JBL vs. Sony Headphones – Which Are Better? (Sep 2023 Update)

Headphones are an essential attribute of any phone owner, gamer, or lover of good-sounding music. Today, wired headphones are becoming a thing of the past, giving way to wireless models.

When deciding which headphones are best for us, we consumers tend to look not only at specifications but also at the manufacturer (brand).

Traditionally, competitors in this area are JBL and Sony.

In this article, we’ll take a deep look into the differences between JBL and Sony headphones and compare the most popular models from both manufacturers.

Which Headphones Do People Use More; JBL or Sony?

I conducted research online (mostly on Reddit) to see which JBL and Sony headphones are mostly used in different headphone categories. From there, I compared each model.

I found 192 people discussing headphones for everyday use.

By clicking on the headphone model, you’ll be redirected to Amazon, where you can check the price.

Wireless Bluetooth headphones

Type Headphones Number of people using it (total of 115)
Compact (earbuds) JBL Tune 120TWS 17
Compact (earbuds) Sony WF-XB700 31
Full-size JBL Tune 500BT 45
Full-size Sony WH-CH510 22

Wired headphones

Type Headphones Number of people using it (total of 77)
Compact (earbuds) JBL T110 29
Compact (earbuds) Sony MDR-EX155 11
Full-size JBL Quantum 400 15
Full-size Sony MDR1AM2 22


jbl vs sony headphones

The main advantages of JBL headphones:

  • Affordable price: The simplest wired headphones on Amazon will cost only around $40.
  • The versatility of devices: Headphones can work without problems with phones, computers, and other players.
  • Design: Detailed studies of the appearance of equipment at a high level. Even the cheapest headsets look stylish.

The main advantages of Sony headphones:

  • High quality: The Japanese are sensitive to their reputation, so their products are always of high build quality and sound.
  • Use of modern technologies: Sony has more and more Bluetooth headphones with interesting solutions.
  • Design: Restrained colors without bright accents give solidity to the appearance of products.

JBL and Sony have produced high-quality electronics and acoustics for over 60 years.

When creating models of their headphones, these companies rely on high-quality sound, wireless technologies, and maximum noise reduction.

Different models differ in their size (portable and full-sized gadgets), functionality, the presence or absence of a microphone, and noise reduction systems.

Many models are available in both wired and wireless versions. Some full-size models have a convenient folding design, which is very convenient when transporting the device.

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When comparing JBL and Sony headphones, the advantages of JBL are their low cost and universality. Sony has clearer sound, better studio headphones, and headsets for PlayStation consoles. Sony is better in general, but if a user decides between JBL or Sony headphones based on price, the JBL clearly wins.

Wireless JBL headphones guarantee 4-16 hours of uninterrupted audio playback. At the same time, Sony models allow for 9 -15 hours of sound playback.

The sound of both brands will delight the average user with volume and clarity, but music lovers will notice that the hallmark of all JBL models is the predominance of bass. 

Those who seek to achieve a balanced, smooth sound won’t be too satisfied with most of the JBL headphones.

The advantage of Sony is also the extent of the range of headphones. At the same time, the manufacturer develops and creates models, taking into account the requests of certain categories of users.

Sony also has Bluetooth headphones with additional moisture protection in the case for playing sports or running.

Their professional studio headphones can reproduce perfectly clear sound and have an extended frequency response. 

Most casual users would probably agree that Sony headphones are the best. However, their price tag will scare away those who do not use such “fancy” headsets in their work.

What about JBL and Sony Bluetooth speakers? In the linked article, I selected the most popular JBL and Sony portable speakers and compared them according to 6 main criteria: weight, sound quality, functionality, battery life, user reviews, and price.

Bluetooth Headphones – A Comparison

Which wireless headphones to choose from? JBL or Sony? Well, you should decide based on your needs.

To make it easier to decide, you should familiarize yourself with the best options from each category and learn about their technical characteristics and prices.


jbl vs sony headphones

Wireless devices with a small charging case included are an actual option for owners of smartphones, laptops, and players with a Bluetooth connection function.

The most popular headphones of this type are:

In terms of performance, Sony is far ahead of its competitors. They last longer, are equipped with a modern version of Bluetooth, and are even a little lighter. 

Judging by the reviews, the sound quality of the Sony WF-XB700 is also better, but the price is also almost twice as high. They also have protection against sweat or moisture.

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You should choose Sony Bluetooth headphones if you listen to music for an extended period of time and in poor weather conditions. For those who just listen to music on the way to and from work, JBL’s headphones are enough.

Both models are good, but they also have disadvantages. With the JBL Tune 120, owners complain about mediocre sound quality and an outdated Micro-USB input, while the Sony pumps up the microphone a bit.

With control unit

Headphones of this type also connect via Bluetooth but have a special shape and are interconnected, so they stay well in the ear and do not get lost.

In this category, it is no longer so easy to determine which sports headphones are better – JBL or Sony because they cost almost the same. 

This comparison is between the most popular models:

In favor of JBL, it is a little lighter and faster to charge. JBL is also a good option for lovers of bright colors as the T205BT is available in 7 color options, while Sony only offers black and white versions.

Sony WI-XB400 is definitely better in terms of autonomy; they can work 2.5 times longer. And again, the Japanese win in terms of Bluetooth, and connection speed is very important. The cost of both models is almost identical.

As for the cons, JBL is criticized for its build quality and mediocre sound insulation. Sony has problems with uncomfortable cables that are too long and not the most comfortable fit. 

The disadvantage of both models is the lack of moisture protection, as sweat on the control unit can be critical.

Full-size wireless headphones

sony vs jbl headphones

Due to its size, an overhead headset will not be as convenient as the two previous options, but it has its advantages – sound quality and autonomy.

We’ll take budget models for comparison: 

JBL’s headphones cost $35 to $200 and Sony’s from $35 to $300. 

JBL features will appeal to those who regularly use headphones. They charge very quickly, 2 hours are enough for a full charge, and by putting the device to recharge for 5 minutesthe owner will be able to enjoy music for an hour. Another plus in favor of the JBL is that the diameter of the membrane is 2 mm larger.

Sony has a trump card in a more capacious battery (even though the headphones are lighter). They can work almost a day and a half. Perfect for long trips. 

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Traditionally, Sony has a better situation with Bluetooth; here, it is standard 5.0.

On the downside, the JBL Tune 500BT has some background noise in standby mode and is uncomfortable for people with large heads. The Sony WH-CH510 may sometimes have interruptions in sound, and the microphone is set too sensitive.

Wired Headphones – A Comparison

There are better devices in the Sony assortment, but they are expensive, and if you compare options in the same price category, then each of the brands will have its advantages.

Compact earbuds

sony vs jbl headphones

They are still the most popular type of headphones. They are not as convenient to use as wireless, but the lack of need for recharging is a significant advantage.

For comparison, we took the popular:

JBL provides good sound with the main feature of the brand – bass. The cord is thick enough, and you can’t hear any friction from it. 

Sony is almost the same in terms of characteristics, except for slightly higher sensitivity, almost 4 inches longer cable, and four ear pads at once in the kit. 

Sony also wins in terms of the color palette; eight variants of the MDR-EX155 model are available against 4 for JBL. 

But the main advantage is weight, as they are practically weightless.

There are no serious complaints about the work of both models. JBL has complaints about build quality, and Sony about a too flimsy cable.

Full-size wired headphones

jbl vs sony headphones

A comparison of JBL or Sony headphones can’t be complete without wired overhead options.

Such headphones are especially interesting for fans of video games because they provide complete immersion in the sound of the virtual world.

The design also has a plus; the swivel mechanism will allow you to transport the headphones compactly. 

Sony has more advantages. They have high sound quality, the membrane diameter is 40 mm, and they weigh only 193 g. 

In addition to the main gray color, the headphones also have bright light green elements in the combination.

The main disadvantage of JBL is that they put too much pressure on the head, which can cause discomfort during prolonged use. The main disadvantage of Sony is the lack of a folding design.

Tray Fiddy

Tray has come to terms with the fact he will probably never be a famous DJ.... but that hasn't stopped him from mixing and researching audio equipment. Tray has over 12 years of experience DJing at home and events.

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