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Sony vs JBL Headphones: Which Are Better? (2023 Comparison)

Sony VS JBL Headphones

Picking out new headphones is a pretty exciting experience. 

However, it can get daunting when you’re stuck between 2 popular brands. 

I understand because I’ve been there myself.

So let me help you choose who creates better headphones between Sony and JBL.

Continue reading to discover: 

  • Why Sony and JBL headphones are good.
  • Which company creates the best headphones. 
  • 5 key differences between the headsets from the 2 brands. 
  • And this is just the beginning… 

Are Sony headphones good?

Sony headphones are good. And in fact, they’re some of your best options in the market. 

That’s because regardless of which headphones type you want, those from Sony have:

  • High sound quality.
  • Clear-sounding bass.
  • Noise-cancelling feature.

It’s also worth mentioning that the company has been making headphones for almost 6 decades. So it’s not a surprise that their headsets are some of the best. 

That said, let’s dive into the details of why these products are so good. 

And to do that, I’ll talk about each type of headphone that Sony offers, starting with their… 

In-ear buds

In-ear headphones are also called in-ear monitors (IEM).

However, you’re most likely familiar with these as “earphones.”

Note: These are ideal for listening to music while commuting or jogging. But they’re usually not good for listening for long durations as they can hurt your ears. 

With that in mind, let’s look at how Sony creates its in-ear buds. And that’s by using this WF-1000XM4 model that costs $250 as an example.

Now, with confidence, I can say that…

These earbuds are some of the best-noise canceling models on the market. 

See, unlike other earphones out there…

This device’s foams will create a tight seal inside your ears. And this will allow you to enjoy music without hearing the noises from your environment. 

Moreover, I should also mention that…

You can use this small gadget for 24h with just a single charge. That’s because the earphones themselves can store 8-hours of playing time. And the case can store 16 hours worth of battery. 

Last but not least…

These Sony wireless earphones can also withstand small splashes of liquid.

So, you can use them even when it’s raining or while exercising. 

On-ear headphones

On-ear headphones are also called supra-aural headphones. 

And simply speaking…

They’re headsets that sit on top of your ears.

Now, these devices are usually very comfortable to use. And your ears won’t hurt even when you use them for long durations.

That said, let’s talk about my favorite pair of on-ear headphones from Sony:

The MDR-XB950B1 model. 

Best known for its bass, this on-ear headset will surely let you feel the lowest rumbles of any audio you play. 

Moreover, it also comes with a Bass effect button. 

So with just 1 press, you can further boost the lows of the music you’re listening to. 

But of course, this headset isn’t only good for its low-end frequencies. 

That’s because it also delivers clear-sounding mids and highs. 

“How about its design?”

Well, you won’t be disappointed with the aesthetics of this Sony headset.

Because regardless if you get it in red, black or blue…

You’ll get a model with a brushed metallic sheen finished. 

And trust me, this pair of headphones is eye-catching even from afar. 

Over-ear headsets

These types of headphones are the most comfortable ones you can find.

That’s because they sit over your ears, not on top of them.

Moreover, they’re also good at canceling noises due to their natural design. 

That said, let’s talk about these over-ear headsets from Sony: the WH-1000XM5 model. 

Now, as expected from the brand, these headsets have top-notch noise cancellation. 

See, thanks to this model’s Auto NC Optimizer

These headphones will silence the noises around based on your:

  • Environment.
  • Wearing conditions. 

Plus, this device’s microphone also cancels out any sounds that aren’t coming from you. So you can freely talk on-call even if you’re in a loud environment. 

Are JBL headphones good?

JBL headphones are good. That’s because these devices have loud bass and smooth AI integration. Plus, their designs are also top-notch. 

It’s also worth noting that the brand has been making headsets since 1946. And with its expertise and experience…

JBL can create headphones with some of the highest quality in the market. 

With that said, let me give you specific products showing why JBL headphones are so good.

And to start, let’s talk about 1 of the brand’s…

In-ear buds

JBL’s Tune 130NC earphones are an excellent example of the brand’s ability to…

Package unique features in such small devices. 

That’s because for only $100…

You’ll be able to hear impressive subwoofer-like bass from these earbuds. 

Plus, you’ll also have long-lasting battery life for almost 8 hours. And that’s a lot, considering that the average wireless earphones only operate for 3-5 hours. 

It’s also worth noting that these earphones are very easy to control. And that JBL has a designated mobile app (iOS and Android) that you can use to optimize the EQ of your earphones.

“What’s that?”

Put simply, EQ or Equalizing is the act of adjusting each frequency band of your audio.

Through this, you can choose to increase or decrease the bass or other portion of a sound. And you can also EQ your audio to make your earphones sound clearer. 

Now, don’t fret even if you haven’t tried this before.

That’s because the JBL app has presets ready for you. And you can also select audio modes to further improve the sound quality of your earphones. 

On-ear headsets

For the on-ear headphones…

I recommend getting this exercise-focused JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Train headset.

Now, these headphones were designed for working out.

However, they’re not too different from regular models. So you can still use them for daily activities.

And if you’re thinking…

“Are these headphones comfortable?” 

Well, yes, they are.

See, thanks to Under Armour’s unique fabric technology…

These JBL headphones have a breathable outer ear cushion. 

But regardless of its softness, this headset still has a firm grip. With that, it won’t fall off even if you’re doing high-energy activities.

As headphones meant for working out…

You can also be sure that this model can resist rain or sweat without problems.

Moreover, the sound quality of this device is also 1 of the best.

That’s because its low frequencies aren’t muffled. And its mid-high sounds are also crisp and clear. 

Over-ear headphones

JBL is best known for its over-ear headphones.

And this Club 950NC is a good example of why that’s the case.

See, 1 of the best things I like about this headset is that…

It has 2 built-in AIs: Alexa and Google Assistant. 

And they let you use voice commands to do these actions using your headphones:

  • Send messages.
  • Check the weather.
  • Control music playback. 

On top of that… 

This headset also has adaptive noise-canceling. So you can tune out the noises of your surroundings with ease. 

“How does it look like?” 

This model is only available in color black…

However, you won’t be disappointed by its modern design. 

That’s because it’s covered in leather-like material. Plus, its earcups have an eggshell-like finishing touch that not only looks good…

But also makes it very comfortable to wear.

You might also want to know: How To Stop Bluetooth Headphones From Beeping? 9 Fixes

Differences between Sony and JBL headphones

Sony and JBL headphones have different driver sizes, sensitivity, and battery life. And it’s best to know the specifics of these features. So you can pick the headphones that are best for you.

That said, let me present these…. 

5 key differences between Sony and JBL headphones

#1: Drivers 

When talking about headphones…

The most crucial aspect you need to pay attention to is their drivers.

“What’s that?”

A headset driver is the 1 responsible for changing audio signals into sound waves. 

Now, regardless of the headphones’ brand…

Drivers are usually made with:

  • Magnets.
  • Membrane. 
  • Wires/coils.

However, the size of the driver is what differs between headphone models. And this hugely impacts the quality of the sound you’ll get. 

That’s because, for the most part, the bigger the driver, the better the sound is. 

With that said, it’s worth noting that…

JBL headphones generally have wider drivers than those from Sony. 

For example, the over-ear 950NC JBL headset I mentioned earlier has a 40mm-sized driver. While the 1 on the WH-1000XM5 headphones from Sony is only 30mm wide.

Moreover, the in-ear buds of JBL also have wider drivers than those from the other brand. 

That’s because JBL’s Tune 130NC model has 10mm drivers. On the other hand, the WF-1000XM4 earphones from Sony only have 6mm. 

This being said… 

JBL headphones have better bass than most Sony headsets do. 

So you should try out models from the brand if you prioritize the lower frequencies. 

And if you want to know more about headphones drivers and why they matter, watch this video:

#2: Sensitivity

Sensitivity refers to how good a pair of headphones is at detecting sound. And that includes even the smallest changes in the volume of the audio.

Note: This feature is also referred to as sound pressure. That’s because it also indicates how loud headphones can be. 

Now, to explain sensitivity better… 

Let’s first go over how loud daily events usually are. This way, it’ll be easy to imagine how loud the headphones are in comparison. 

For starters, normal car traffic noises are generally at 81 dB.

While a scream, on the other hand, can reach 107 dB.

With that in mind, it’s time to talk about how loud Sony and JBL headphones are.

Note: I’ll still use the over-ear headphones I mentioned before as examples from both brands. 

To begin with, the JBL 950NC headset has 91dB of sensitivity. And this falls into the ideal range (75 to 110 dB) for having high-quality headphones. 

However, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 device is just a notch better. Because it has a sensitivity that ranges from 100-102 dB. 

As you can see, both headphones are louder than traffic noises are.

But Sony’s headphones are a bit louder than the model from JBL. 

Note: The WHO doesn’t recommend listening to headphones at 85 dB or higher for longer than 8 hours. 

#3: Battery-life

Both brands are known for having headphones with long battery life.

However, in general…

Those from Sony tend to last longer than the headphones of JBL do.

For example, the JBL Club 950NC headset lasts 22 hours with the ANC ON.

And that’s 8 hours shorter than Sony headphones that can last 30 hours with ANC. 

Note: ANC is the noise canceling feature of headsets. 

However, you’ll be glad to know that both brands have a speed charge feature.

And if you’re interested in what it is…

It’s a benefit that lets you have hours of playing time after just charging your headphones for a few minutes. 

To be specific, when their batteries are completely drained…

You can charge Sony headphones for just 3 minutes. And you’ll immediately have 3 hours of playtime.

Likewise, you can also plug JBL headsets to power for only 5 minutes. And they’ll get 2 hours of battery life afterward. 

With that said, if you prioritize a long battery life for your headphones…

Your best choice is to find a model from Sony. Because they tend to last longer than the models from JBL do. And you can also use them for 3 hours after charging them for just 3 minutes. 

You might also be interested: Are Wired Headphones Louder Than Wireless? 5 Facts Revealed

#4: Accessories

Headphones usually come with accessories that are important for your devices to work. 

For example, both JBL and Sony headphones come with items such as: 

  • A manual.
  • USB cable. 
  • Audio cable. 

However, it’s worth noting that…

For the most part, Sony headphones arrive with a hard carrying case, while JBL models don’t.

And, of course, this is a pretty helpful item, especially if you love traveling.

So if you’re interested in getting a free carrying case perfect for your headset…

You should consider getting Sony headphones. 

“Can I still buy a case for JBL headsets?”

Yes, you can.

See, there are many hard headphone travel cases online and in your local stores. So, you won’t have trouble getting 1 for your headset.

Important: You should ensure that the case you’re about to buy is big enough for your headphones. Because using a smaller one can damage your headset.

#5: Price

Last but not least…

JBL and Sony headphones differ in the price of their products. 

See, Sony is generally known for having more expensive headsets. While JBL is a brand popular for having affordable headphones.

Here’s a chart that compares the general headphones prices of both companies
JBL’s priceSony’s price
In-ear buds$100$250
On-ear headphones$200$346
Over-ear headsets $120$398

See, there’s a big difference between the headphone prices of the 2 brands.

So if you’re on a budget, JBL headsets are most likely your best choice. 

Editor’s pick: Do Wireless Headphones Last Longer Than Wired? 5 Scenarios

Which headphone brand is better?

Sony is the better headphone brand.

Sony Is The Better Headphone Brand

That’s because their products usually have: 

  • Higher sensitivity. 
  • Longer battery life. 
  • Free traveling cases. 

And all of these features make headphones better. 

Now, of course, Sony products are usually pricier than other brands.

However, with their audio-quality and high-end material and designs…

You’ll be getting enough value for your money with Sony headphones. 

You can also rest assured that the products from this brand will last.

That’s because they’re automatically under a 1-year warranty from their purchase date.

This being said, between JBL and Sony…

I recommend that you try out the products from the latter. 

Because trust me, you won’t be disappointed with their sound quality and battery life.

And after months of using a pair of Sony headphones…

You’ll realize they’re worth all the money, as I also did when I got a headset from the brand.