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CheckMag | 5 key differences between the Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5

The Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5 can be folded flat. (Image source: Sonos and Sony - edited)
The Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5 can be folded flat. (Image source: Sonos and Sony - edited)
The Sonos Ace headphones are already available for purchase and they have got some serious competition. One of them is the 2-year old Sony WH-1000XM5, a top choice in the premium headphones category. Here are some differences to note if you are considering buying either pair of headphones.

After making a name for itself as a home entertainment audio brand, Sonos has announced its first pair of Bluetooth headphones. Called the Sonos Ace, the headphones fall under the premium category, facing rivals such as the Sony WH-1000XM5. If you are wondering which of these two pairs of headphones you should buy, here are five key differences to note before you settle for one.

1. Connectivity

Both the Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5 connect via Bluetooth, and while the former has the newer Bluetooth 5.4 protocol, Sony’s headphones have Bluetooth 5.2. However, the main difference when it comes to connectivity is the pairing mode.

Unlike the Sony WH-1000XM5 which has support for Google Fast Pair that makes it super easy to connect to an Android, Chrome OS, or Google TV device, the Sonos Ace lacks this feature. Instead, you have to go to your device’s Bluetooth settings to pair to the Sonos Ace under available devices or install the Sonos app. The Sony WH-1000XM5 also supports Swift Pair so you can easily connect to a Windows 10 or 11 device while support for Fast Pair lets users locate their headphones or check their last known location in the Find My Device app.

2. USB-C Audio

Most Bluetooth headphones can also be used in wired mode. Some have an aux port that you can plug one end of an aux cord into, while the other end goes into the device or an adapter. Others also have a USB-C port that supports USB-Audio, such that you can connect the headphones to your phone, tablet, or even gaming handheld using a USB cable with a USB-C connector at both ends.

In the case of the Sonos Ace, users can choose to go wired via the aux port or the USB-C port which is also used to charge the headphones. With most phones and tablets having a USB-C port, you can use the same cable for charging the headphones to listen in wired mode. The Sony WH-1000XM5, on the other hand, also has an aux port but Sony skips on support for USB-C audio. This means if your device doesn’t have an audio jack, you need a USB-C-to-3.5mm cable to use the WH-1000XM5 in wired mode.

Sonos Ace owners can swap audio from their home theater to their headphones. (Image source: Sonos)
Sonos Ace owners can swap audio from their home theater to their headphones. (Image source: Sonos)

3. TV Audio

If you have a TV with Fast Pair, you can easily connect your Sony WH-1000XM5 to it. However, that isn’t the only way to connect the headphones to a TV. Owners of a Sony Bravia XR TV connected to a Sony WLA-NS7 wireless transmitter can enjoy a Dolby Atmos experience when they connect their headphones to their TV this way.

Those who own a Sonos Arc or Arc SL can instantly swap audio from it to the Sonos Ace with the push of a button on the headphones. Once connected, users can enjoy surround sound with spatial audio. Presently, the feature is only available on iOS, as you need the Sonos app to set it up. Android users will have to wait a while as Sonos has confirmed that support is coming soon. It also confirmed that the feature will be expanded to the Sonos Beam (Gen 1 and Gen 2) and the Sonos Ray home theaters.

4. Audio Codecs

The Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5 support a handful of codecs, but you should know which codecs are supported. While both headphones support SBC and AAC, the Sonos Ace adds aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, and Snapdragon Sound. Sony’s headset misses out on Qualcomm's codecs but has support for LDAC.

5. Price

Price is a major factor to consider when purchasing a pair of headphones. If you have narrowed down your options to the Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5, you should know that the Sonos Ace sells for $449 on Amazon, which is more expensive than the Sony WH-1000XM5 which launched for $399 but is currently available on Amazon for just $328.

Source(s)

Source: Sonos, Sony

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 06 > 5 key differences between the Sonos Ace and the Sony WH-1000XM5
Habeeb Onawole, 2024-06-10 (Update: 2024-06-10)