In a world dominated by wireless headphones and earbuds like AirPods, is there still a place for wires? The answer is, of course, subjective, but Sony has not yet given up on an audience that prefers to stay old-school and keep using wired headphones. They may be on to something as wired headphones arguably provide better overall sound quality thanks to their use of analog signals. Wired headphones are also slightly less expensive overall and potentially more durable.
That’s not to say wired headphones will ever be as popular again as wireless headphones but there is a definite place for those who still wish to stick with wired headphones. Let’s take a look at the best-wired headphones still in Sony’s lineup.
- Best Overall: Sony MDR1AM2
- Best Earbuds: Sony MDRXB55AP
- Best Budget: Sony ZX Series
- Best Noise-Canceling: Sony ZX110NC
- Best Sound: Sony MDR7506
- Best Professional: Sony DJ Headphones
- Best Premium: Sony MDRZ1R
Best Overall: Sony MDR1AM2
- High-resolution Audio compatible
- Responsive liquid crystal polymer driver for clarity
- Smartphone compatible with in-line remote mic.Cord Length:47-1/4 inch
- Heavyweight bass with beat response control
- Swivel ear cups for portability.In the box: Carrying Pouch, Headphone cable (inline remote and microphone) (approx. 3.94 ft), Balanced-connection headphone cable (approx. 3.94 ft).Connectivity...
With many solid wired options available, it takes something really special to stand out and that’s exactly what the Sony MDR1AM2 does.
Priced similarly to some of the most popular wireless headphones, sound comes alive through the MDR1AM2’s 40mm drivers. These drivers help provide excellent deep lows and high highs across the entire frequency range, no matter your music or podcast choice. That range spans anywhere from 3 Hz to 100khz which won’t mean much to non-audiophiles, but rest assured it helps deliver a fantastic sound.
Speaking of sound, to listen for hours you need to be comfortable with these over-the-ear headphones, and comfortable they are! Pressure-relieving ear pads made of synthetic leather enable you to listen for hours on end without causing any fatigue and they are lightweight on the top of your head as well. Wrapping around the entirety of your ear helps seal in sound canceling out background noise which helps you make better use of the built-in beat response control.
Another main highlight is the wired cord itself which separates left and right sounds instead of sharing a ground wire. The result is less distortion and a far better audio result.
Best Earbuds: Sony MDRXB55AP
- Note : If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headset is not worn properly in your ears, you may not obtain the correct sound qualities or call performance....
- EXTRA BASS for club-like sound
- Inline remote and mic for hands-free calls
- 12mm neodymium driver units
- Powered Bass Duct++ for extra deep bass
Earbuds are far more popular in the wireless variety these days but wired versions can still pack a punch. In the case of the Sony MDRXB55AP, that punch is delivered courtesy of the 12mm compact drivers which are fairly small yet powerful enough to deliver plenty of volume without distorting any audio.
Sony’s proprietary Bass Duct++ ensures you have deep bass in your low-end music which only adds to the idea that these earbuds are best in class among Sony’s lineup.
As far as the “wired” part of these wired earbuds, they offer a tangle-free cable which you never really knew you needed until you have it. The wire also includes an inline remote and mic for hands-free calls. The earbuds themselves are plenty comfortable for long-wearing sessions and come with four sizes of earbuds (SS, small, medium, large) so you can figure out which is most comfortable for you. That they come in a variety of colors including black, blue, and red adds a little bit of personalization which is another nice to have.
Best Budget: Sony ZX Series
- Lightweight 1.38 in neodymium dynamic drivers deliver a punchy, rhythmic response to even the most demanding tracks. Driver Unit: Dome type
- The swiveling earcup design allows easy storage when you’re not using them, and enhances portability when you’re traveling
- Cushioned earpads for total comfort and enfolding closed-back design seals in sound
- The wide frequency range—spanning 12 Hz to 22 kHz—delivers deep bass, rich midrange, and soaring highs
- Plug: L-shaped stereo mini plug 3.5mm
At under $15 a pair,Sony's ZX Series is arguably one of the best budget headphones wired or otherwise on the market today.
Powered by 1.38mm dome drivers, the ZX Series delivers a truly balanced sound for the price within the 12 Hz to 22kHz frequency range. The cushioned earcups are not leather but still remain very comfortable over time, much more so than you might typically see at this price point, which only adds to the argument the ZX Series is well worth a look.
The tangle-free cable is just around three feet in length and while it lacks an inline mic for the price, it’s good at the one thing you need it to and that’s not get twisted around. You can choose to grab Sony's ZX Series in any color you want so long as it’s black, white, or pink, which speaks a little to Sony’s love of personalization with their product lineups.
Best of all, the Sony ZX Series offers a swivel and fold design that lets you easily pack up the headphones when not in use or when they need to go into a bag for travel.
Best Noise-Canceling: Sony ZX110NC
- Integrated noise canceling technology
- Up to 80 hours of battery life
- Lightweight for ultimate music mobility
- Dynamic 1.18 in drivers
- Swivel, folding design
Most of Sony’s emphasis in the noise-canceling headphone space is dedicated to their wireless headsets, and that’s understandable. However, those looking for something with noise canceling without the wireless requirement should look to the Sony ZX110NC for their next purchase.
What really makes these stand out is that Sony claims its signal processing technology can block out ambient noise from the likes of an office, an airplane, or a train by as much as 95%.
To achieve this goal, the headphones require a single AAA battery which helps them get up to 80 hours of noise-canceling playback. If you do not want to use the battery, the headphones still work in passive mode to create some level of noise isolation.
Noise-canceling aside, the ZX110NC headphones offer 30mm drivers which provide a frequency response between the 10Hz and 22kHz range. Aside from music, the headphones offer a tangle-free cord just under four feet in length, which is plenty of room for use while sitting in an office or at the gym. Best of all, these noise-canceling headphones are lightweight enough to comfortably wear for hours on end.
Best Sound: Sony MDR7506
- Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers for powerful, detailed sound
- Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
- 9.8 foot cord ends in gold plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4 inch adapter included
- Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case
- Frequency Response: 10 Hertz to 20 kilohertz
If there’s a consensus around the internet for the Sony MDR7506 headphones, it’s that they should cost a whole lot more than they do.
Priced under $100, these are the types of headphones that professionals can and still wear thanks to a dedicated focus solely on sound and not extra features. Given the “professional” tag as part of their release, they are ideal for both audio engineers and musicians, both of which require a nearly flawless and neutral sound.
What really helps the MDR7506 headphones stand out is the inclusion of the 40mm driver that really works hard to clear up sound. Listening to that sound is boosted by the closed-ear design and while the headphones lack active noise cancelation, the over-the-ear fit does help with blocking out some ambient sounds.
The cord is a whopping 9.8 feet long which is ideal for professionals who need to move around a large workspace. Of course, headphones like these for use in a pro-environment should look sharp and the Sony’s do with a slim profile that doesn’t look as bulky as popular wireless competitors.
Best Professional: Sony DJ Headphones
- 40mm Neodymium Drivers, Closed Design
- Swiveling Ear cups, Single-Sided Cable
- Closed-ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
- 9.8-foot cord ends in gold-plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4-inch adapter included
- These large diaphragm, foldable headphones feature a rugged construction, a secure, highly effective closed-ear design
One of the few wired Sony headphones plastered with “Professional” lettering, the Sony DJ Headphones headphones boast 40mm neodymium drivers that offer strong sound and deeper bass.
These are a staple across the DJ space including use during live performances thanks to their low impedance and closed-ear design that help cut out background noise. There’s no active noise cancellation but that is not a deal breaker as they still provide great sound isolation.
The closed-ear design feels comfortable and they are foldable for easy traveling which is critical for professionals who find themselves frequently on the road. Even with the foldable design, the Sony DJ headphones are well constructed so they feel super sturdy even after frequent use.
A 9.8-foot cord lends itself to professional work, especially for DJs who work in a large studio and need to move left or right as well as a drum kit or an electric guitar. A ¼ adapter is included which works perfectly with DJ equipment so there’s no loss of functionality without the more standard 3.5mm jack.
Best Premium: Sony MDRZ1R
- Hear the difference with massive 70 mm HD drivers, enjoy full range sound up to 120Khz frequency response, hear music at its best with Hi-Res Audio compatibility. Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Keep sound Stable with a resonance-free, all-metal Housing, smooth sound at all frequencies with a Fibonacci-patterned grill, ergonomic Ear pad design
- Beta titanium headband, genuine leather headband, separated ground cable, silver-coated OFC, made in Japan
- Connectivity technology: Wired
If you can stomach the price tag, and it’s a doozy at over $1,700 dollars, the Sony MDRZ1R are some of the best-wired headphones on the market, perhaps ever.
Supported by two 70mm drivers sitting in a magnesium dome and aluminum-coated liquid crystal polymer ring, it just sounds very fancy but they also produce incredible music. Choosing a larger driver allowed Sony to create the kind of audio experience that would be expected at such a high price point.
Even the Fibonacci-patterned grills that make up the outside of the closed-ear earcup look fantastic but also impact the sound in a positive way. That the full range of sound can go up to 120 Khz of range emphasizes just how high-res the Sony MDRZ1R can deliver.
The premium look and feel continue with the beta titanium headband which is overlaid by genuine leather and just feels great to wear for hours at a time. Rest assured that sound will not leak out of these headphones and that your ears will not be worse for wear even after hours of listening. Even the wire uses a special silver-coated copper cable which is designed to reduce signal-transmission loss and enhance treble sounds.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Sony Wired Headphones
When you are looking at the best Sony wired headphones, there are a few different factors that come into play. Before you buy a wired headphone, you need to ask yourself (and there is a good chance you already have) if you are okay with giving up the flexibility of a wireless headphone. Sony has a long legacy of creating great-sounding headphones so you can be sure that no matter which headphones you pick, you are likely to find some of the best sounds at various price points.
On the other hand, you have limited options when it comes to noise-canceling, so you need to make sure you’re okay with giving that up as a feature minus the Sony ZX110NC. Over-the-ear headphones do provide some level of noise isolation so you have passive noise canceling, but that doesn’t work as well as active noise cancelation. Without a wireless connection or any noise cancelation, you also know that you don’t need to worry about battery life, which is a real positive ahead of any purchase.
Lastly, before you buy a Sony wired headphone, you need to know what kind of features you want. For professionals, the Sony DJ headphones or the Sony MDR7506 are the best options, but for the rest of the headphones, they are more general use. It really comes down to style and color choice more so than one wired headphone really offering a significantly different feature set.
Using Sony Wired Headphones: What It’s Like
As is the case with most Sony headphones, using them is a joyous experience as far as audio quality. Sony has more than enough history and experience to deliver rich sound with excellent highs and mids and lows that deliver just the right amount of bass. Of course, how good the sound is often depends on the price as well as the drivers but there’s also a strong consideration of product quality.
Using a Sony headphone is a testament to the understanding that a product should last a long time and Sony does, with or without their traditional two-year warranty. The products, especially the over-the-ear or closed-ear headphones just feel really sturdy and solid on your head. They are not heavy enough to feel as if they will start to fatigue you nor lightweight enough that you feel like they could easily shift if you turn suddenly.