Sonos' AirPods Max rival leaked — new 'Ace' headphone images reveal design, features, and more

Sonos Ace leak 3
(Image credit: Schuurman/ The Verge)

Sonos has long made some of the best-connected speakers for the home, with some epic features and stunning good looks — and now it looks like the firm is turning its not-insignificant audio chops to something of the head-mounted variety.

In a leak from The Verge, Sonos’ ‘Ace’ headphones have been revealed, with images of the cans and their hard case — along with an odd black mystery box that no-one seems to be able to pin down.

Sonos’ jump to proper portable audio

Sonos has long used the Bluetooth standard as an option in its speaker line, although this will be the first time that it’s put it into a pair of headphones. This will, in fact, be the firm's first foray into headphones at all, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped it from reportedly filling them with some top-shelf features.

Thanks to The Verge, with images “prematurely published by authorized Sonos parts dealer Schuurman”, we get a really good idea of what the headphones are going to look like. They fit with the current Sonos design language that you’ll find in the Sonos Era 300 and 100 smart speakers, with a black (although no information as to whether there’s a white version as yet) finish on some very minimalist, albeit chunky, headphones.

Sonos Ace leak

(Image credit: Schuurman/ The Verge)

On the earcups there are a bunch of different buttons and even a switch — although what any of those do is anyone’s best guess at this point. There’s also going to be a carrying case by the looks of things, along with a 3.5mm to USB-C cable and a USB-C charging cable. The former cable could be interesting, as it could allow you to plug them into a computer, iPhone, or other audio device for hi-res audio. Until we learn more from the horse's mouth, however, we won’t know for sure.

The mystery is the black box that photographed with the carrying case — what could it be? A special wireless audio thing for wireless hi-res? A specially designed device for improved Spatial Audio, to really take the fight to the AirPods Max? Again, we won’t know for sure until we get more information from Sonos itself, but we can’t wait to see what Sonos is going to bring to the table.

As for price, we’re apparently looking at a roughly $450 tag. That will price them above the competition from Sony and Sennheiser, but crucially, below that of the AirPods Max, Apple’s metal monsters. We’re looking forward to seeing just how good the Ace headphones are (if they’re real) later this year, and whether they’ll become some of the best wireless headphones around.

There was one more product that The Verge found on the Shuurman site — an image of the also unreleased Sonos Roam 2, the sequel to the excellent Roam Bluetooth speaker. There isn’t much to glean from the image, however, although hopefully, we’ll learn more about it soon.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.