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Sonos releases Ace headphones with cinema-sound party trick

<span>Sonos’s first Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones are the sleek, premium Ace.</span><span>Photograph: Sonos</span>
Sonos’s first Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones are the sleek, premium Ace.Photograph: Sonos

The wifi hifi-maker Sonos has announced its long-anticipated first set of Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones that aim to be the ultimate private cinema sound system, whether at home or on the road.

The Ace look like sleek, understated regular headphones but they have a unique party trick: at the press of a button they can connect to a compatible Sonos soundbar via wifi to produce a full cinema sound experience without waking the rest of your home.

The soundbar will be able to recreate the acoustics of the room you are sitting in while using the head tracking sensors in the headphones to make it sound as if you’re not wearing any.

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And unlike rival systems from the likes of Apple and others, the audio swap feature works with shows, films, games consoles or anything else fed into the soundbar from the TV.

Outside the home, the Ace rival traditional headphones from the leaders Bose, Sony and Apple with eight microphones for effective noise-cancelling and beam-forming for voice calls. Custom 40mm drivers have been tuned in collaboration with more than 50 top-tier music producers for precise, high-fidelity audio.

Giles Martin, a Grammy award winner and head of sound experience for Sonos, said: “Headphones have to be an enjoyable listening experience that isn’t too bright or accentuated in any one area. They need to be honest and transparent, so we have worked from the ground up to make the Ace sound as truthful to the source material as possible.”

The Ace support standard Bluetooth 5.4 to connect to Androids and iPhones, tablets and other gadgets. But they also support lossless audio playback over Bluetooth with Snapdragon Sound-certified Android devices or via a USB-C connection, and Dolby Atmos spatial audio from compatible devices and services for films on the go.

They connect to the controversial new Android and iOS Sonos app for customisation and soundbar features, including an advanced equaliser. The headphones last up to 30 hours with noise-cancelling between charges and top up via USB-C.

The plush over-ear headphones are made from recycled plastics and have replaceable ear cushions and a battery that can be replaced via service.

The Ace headphones will cost £449 (€499/$449/A$699) and go on sale in black or white on 5 June.