Sony WH1000MX2

8.8 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.8)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Sony WH1000MX2 Review Facts

If you are a commuter who regularly shares public transit or some other form of mass transit to reach destinations, odds are you bring along something to occupy you. For some of us that means bringing along a book, but for many of us that would cause motion-sickness, so we are left with listening instead. You can listen to an audiobook if you like, or there is an entire world full of music that you can listen to as you board the bus or subway to make your way to work, or board a plane heading home for the holidays, or even taking to the desert to experience Coachella. The only downside to most headphones or earbuds is that you either need to turn up the volume to the point you may damage your ears permanently, or the items you are trying to listen to are competing with all of the distraction noises you do not want to hear. That is where the Sony WH1000MX2 noise cancellation headphones come swooping in to save the day.

Editor's Pros & Cons

-Bluetooth or wired compatibility

-noise cancellation with ambience settings

-over 60 minutes run time with only 10mins charge


-limited adjustability for sizing

-limited color options


Much of the marketing surrounding these Sony headphones is directed at commutes. Even though they might be proper form and shape to stay in place for walks or runs, it does not seem to be the focus of their intent. These noise-cancellation headphones are great for personal listening and being able to stop focusing on your surroundings, which is most ideal when you are not involved in direction and control of the trip. Commutes are the safest place to be able to let go and just live in your music or audiobook for a while, so that is where the focus is going to be aimed for these headphones. Enjoy some relaxation on a plane or train, or even on a bus or long car ride. Additionally, they are designed to perform surround sound functions in order to help you make the most of concerts.

Basic Features

The basic features of every headphone are essentially the same. You want good sound quality, you want a comfortable fit, and in the case of noise cancellation headphones, you do not want to hear anything except your music. These Sony headphones have all that and more, and thanks to their impressive components and quality of creation you will have something valuable to last a long time.

Advanced Features

In addition to being noise cancellation headphones – a feat of which not every pair of headphones is capable – these headphones are designed to be sleek and impressive in other ways as well. Without needing your phone in your hand to control the music you can dim the sound in your ears if someone approaches you and you need to have a quick conversation, and never take off the headphones. All it takes is a hand over one of the ear housings to dim the music as though you turned down a volume dial on a car radio. Once the conversation is over, you are back to listening as though it never happened just by removing your hand. That is called the “quick attention” feature. There is also a double-tap feature that allows you to answer calls without ever pulling your phone from your pocket or bag, as well. These headphones are all about how awesome it can be to travel handsfree. With the sense engine technology these headphones contain, you simply put your hand over one of the earpieces and it can tune you in and out of music. The sound position control gives you the capability to aim the sound direction, like with many wireless speakerse. There is also an equalizer built in to account for a difference in volumes from song to song while you listen, as well as virtual surround sound to optimize audio in different listening environments, such as outdoor stages, clubs, concerts, arenas, and so on. There is even an app that is available to use for the “ambient sound control” feature, letting small things filter in through the noise cancellation as per your settings through the app. They also adjust for altitude differentiation while you are in a plane – just make sure you are allowed to use your Bluetooth first. They are also updated to have capability with your Google Assistant, which is a delightful and helpful thing no matter where you are.

Sound Quality

On the technical side of things, these Sony headphones have a frequency response of 4-40,000Hz. They have a means of upscaling sound through something called Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) technology. There are plenty more technical stats and specs that could be listed out, but the average person does not know what it means to say that the built-in microphone has an electret condenser, or that they have a 2.4-2.4835GHz radio frequency range. In layman’s terms these headphones are high quality and offer high-res audio. Suffice it to say, you will hear as clearly as if you are standing on stage with the band you are hearing.


These listening devices have a mini jack for stereo plugin but are primarily intended to be wireless headphones. Without a wire, they connect to your cell phone via Bluetooth as most wireless things do in this day and age. Their wireless distance reaches a maximum of thirty-three feet, but if you use the cable you are limited to five feet only, so choose wisely if you plan to stay plugged in while you enjoy your music or audiobook. They will plug in on one side only with an L-shaped cord plug. From most retailers you will also receive an airplane adapter plug so that you can tune into in-flight listening, which is a nice way to make the most of it if you must keep your phone shut off and cannot use Bluetooth to access your own music. Consider it a silver lining.


These circumoral, over-ear headphones are made specially with comfort in mind because the intention it to be able to wear them without discomfort while travelling for longer periods of time as well as short trips, or during entire concerts or club visits without a desire to remove them. Simply put, these headphones are going to feel like your ears are being given a hug. It is of course worth noting that not everyone finds the same things equally comfortable. Mattresses are sold with adjusting degrees of softness; shoes are made with various insoles and heel heights; even eyeglasses are made with different frame shapes and nose-pieces in mind for different levels of cushioning or comfort implied, so if and when you purchase these headphones, try them on as soon as you obtain them. Consider common sense items such as how it feels to wear them if you are wearing earrings, and if so what kind of earrings are you wearing? Can they be left out until you reach your destination? These are some things to consider when thinking about your purchase, and when you first try them on. Even shoes are recommended to be broken in before you take them on a longer journey, and while it is not expressly mentioned, it is always good practice to try out something new before taking it on a trip.


The only real limitation on these headphones is Sony’s lack of appearance options. They are sleek, elegant, and well made, but they do only come in two color options: black and gold. While this will not seem like a problem to most jet-setters who have more important things to worry about than a pair of headphones to match their outfit that week, there are those electronics users who prefer more personality from their accessories and gear than simple black or flashy gold. If you are one of those people, then you may want to consider other avenues, but something as superficial as the color aesthetic seems like a silly reason to discount such an incredible piece of technology.


While they are an incredible piece of equipment intended to be used while in transit, the fact of the matter is that these are not activewear headphones, are not waterproof, and while they are not made of glass, it is unclear just how much use and abuse they can take. When you purchase them, you will also likely be receiving their storage case, a zipper-shut item that you can store in your carry-on (TSA permitting) or in your purse or luggage with relative peace of mind. The ear pieces pivot to lay flat and the arch has folding points to make this piece of gear more compact when stored, so even though you should definitely have the case with you when not in use, it will not take up as much space as un-foldable headphones. Granted they are not as compact as earbuds, but you are also getting a much more impressive quality and product than what most earbuds can offer.

Ease of Use

If you cannot control it just by touching a spot on the outside of the earpiece, then you can control it with the corresponding app from your phone’s app store. As long as you run Android or iOs with a Bluetooth version of 4.1 or better compatibility, you are going to be able to use these headphones easily. Since the on-hand controls are actually on the device, you will not be able to see them while in use. That might be a bit jarring for some users at first, but it will not take long to grow accustomed to the simple on-device tap controls. If you are more comfortable learning at home, feel free to practice with them before taking them on their maiden voyage – you may also use this as an excuse to try them out right away once you have obtained your purchase. Also, to make them more universally functional, they come with an airplane adapter plug for in-flight listening in case you should be utilizing your new piece of gear on a plane.

Power Source

With so many impressive features and capabilities it is hard to imagine how long these headphones will last you but recall that plane and train rides are typically several hours, and even longer than that when added to the security check, baggage claim, seat-finding, and embarking and disembarking times to the actual time in the air or on the rails. In all that time you might find yourself with a functional power source, but it is not – nor should it have to be – something you can always rely on. The people responsible for this product’s design and manufacture took into account that those in transit may not always have a practical source of energy to plug in, and so the lithium-ion rechargeable battery was designed with an impressive lifespan and recharge time. The runtime of these Sony beauties is up to thirty-eight hours, with a four hour recharging time estimation. An impressive side-feature of note is that they will work for seventy minutes after only a ten minute charging time. Picture this: you arrive at your gate at the airport just in time to discover that your headphones are on low battery. Quickly pulling out your charging cable, you plug them in. Ten minutes later, your group is called to be seated on the plane. You gather up your belongings, everyone is seated, and the plane takes off. (Assuming you are allowed) you turn on your headphones to play some music because there is a couple arguing a few rows ahead, and a small child a few rows behind – and then you are safely far away without going anywhere, thanks to your noise-cancelling headphones. And on that ten minutes of charge you will make it over an hour before having to plug in again. Of course, if you are on a longer flight, more and more airlines are adding USB ports to their planes lately for explicitly the purposes of charging electronic devices.


For such an impressive item you must expect to have to pay an impressive fee. Though they can be found online for less through certain discounted retailers – and the validity and legality of these retailers should always be checked using the utmost scrutiny – these headphones from Sony retail for approximately $350. This certainly might seem like a daunting number but consider all of the features of these functional accoutrements and you will see that you are paying for a high-quality product with real value. Having these is an investment in your peace of mind and comfort when you travel; you can show your ticket and find your seat with ease, briefly speak with a conductor without taking them off, and walk to baggage claim or a track change without a worry for the quality of your product. With so much going for them, it is easy to see why these headphones might have a somewhat hefty price tag. If the price concerns you and you question the value of your hard-earned money, consider trying to find these headphones for sale somewhere with a display model, so that you might try them on or even plug in your phone and try them out before purchasing. In the event that you cannot manage to find a store in your area where they are available for trial before purchase, always check the returns and exchanges policy of where you are looking.

Key Features

Sense engine, sound position control, and virtual surround sound
"Quick Attention” control for brief conversation
Ambient sound control and personal atmospheric pressure optimization

Bottom Line

Technical specifications, public opinion, and usefulness have all been factored into the engineering and production of the Sony WH1000MX2 noise cancellation headphones, and from all of that combined consideration a truly remarkable piece of technological gear has emerged. With so many ways to control how you hear your music, audiobook, or concert, there is almost no reason to hesitate if a pair of these headphones crosses your path. Through these Sony headphones you can not only control your preferred soundbites, but also the ambient noise around you, even choosing to let a little bit in so you can hear gate changes, lateness announcements, or bus stops on the way to your destination. These headphones offer a hefty lifespan, a swift recharge time, and thanks to their versatility they are a commuter’s dream in most any mode of transportation. Wherever you are going, however you dress to travel, whatever your destination, and whatever you might desire to listen to during the trip, these are among the more impressive headphones on the market. You will hear only what you want to hear, and only when you want to hear it, with the controls at your fingertips. With a trained conductor, pilot, or driver handling the trip, let yourself be lost in the journey and just sit back and enjoy the ride knowing you will be there before you know it, and the time passed will be time well spent. Travel on – these Sony headphones will have you covered.