The Sonos Ace Headphones Review – Great Headphones, just not Sonos!

A Long-Awaited Release

Five years ago, in 2019, I first heard whispers about the perfect addition to my smart home: Sonos headphones. Days turned into years, and despite new releases like the Sonos Move and Sonos Roam, the elusive headphones remained just a rumor. Sonos has always impressed me with their high-quality products, so the anticipation for their headphones was immense.

I had almost given up hope until recently, when an email announced the Sonos Ace headphones were finally available. After waiting for five years, I didn’t hesitate to hit the “buy now” button. When they arrived, I eagerly tested them out and found them to be excellent headphones. However, there’s one major caveat—they are not truly Sonos headphones. Let me explain.

A Brief History of Sonos

My journey with Sonos began in 2013 with the purchase of a single Sonos One speaker. That was 12 years ago, and it remains a vital part of my smart home setup today. The durability and longevity of Sonos products are impressive, especially for internet-connected devices. Over the years, I slowly built my Sonos ecosystem, adding a soundbar, a subwoofer, and the portable Sonos Move.

Three key features make Sonos stand out:

  1. High-Quality Audio: Sonos speakers deliver excellent sound quality, a hallmark of the brand.
  2. Scalability: You can build your Sonos system one speaker at a time, making it more affordable to expand your setup gradually.
  3. The Sonos Ecosystem: This is Sonos’ competitive edge. Unlike standard Bluetooth speakers that rely on a phone to stream music, the Sonos system integrates streaming services directly into the speakers. This means once you add services like Spotify, Apple Music, or SiriusXM to the Sonos app, you can control them from any Sonos speaker without needing a phone nearby.

The Sonos Ecosystem: A Game Changer

The Sonos ecosystem is what truly sets the brand apart. Traditional Bluetooth speakers rely on a phone for streaming, which can be problematic if the phone moves out of range. Additionally, everyone who wants to use the speaker needs to have an account with a streaming service.

Sonos takes a different approach. You add your streaming services to the Sonos system once, and then control them using the Sonos app on your phone. This app consolidates all your streaming services, allowing you to play music on any Sonos speaker, group them together, or even play different audio on different speakers simultaneously.

Anyone in your household can install the Sonos app to control the speakers, without needing their own streaming service accounts. Since the audio streams directly to the speaker, it never cuts out, even if the controlling phone leaves the area. Plus, you can integrate Sonos with smart home automation platforms like Home Assistant, SmartThings, and If This Then That (IFTTT) for even more control.

Sonos Ace Headphones: A Mixed Bag

When I finally got my hands on the Sonos Ace headphones, my initial impressions were positive. The build quality is excellent, they are lightweight, and the foam ear cups are incredibly comfortable. I watched a two-and-a-half-hour movie wearing them and hardly noticed they were there. The ear cups attach with magnets, making them easy to replace if needed.

The controls are intuitive, with physical buttons instead of the touch-sensitive zones found on other headphones. There’s a status light, power and Bluetooth button, and a USB-C charging port on one side, and a noise control button and a clicky slider button on the other. The slider button, called the “content key,” allows for volume control and playback functions. The noise cancellation is superb, providing absolute silence without the vacuum-like sound I experience with my Apple AirPods Max.

Overall, the Sonos Ace headphones have become my favorite Bluetooth headphones. However, they fall short in one significant area—they are not integrated into the Sonos ecosystem.

The Missing Ecosystem Integration

The lack of integration with the Sonos ecosystem is a major disappointment. These headphones are essentially high-quality Bluetooth headphones made by Sonos, but they don’t offer any unique features or connectivity with other Sonos products. You can’t pair them with other Sonos speakers or stream audio from your usual Sonos sources. The Sonos app only provides basic controls when the headphones are connected to your phone.

It’s like Apple releasing a new version of the AirPods Max that doesn’t work with the Apple ecosystem—it’s a fundamental oversight. The ecosystem and app are what make Sonos products special, and these headphones lack that defining feature.


If you’re in the market for a great pair of Bluetooth headphones, the Sonos Ace headphones are an excellent choice. They offer fantastic sound quality, comfort, and noise cancellation. However, if you’re looking for the next addition to your Sonos ecosystem, these headphones won’t meet your expectations.

Sonos should have communicated this clearly. I shouldn’t have discovered it after purchasing, and you shouldn’t be learning it from my video. Hopefully, this review helps you decide whether the Sonos Ace headphones are right for you.

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