Sonos Ace Hands-on: Promising ANC Wireless Headphones for RM2,299
May 23, 2024 Andrew Cheng

Sonos is finally entering the headphones market with the Sonos Ace. The company says that many customers have requested for a pair of headphones from Sonos over the years, and after plenty of rumours and leaks surrounding the Ace, here it is.

Ahead of the headphones’ launch a couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time testing the Sonos Ace. While it’s still much too early to give a proper (and fair) verdict, I do have to say it is a promising pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones, especially for Sonos’ first product in a whole new category.

First, let’s talk about the price of the Sonos Ace. For the Malaysian market, the headphones cost a cool RM2,299, which does position the Ace in the more premium price segment. For that kind of money, it has a number of noteworthy features, including custom-designed 40mm dynamic drivers, active noise cancellation, up to 30 hours of battery life, as well as “the most precise and immersive home theater experience,” as Sonos puts it.

After all, one of the most highlighted features of the Ace is its ability to swap TV audio from a compatible Sonos soundbar to the headphones; this is done by long-pressing the “Content Key” on the right side of the Ace. For the most part, the feature works reasonably well, but as I was testing the feature on a beta version of the software, it does take a bit more time for the audio swap to happen.

Now, how does the Sonos Ace sound? In my (relatively) brief listening session, it sounds great! Clarity and detail resolution are some positives that come to mind as I played some of my favourite tunes with a paired iPad, and vocals sound especially good on the Ace with a forward and clear presentation.

In terms of bass response, the Ace can produce a good amount of thump in the low-end, but I do wish it had a tad more body to it. Don’t get me wrong, the headphones definitely offer punchy, accurate bass that doesn’t linger for much longer than necessary, but I do wish it was a little bit more “boomy,” if you will.

Thankfully, the app does have an equaliser, which I’m excited to experiment with once I have the Ace in for review.

What about the ANC performance of the Ace? Truth be told, it is a little bit tough to really put this feature to the test in the short listening session. But for what it’s worth, it does seem to be able to silent ambient sounds quite well, though background chatter does get through the noise cancellation. Of course, I’ll be sure to put the headphones’ ANC to the test more thoroughly in the full review.

As for the build quality of the Ace itself, it does feel well-built and premium, matching the premium asking price of the headphones. It is also quite lightweight, tipping the scales at about 312g. This, paired with the soft and supple memory foam ear pads – which are covered in vegan leather and they attach magnetically to the headphones – make the Ace quite comfortable to be worn.

Oh, the fabric carrying case that comes with the headphones, albeit a bit too bulky for my liking, also looks and feels very nice.

For Sonos’ first attempt at a premium pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones, the Sonos Ace is a very promising product that I’m quite excited to put through the paces. Granted, for RM2,299, it does cost quite a bit of money, but it may be able to justify the price tag with its solid build quality, clear sound signature, and long battery life; provided it can hit the 30-hour quoted battery life.

If you’re keen to pre-order the Sonos Ace, you can do so now through TC Acoustic’s online store or the company’s Sonos Concept Store within The Starhill in Bukit Bintang, KL. Deliveries are set to start on 5 June in the next couple of weeks.