The 6 Best Sony Headphones on Earth Today

grey Sony WH-1000XM4 on a dark background

The 6 Best Sony Headphones on Earth Today

Key Points

  • Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Sony Headphone is the Sony WH-1000XM5. 
  • Sony makes two different types of headphones, over-ear and in-ear models. 
  • Every Sony headphone on this list offers noise cancelation and the ability to make phone calls. 

As one of the most well-known names in the entire audio space, you know that any search for the best headphones will inevitably include a Sony product.

While not every model has been a smash hit, Sony has a lengthy reputation for delivering some of the best headphones and earbuds on the market today. Between good looks, outstanding noise cancelation, and fantastic sound, you can absolutely look to a Sony product for your next headphone choice. 

Let’s take a look at the six best Sony headphones you can buy today. 

#1 Best Overall: Sony WH-1000XM5

Best Overall
Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Black
  • 2-year warranty
  • 2022 model
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When it comes to the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, they are not just Sony’s best headphone product, but arguably the best headphone model you can buy from any company today.  

The biggest highlight of the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones is just how amazing they sound. Supported by a newly-developed driver better known as DSEE, the XM5 delivers an audio experience that completely immerses you.

When you combine the driver with 8 separate microphones controlled by 2 processors, you get a noise-canceling experience that is second to none. Working together, these two features automatically optimize the audio playback based on your listening environment. 

Another major plus for the Sony WH-1000XM5 is 30 hours of battery life, which works great for listening to music or when using these headphones for their crystal-clear hands-free calling. Best of all, you can recharge these headphones for up to 3 hours of extra use with only 3 minutes of charging. 

Thankfully, the WH-1000XM5s are as comfortable to wear as they are to listen to with soft-fit leather that avoids putting direct pressure on your ears. This is good news for anyone who wears these all day, especially when you consider they can connect to two devices at once. Check out the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones on Amazon.

Best overall headphones on the marketOnly provides up to 30 hours of battery life
Incredible noise cancelation experience

Best Runner-Up: Sony WF-1000XM4

Best Runner-Up
Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbud Headphones
  • Renewed product
  • Noise-canceling wireless earbuds
  • Alexa built-in
  • Silver
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12/03/2023 10:35 am GMT

For anyone who wants to go the earbud route instead of more traditional headphones, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are the best earbuds Sony has to offer. 

Available in either black or white, the Sony WF-1000XM4 has a longstanding reputation as the industry leader in earbud noise cancelation. Sony’s development of its Integrated Processor V1 hardware directly into the earbuds has helped block out noises for millions of owners around the world. With the outside world blocked out, you can really begin to enjoy the outstanding audio quality the Sony WF-1000XM4s can deliver. 

These earbud headphones are not just for music either as the inclusion of beamforming microphones and a bone-conduction sensor make for excellent call quality. Noisy environments are no match for ambient noise cancelation, so rest assured these headphones are great for video calls as well. 

One big bonus with these earbuds is the speak-to-chat technology, which ensures the headphones will automatically lower the volume as soon as you start talking. With 8 hours of battery life, you can do plenty of talking, so this technology is a must-have well into the future. Check out the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds on Amazon.

Arguably the best earbuds availableNeeds stronger protection against water
Fantastic noise cancelation Speak-to-chat is hit or miss

Best Value: Sony WH-720N

Best Value
Sony WH-CH720N Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones
  • Renewed product
  • Over-the-ear wireless headset
  • With microphone and Bluetooth
  • Noise-canceling
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12/03/2023 10:30 am GMT

The range of headphones that qualify as being value-friendly is very large, so the Sony WH-CH720N has to stand out in a big way. 

As soon as you put the CH-720Ns on your head, you will immediately notice just how lightweight they are. In fact, Sony considers these headphones to be its lightest pair of noise-canceling headphones ever.

Because of their weight, the 720N is ultra comfortable with a slimmer headband and more space around the ears. The good news is that being lightweight and comfortable are not the only reasons to look at this headphone option. 

As attention turns to the features of the CH-720N, you can rest assured they deliver up to 35 hours of battery life. If you need a little extra battery life, you can get another 60 minutes of listening with only 3 more minutes of charging. When you are listening to music, you can choose between 20 different settings. There is a setting perfect for sitting in a coffee shop or when you are on public transport, all of which help block out the right amount of noise. 

Last but not least, you can also use both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa through these headphones ensuring full voice command functionality. Check out the Sony WH-CH720N headphones on Amazon.

Very lightweight for extra comfort20 different audio settings can be confusing
Up to 35 hours of battery lifeBackground noise can get through on phone calls

Best Budget-Friendly: Sony CH-520

Best Budget-Friendly
Sony WH-CH520 Wireless Headphones
  • Wireless headphones
  • Bluetooth
  • Over-the-ear headset
  • With microphone
  • Blue
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Choosing the right headphone in the budget-friendly category can be a challenge with so many options, but the Sony CH-520 headphones stand out from the pack. 

Helping the CH-520 headphones stand out is their whopping 50 hours of battery life. Should you ever find yourself running low, a 3-minute charge is all it takes to give you an additional 1.5 hours of music. Speaking of music, Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) helps the CH-520 headphones sound far better than most budget-friendly headphones.

When connected to the Sony Headphones Connect smartphone app, you can also adjust any number of EQ settings to find the perfect audio sound for you. 

Beyond listening to music, you can also take calls with the CH-520 headphones thanks to the built-in microphone and stand-out noise-cancelation feature at this price range. With a pair of Sony CH-520 headphones on your head, you won’t have any problems hearing the other caller even in a noisy environment. Add in advanced Bluetooth technology and you can use the CH-520 headphones with two devices at a time, like a computer for video calls and a phone for music. Check out the Sony CH-520 headphones on Amazon.

50 hours of battery lifeRequires smartphone app for EQ adjustments
Available in three colorsPhone calls are not as good as on more expensive headphones

Best Small Earbuds: Sony LinkBuds S

Best Small Earbuds
Sony LinkBuds S Wireless Earbuds
  • Feature Sony's Smart Sound that learns your habits and then adjusts your sound automatically
  • Supports Noise Cancellation
  • Includes the V1 Processor for the most immersive sound
  • Can connect to 2 different devices at the same time
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12/02/2023 12:30 pm GMT

For anyone who wants the absolute smallest earbud headphones they can find in the Sony lineup, the Sony LinkBuds S is a terrific choice. 

Ultra small and very lightweight, it’s almost easy to forget you are wearing the Sony LinkBuds S if you are not listening to anything for a few moments. It’s also really easy to keep the LinkBuds in your ears thanks to their “never off” functionality. This feature helps the LinkBuds S bounce between strong noise canceling or allowing low levels of ambient noise through so you are aware of your surroundings.

With the inclusion of the Integrated Processor V1, the LinkBuds S have the best noise-canceling technology that Sony has to offer. 

No matter what you are listening to while wearing them, you can expect right around 6 hours of battery life on a single charge. This number jumps to 20 hours of use with the charging case, which can also give you an extra 60 minutes of playback after 5 minutes of charging. 

Sony has also added its Auto Play feature to the LinkBuds S, which will automatically start playing music as soon as the headphones are placed in your ear. Check out the Sony LinkBuds S on Amazon.

Super small sizeTough comparison with Sony WF-1000XM4
Compatible with iOS and Android6 hours of battery life is on the low end

Best Mid-Range: Sony WH-1000XM4

Best Mid-Range
Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones
  • Renewed product
  • Noise-canceling
  • Over-the-ear headset
  • Wireless
  • Black
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12/03/2023 10:31 am GMT

If you are on the hunt for Sony’s best mid-range headphones, the WH-1000XM4 is the best choice available today. 

Even if this headphone isn’t quite as capable as its successor, the Sony WH-1000XM5, they still provide industry-leading noise-canceling technology. Through dual noise sensor technology, the WH-1000XM4 headphones eliminate ambient noise from getting through. Sony calls it the Noise Canceling Processor QN1 and it works wonders on this headphone pair. 

Thankfully, noise canceling isn’t the only highlight as hands-free calling also shines courtesy of five built-in microphones. As is the case with many Sony headphones, the XM4 also includes Sony’s speak-to-chat technology so that sound can come in when the headphones detect you are speaking. 

If you are worried an older Sony model might not offer strong audio quality, you’d be wrong as the XM4 delivers an excellent audio experience. Dual 40-mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymers offer a full range of frequencies for balanced highs, mids, and lows. The audio also adapts to your environment and creates what Sony calls a “personalized listening experience” in order to deliver the best possible sound at all times. Check out the WH-1000XM4 on Amazon.

Still provides terrific audioOne generation out of date
Up to 30 hours of battery lifeOnly includes support for Amazon Alexa (not Google Assistant) 
Sony WH-1000XM5 Vs. Jabra Evolve2 75
Sony’s over-the-ear headphones are considered some of the best headphones around for noise cancelation.

©Hopix Art/Shutterstock.com

What to Know Before Buying Sony Headphones

Before you make any Sony headphones purchase, you need to answer a very important question. This question is actually very easy but it asks you to choose between headphones that go over the ear or in your ear (earbuds). Deciding which of these two styles is right for you is going to have a heavy influence on which Sony headphone model you want to purchase. 

If you want a headphone that is perfect for the gym, you should start by looking at an in-ear earbud like the Sony WF-1000XM4. Should you want a headphone that is good for commuting or blocking out noise while at work, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is undoubtedly the best way to go. 

As many of Sony’s best headphones, especially those on this list, all offer some level of noise-canceling and the ability to make phone calls, the biggest decision is around comfort and cost. If you go with a higher-end model, you are going to get the latest technology for noise cancelation. Should comfort be your primary choice, you may not need to spend as much as the best value Sony CH-720N is the lightest headset Sony carries and it doesn’t cost a fortune. 

Using a Sony Headphone: What It’s Like

No matter which Sony headphones you end up with, you can rest assured that you are getting some of the best technology available. Whether you pick up a pair of the most expensive or a more budget-friendly option, Sony has been leading the industry for the last few years with its advanced technologies. 

Sony’s headphones provide a more balanced sound than many of their competitors and their built-in microphones help make phone calls sound great. The combination of these two features has helped Sony hit the top of many “best headphones” lists for the last few years running. 

As the company continues to develop products that are well-rounded without costing an absolute fortune, there is every reason to believe a Sony product is going to be your next headphone purchase.

Summary Table

Headphone ModelKey FeaturesDrawbacks
Sony WH-1000XM5Amazing sound quality, 30 hours of battery life, comfortable to wear, can connect to two devices at onceOnly provides up to 30 hours of battery life
Sony WF-1000XM4Industry leader in earbud noise cancelation, excellent call quality, speak-to-chat technology, 8 hours of battery lifeNeeds stronger protection against water, speak-to-chat is hit or miss
Sony WH-720NLightweight, comfortable, 35 hours of battery life, 20 different audio settings, compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa20 different audio settings can be confusing, background noise can get through on phone calls
Sony CH-52050 hours of battery life, good sound quality, built-in microphone, advanced Bluetooth technologyRequires smartphone app for EQ adjustments, phone calls are not as good as on more expensive headphones
Sony LinkBuds SSmall size, compatible with iOS and Android, best noise-canceling technology, 6 hours of battery life, Auto Play featureTough comparison with Sony WF-1000XM4, 6 hours of battery life is on the low end
Sony WH-1000XM4Industry-leading noise-canceling technology, hands-free calling, excellent audio experience, up to 30 hours of battery lifeOne generation out of date, only includes support for Amazon Alexa (not Google Assistant)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the absolute best headphone Sony makes today?

As of July 2023, the best headphone Sony makes is the Sony WH-1000XM5. 

Should you go with over-the-ear or in-ear Sony headphones?

This is very subjective as many people find both model types comfortable, so it’s really up to the individual. 

What is the minimum battery life you want for a pair of over-the-ear Sony headphones?

For an over-the-ear pair of headphones, the minimum battery life should be no less than 30 hours. 

Do all Sony headphones offer some level of noise cancelation?

Yes! Noise-cancelation is available across Sony’s headphone lineup. 

Can you use Sony’s headphones to make phone calls?

Absolutely! Every Sony headphone on this list has the ability to make phone calls all while blocking out ambient noises. 

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