear headphones that are designed to compete with the AirPods Max. We were able to spend some time with the Sonos Ace last week, getting a firsthand look at the design and sound quality.

Compared to the ‌AirPods Max‌, the Sonos Ace headphones are lighter weight and don’t exert as much pressure on the side of the head. Sonos designed the ear cups from a soft memory foam that’s wrapped in vegan leather, and the cups are designed to create a seal around the ears without catching on hair.

The cup material isn’t quite as premium looking as the aluminum of the ‌AirPods Max‌, and the Sonos Ace has a more traditional headband compared to Apple’s version. There’s a subtle logo on the right side of the Ace, and a set of buttons. The main button can be used for changing volume and controlling music playback, while the button underneath swaps between Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Aware Mode. ANC drowns out ambient sound, while Aware Mode allows sounds from the surroundings to come through.

Sonos did a solid job with the ANC, though real world testing is needed to see exactly how the Ace measures up to the ‌AirPods Max‌. Sound quality was also impressive, with support for Dolby Atmos and lossless over Bluetooth or USB-C, as well as spatial audio. TrueCinema, which maps the space around the user for better surround sound, will be implemented later this year. There are two custom-designed 40mm drivers in the Ace, which Sonos says should bring “impeccable precision and clarity,” along with eight beamforming microphones.

There’s some unique integration with other Sonos products. When using the Ace with a TV that has an Arc soundbar, pressing on the button on the Ace will swap the TV’s audio to the headphones instead of the Arc. Sonos plans to bring this to the Sonos Beam and Sonos Ray in the future.

The Ace headphones don’t fold, and Sonos offers them with a travel case for protection. Sonos says that the headphones are able to provide 30 hours of listening time with ANC, which is 10 hours over the ‌AirPods Max‌. A three minute charge provides three hours of battery life.

The Sonos Ace headphones are priced at $449 and are set to launch on June 5, and they come in black and soft white.

Tag: Sonos

This article, “Hands-On With the New Sonos ‘Ace’ Headphones” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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