Best Sony headphones 2022, premium headphones, Bluetooth Sony headphones for all budgets

We rank the best Sony headphones for work and play, ranging from high-end noise-cancelling models to low-cost Sony earbuds.

Best Sony headphones 2022, premium headphones, Bluetooth Sony headphones for all budgets
Best Sony headphones 2022

The best Sony headphones are those that are appropriate for your lifestyle. Sony is now famous for its true wireless headphone and active noise-cancelling capabilities – though studio professionals will tell you that the company still has a strong presence there, not just in commuters' ears.

Despite the high quality of the best Sony headphones, you don't have to break the bank to get a good deal. If you don't want to spend a fortune, you can still get a great pair of earbuds for the gym, over-ear earbuds for long journeys, or even earbuds with a hole over your ear canal for the opposite of noise cancelling.

Of course, you can spend more money on excellent premium Sony headphones. Sony is the cream of the ANC crop in both our best wireless earbuds and best noise cancelling headphones, successfully edging out Bose for the top spot. It's just that Sony manufactures a large number of the models on our list of the best cheap headphones and best cheap wireless earbuds – there's something for everyone.

We've broken down the best Sony headphones available right now at various price points, and the best prices for each will always be listed in our constantly updated widgets. Plus, if you're looking for the best deals, don't miss our best cheap noise cancelling headphones deals page, where we keep track of all the best deals.

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BEST SONY HEADPHONES 2022: THE LIST

1. SONY WH-1000XM4

The best Sony headphones. Period

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 30hrs
Wired option: Yes
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 World-class noise cancellation 
+
 Detailed audio 
+
Great comfort and battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
 No aptX or aptX HD  

Let's face it: at T3, we've run out of compliments for the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones. Sony's exceptional cans not only received five stars and a T3 Platinum Award, but they also took home the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones award at the T3 Awards 2021.

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But why is that? Sony has taken everything that was good about the already excellent WH-1000XM3s and made an even better pair of headphones. The build quality is luxurious, the audio is exceptional – we even went so far as to say it "SLAYS" in our Sony WH-1000XM4 review – and the active noise-cancelling is the best on the market.

There's also a nice set of extra features, such as speak-to-chat, which means the headphones will learn your voice and know when you order a coffee or meet someone on the street and will pause. In addition, there's now a built-in proximity sensor that detects when you take your headphones off.

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2. SONY WF-1000XM4

The best Sony wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 8hrs (buds); 24hrs (case included)
Wired option: No
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 Expressive audio 
+
 Great app 
+
 Call quality is brilliant 
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
Battery life could be improved

It's almost unfair that Sony now has the best over-ear headphones as well as true wireless earbuds. If you want something more subtle than a headband but don't want to give up a slew of cool extra features, great audio quality, or ANC, the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds are the way to go.

Another T3 Platinum Award winner, these buds offer excellent audio quality as well as speak-to-chat functionality and intuitive touch controls that can be customised via a connected app. And the call quality is second to none. Your voice will always be heard thanks to a combination of mics and bone conduction, and there's a handy auto muting function on the feed-forward mics when there's wind noise.

As we mentioned in our Sony WF-1000XM4 review, you can pay more and get slightly better audio from other more expensive options, but the overall package here means these are the fashionable buds to beat.

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3. SONY WF-C500

The best cheap Sony wireless earbuds

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 10hrs (buds); 20hrs (case included)
Wired option: No
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 Brilliant sound quality 
+
 Manual EQ 
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
 No ANC 
                                                                         -
 Battery life only average 

Pay attention to the Sony WF-C500 if you're looking for a pair of true wireless buds that sound great without costing hundreds of dollars. These don't have active noise cancellation, but they make up for it with impressive audio. They're priced well below £100/$100.

They "sound surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pair of wireless earbuds – they are balanced with a wide soundstage, tonnes of detail, and plenty of energy," as we say in our Sony WF-C500 review.

A snug fit for noise isolation means that ANC isn't as important as it could be, and it can sometimes be much more appealing to hear what's going on around you, as with Apple's AirPods. The connected app has a plethora of EQ settings to experiment with, and the call quality is loud and clear for those all-important on-the-go meetings.

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4. SONY WH-1000XM3

The best Sony headphones for premium features at a medium price

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 30hrs
Wired option: Yes
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 Exceptional active noise cancelling 
+
 Impressive audio 
+
 Intuitive controls 
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
 Not the newest model  

Sony's previous ANC cans may have been supplanted by the Sony WH-1000XM4s, but that doesn't mean they're obsolete. Indeed, the fact that the Sony WH-100XM3 is from a previous generation makes these cans even more affordable at a variety of retailers – they can be found for ridiculously low prices during sales.

These are still five-star T3 Platinum Award-winning headphones with incredible audio and the kind of active noise cancellation that means you don't have to fear red-eye flights.

"Even with no music playing, the moment you put them on, it's like entering another world," we say in our Sony WH-1000XM3 review. When it comes to music, it gets even better with a rich bass performance that isn't overpowering and keen attention to detail.

The controls are touch-based, there's an app for EQ tweaks, and the design and build quality is solid and functional, as is typical of Sony. Upgrade if you can't live without a voice to chat, but the WH-1000XM3 headphones are still fantastic for everyday use.

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5. SONY WH-CH510

The best cheap Sony headphones, and with brilliant battery life

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 35hrs
Wired option: No
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 Excellent battery life 
+
 Strong sound 
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
 Plastic feels budget 

There's something particularly appealing about a pair of fuss-free wireless headphones that don't require constant charging. The Sony WH-CH510 is ultralight and has surprisingly good audio for a £50/$60 price tag, as well as a frankly ridiculous battery life of 35 hours of music or 30 hours of call time.

When it comes to their 30mm drivers, they don't hold back. "They make a decently detailed sound, with pertinent observations to make about the harmonic variances in a tune even as they absolutely launch it towards your ears," we say in our Sony WH-Ch510 review.

The physical buttons are ideal for those who dislike the sometimes unpredictable nature of touch controls, the call quality is good, and there's a dedicated button for when you just need Siri or Google to come to your rescue. Overall, this is an excellent value package.

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6. SONY WH-XB910N

The best Sony headphones with 'extra bass'

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 30hrs
Wired option: Yes
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 30+ hours of battery
+
Energetic sound
+
Fantastic noise-cancelling
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
Not waterproof 
                                                                          -
Made entirely from plastic 

If the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are out of your price range, the Sony WH-XB910N could be a good substitute because the ANC is just as effective and the sound quality is fantastic, but it all comes in a much cheaper package.

Granted, you won't get as many features, and the design is much simpler, but they're not that far apart.

If you like upbeat music, these will be ideal for you because the sound is full of energy and packs a powerful punch. You also have a lot of control thanks to the app's five-band equaliser, and there are a few preset sound modes if you're not as tech-savvy.

You'll rarely need to remember to charge them because the battery lasts a whopping 30 hours with ANC turned on and up to 50 hours with it turned off. Do you want to learn more? Check out the Sony WH-XB910N review.

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7. SONY LINKBUDS WF-L900

The best Sony earbuds for the office

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 6hrs (buds); 18hrs (case included
Wired option: No
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 Light and comfortable 
+
 Great controls 
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
 Call quality not perfect
                                                                         -
 Light on bass  

The majority of earbuds are designed to block out the sounds of everyday life. Manufacturers spend years perfecting the ultimate snug fit from the best materials to make the world vanish. The Sony LinkBuds, on the other hand, are not like that. In fact, they've drilled a hole through your ear canal. But, miraculously, the LinkBuds continue to deliver excellent sound once you get used to actively listening to everything else as well.

"They create a generous soundstage, giving competing elements on it plenty of elbow room to do their individual thing," we write in our Sony LinkBuds WF-1900 review. And they organise it well – even with a full-fledged symphony orchestra, it's not difficult to understand an individual musician's position relative to the others."

The LinkBuds' ability to deliver audio as well as notify you when your coworkers require your attention makes them a truly unique product.

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8. SONY WF-SP800N

The best budget Sony earbuds for the gym

SPECIFICATIONS
Battery life: 9hrs (buds); 18hrs (case included)
Wired option: No
AptX: No
AAC: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+
 Detailed sound 
+
 Great build quality 
REASONS TO AVOID
                                                                          -
 Battery life isn’t great 
                                                                          -
 Chunky 

Spending a fortune on a pair of earbuds to wear to the gym may seem counterintuitive. Why spend hundreds of dollars on something that you're going to sweat all over? The good news is that the Sony WF-SP800N is a reasonably priced option that does not compromise on audio quality.

Another set of T3 Platinum Award-winning buds, these have a chunky design and snug fit to prevent any unfortunate treadmill-meets-electronics mishaps. These earbuds aren't subtle, but they're packed with features, including intuitive touch controls and voice control.

Regardless, the sound is impressive, and as we stated in our Sony WF-SP800N review, "the Sony WF-SP800N aren't perfect, but they get an awful lot right in terms of sound, build quality, and how smoothly they work."

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