Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Which headphone brand?

Sony headphones rated

By Daniel Nissenbaum

Article 6 of 6

Sony is a huge manufacturer, and it has a range of headphones to match its size. Learn more about Sony headphones and whether they’re right for you.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Almost everyone has heard of Sony. A consumer electronics giant, it produces everything from TVs to marine audio systems (handy for those boat parties you’re always having). Somewhere deep within this vast array of products lies Sony’s headphones range, and there are a fair few of them – more than 60 different pairs at the time of writing. Compare this with the Beats range, which numbers less than 10.

As you’d expect with such a large range, the quality does vary. We’ve tested fantastic Best Buy Sony models, awful Don’t Buys that we wouldn’t wish on anyone, and pretty much everything in between. This advice page will guide you through the best models we’ve tested and explain some of the features across the range.

Before you spend your money on a pair of Sony headphones, make sure you’re getting the right pair, with crystal-clear sound and the features you need. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites in the table below.

Which? members can log in to unlock the table and see which Sony headphones we’re talking about, or sign up for a £1 trial and instantly access all our reviews and Best Buys.

Best Sony headphones

Sony MDR-ZX330BT
Today's best price £53.95
Which? score 82%
Reviewed Jul 2015
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Comfort:
3 out of 5
Style:
Member exclusive
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Cable Controls:
Member exclusive
Headphones Fold:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These Best Buy wireless headphones sound like a premium pair, but only cost a fraction of the price. Sound is well balanced and full of detail, and the battery life is pretty impressive too – it can last for up to 30 hours. An absolute snip.

Sony MDR-100ABN
Today's best price £229.00
Which? score 78%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Comfort:
4 out of 5
Style:
Member exclusive
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Cable Controls:
Member exclusive
Headphones Fold:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These high-end wireless Bluetooth headphones are one of the best pairs we’ve seen at our test lab in recent years. With impressive noise cancelling built in too, you’ll be able to easily get away from the whirr of the city and escape into your own world of rich, detailed sound.

Sony MDR-100AAP h.ear
Today's best price £62.99
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Dec 2015
Best Buy
Performance:
4 out of 5
Comfort:
4 out of 5
Style:
Member exclusive
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Cable Controls:
Member exclusive
Headphones Fold:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

This pair of wired headphones offers fantastic sound quality, despite not having too many fancy features. Sound is smooth and detailed with good diction, so you’ll be able to hear speech particularly well. Most importantly they’re comfortable, so you won’t have any trouble with longer listening sessions.

More on Sony Headphones

Sony makes headphones with a wide range of prices and features. Many of its models are wireless Bluetooth pairs. The non-wireless models usually feature a wired remote control, which allows you to control music on a smartphone without getting it out of your pocket. Beware though; you’ll need to have the right version depending on whether you own an iPhone or an Android device.

Many Sony models come proudly displaying the logo for ‘Hi-Res’ audio, which supposedly gives you a higher quality form of digital music. It’s not always clear what this actually means though. The hi-res logo is plastered onto some of Sony’s wired headphones, but wired headphones don’t deal in digital music at all. It’s best not to worry about hi-res though – our testing hasn’t found a lot of difference between headphones with the branding and those without.

Sony’s headphones can be split broadly into two groups. In-ear models, which are often designed with sports in mind and the more traditionally designed on-ear/over-ear models which have a headband and ear pads.

In-ear

Many of Sony’s in-ear models are designed specifically for sports use. These models generally have either a splash-proof or fully waterproof design, so you won’t have to worry about getting them sweaty or going for a run in the rain. Sports headphones also have to be extra secure in your ears so they don’t come out while you’re exercising. They tend to have extra hooks or loops to fit around your ears and keep them in place.

We’ve tested a range of sports headphones from the incredibly cheap MDR-AS210AP to expensive pairs like the MDR-XB80s. Read our reviews to find out whether you’re better off paying more or whether a budget pair will serve you just as well.

Sony also makes a pair of wireless in-ear noise-cancelling headphones, the MDR-EX750BTs. Not only will they act as earplugs to block external noise like a normal pair of in-ear headphones, they also include the same digital noise-cancelling technology that’s in Sony’s larger on-ear and over-ear headphones. This is a relatively rare combination, and could make them perfect for travelling light. Be sure to read our full review to find out how good they sound, and whether the noise cancelling is effective.

On-ear & over-ear

Sony makes a range of wireless headphones designed specifically for use at home. These use a radio transmitter base that you connect to your TV or hi-fi, leaving you free to wander around the house (within range). These are useful if you want to immerse yourself in TV or films but don’t want to bother your neighbours. They also come in handy for those who are hard of hearing – you won’t have to turn your TV volume up to the rafters to be able to hear it.

Quite a few of Sony’s on-ear and over-ear models have noise-cancelling technology. This, combined with the large, padded ear cups make them a good choice for travelling. We’ve reviewed the top-of-the-range MDR-1000X, with adjustable noise cancelling and touch-sensitive ear pads. For those looking for something a bit cheaper we’ve also tested the MDR-ZX110NA. Available for less than £50, you won’t find noise-cancelling headphones for much less, but how did they do in our test lab? Read our full review to find out.

SHARE THIS PAGE

You may also be interested in

You may also be interested in