Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Shure AONIC 50 Wireless ANC Headphones: Review

Are the Shure Aonic 50 ANC Wireless Headphones better than its rivals from Sony and Bose? You won’t believe what we found out.

Shure AONIC 50 Wireless ANC Headphones

In 2025, Shure will celebrate its 100th birthday. That’s a rather astounding milestone and something it shares with only a handful of companies like Yamaha and Denon — which just celebrated its 111th birthday.

Shure was started in 1925 by Stanley N. Shure in Chicago as a radio parts and kit company and managed to navigate a global depression, WW II, and dozens of other shocks to the global economy. The Shure AONIC 50 represent another interesting milestone for the company.

The brand is universally respected for its microphones and phono cartridges (which it stopped manufacturing recently), but its presence in the headphone category began during WW II when it supplied both microphones and headphones to the U.S. Army and Navy.

At one point in the 1940s, Shure was the single largest manufacturer of phono cartridges in the United States supplying over a dozen manufacturers from their factories in Arizona and Mexico.

The brand was also an early pioneer in wireless communication for both the stage and office environments but stayed out of the Bluetooth segment until recently.

That all changed with the AONIC Series of Bluetooth headphones; some were a rebranding of existing Shure products with the integration of Bluetooth technology like the recently reviewed, Shure AONIC 846.

The Shure AONIC 50 Wireless ANC Headphones represent a fresh start in the over-ear category that has become incredibly competitive.

Shure AONIC 50 Headphone Box Front

The Shure AONIC 50 was one of my favorite products of 2021 but escaped getting reviewed until now because certain people in my home kept running off with it.

Probably a good sign.

In my role as Headphone/Personal Audio Editor, I get to try dozens of new products each year from some of the best brands in the world and the AONIC 50 were definitely not on my radar as a serious contender in the category.

After many months with it, I’m starting to wonder if Sony knows just how good these are.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


The Skinny

The AONIC 50 follow Shure’s policy of building all its products to mil-spec standards; the build quality is very good and I appreciate that Shure were paying attention when it comes to weight and long-term durability.

The headband is leather-wrapped and the hinges and gimbals are all die-cast aluminum. The ear cups are made from an impact resistant polymer material and the pads are premium vegetable leather.  

Shure AONIC 50 Headphone Inner

What became rather clear is that Shure has designed the AONIC 50 for the rigors of studio professionals who will abuse them a lot more, and that they will hold up quite well on campus or with teenagers. Every headphone at this price point needs to be built to similar standards but many are not.

The headphones and 3.5mm cable are covered by a 2-year warranty. In the past, any issues I’ve had with Shure products (which were admittedly my own fault) have been solved quickly and with superb customer communication. I’ve often had issues with products past their warranty and was not charged; that’s very rare right now with a lot of companies.

My only real complaint in regard to the fit and finish of the AONIC 50 is the size of the ear cups; the Sennheiser Momentum 3 are larger so I advise those with large ears to test that one aspect before purchase.

For most listeners that won’t be an issue and I’m very confident in my conclusion that the Shure AONIC 50 delivers better connectivity and sound quality than the Momentum Series and are $100 cheaper — that’s a rather significant difference in price all things considered.

If you’re worried about Bluetooth connectivity options, Shure have gone overboard with the AONIC 50; the supported codecs include aptX, aptX HD, aptX LL, LDAC, AAC, and SBC — which means that it covers most of the better codecs and shouldn’t have any issue pairing with just about any source device.

Take that Apple.

Shure AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Kit

You have the option of either Bluetooth, USB, or 3.5mm cable which allows the AONIC 50 to continue working even after the battery dies.   USB or “wired digital mode” offers the ability to connect the headphone via USB in which case the internal DAC in the headphone supports 32 bit / 384 kHz resolution for Hi-res playback.

I had no issues with pairing using an iPhone, iPad, Samsung S21, OnePlus 9+ Phone, a Win10 laptop, and MacBook Pro.

To put the AONIC 50 into pairing mode, with the unit off, press and hold the power button for 6 seconds. You will hear a prompt followed a few seconds later by a pairing prompt.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Once paired, I found the connection strength to be very stable; solid barriers were the only impediment and the range topped out around 25-30 feet from the source devices.

Battery and ANC

The battery life was quite good as well; I had no issues hitting the advertised 20 hours with ANC disabled and a very respectable 12 hours with ANC on its highest possible setting.

The Shure app allows adjustment of ANC and I found that I didn’t need to activate the highest ANC setting for most situations and could extend battery life using low to medium settings.

Shure AONIC app noise control
Shure AONIC app update
Shure AONIC app frequency adjustments

ANC worked best for low frequency droning sounds and struggled with sharper upper frequency noise; I would rank the AONIC 50 just slightly behind the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700 in ANC performance, but better than the Bose in ambient mode. If you’re keeping score, that makes the AONIC 50 very competitive in the category.

The biggest plus for me though is the fact that neither ambient listening nor ANC change the tonal balance and sonic signature to a degree that a really good sounding headphone becomes quite mediocre. The AONIC 50 is consistently very good in all modes.

There are some big names in the $300-$500 range that sound like completely different headphones when you enable or disable ANC; which is something that consumers should not accept when spending that level of money on a pair of headphones.

Shure AONIC 50 Headphone Wired Jack


The signature is slightly forward sounding in the extreme low end with good impact; clarity and detail are still quite good all the way up to the mid-bass with a lot of texture. Bass notes are not thick or poorly defined at all. I was expecting complex bass material to lose some of its definition and speed but that never transpired with rock, metal, or even classical material.

Moving from the bass into the midrange and treble, I found the AONIC 50 to be quite linear sounding almost all the way up; there is a definite “studio” tuning to the overall tonal balance and presentation.

I’m not sure how many engineers use wireless headphones in the studio (probably zero), but the Shure AONIC 50 would be the first ANC wireless headphone that I’ve tried that could work quite well in that environment.

The lower midrange is clean sounding, although there is a little warmth carried from the mid-bass that helps give male vocals good weight and presence. Guitar notes have excellent energy and detail and I found that to be the case with rock, classical guitar, and jazz.

The overall midrange displayed excellent resolution and texture; strings and piano notes were quite believable, although violin could use a touch more energy to be entirely correct.  

Female vocals cut through the mix well without standing out ahead of their male counterparts making tracks like Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ my Heart Around” sound like they were singing into the same microphone. The tonality of their voices was also quite accurate and one could hear the grittiness in Petty’s voice even at lower listening levels.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

There is enough energy in the lower treble range to perceive both detail and texture and it never comes across as being strident — even when you push the volume up a bit.

Shure demonstrated with the AONIC 50 that they know how to walk that line extremely well. Percussion hits display crispness and cymbals have excellent energy without getting hot or metallic sounding.

As another plus, the Shure app provides solid EQ with multiple presets as well as custom tuning so the user has the ability to tune the sound to their liking.

One thing to note, EQ is not available when using LDAC so those wanting to use the EQ to tweak the sound, will need to pair their phone using aptX HD.

Shure AONIC 50 Controls on Headphone


Has Shure delivered a ANC wireless headphone that is a genuine alternative to the best currently available from Sony and Bose?

The combination of all-day battery life, solid build quality, good comfort, great connectivity, and a sonic signature that offers better neutrality than most with ANC engaged makes it a true rival; the Sony does a better job with higher frequency noise but I can’t honestly say that it’s better sonically with music.

If Shure had Sony’s marketing budget, both Bose and the Japanese giant would have a real fight on its hand in the ANC wireless category.

To make matters even more interesting, Shure just sent us the brand new AONIC 40 which they claim offers some genuine advantages over the AONIC 50; better ANC performance with higher frequencies and the ability to fold them up for travel — while maintaining the sound quality of the AONIC 50.

If the Shure AONIC 40 can deliver on the performance of the AONIC 50 — the ANC wireless headphone category is about to get very testy.

Where to buy: $299 at Amazon |



  1. JML

    February 24, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    You didn’t mention that the AONIC 50 can work when connected to a computer via a USB-C cable. The 2.5mm analog audio port is also recessed enough so that some plugs won’t work, and Shure chose an unusual TRRS configuration for the port and plug’s sections, and not a standard TRS setup, so choosing aftermarket cables is not as simple as one might think.

  2. ORT

    February 26, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    Oh great…Now I may have to buy another set of ‘phones, LOL! Thank you Sir Minion of Jennings!

    I just got a pair of Philips SHP9600s and they are quite nice. Not deemed “audiophile” but then neither am I! Time and available moolah will tell if and when these Shures show up at the Casa de Sapo.

    Thank you for the review and another thank you to JML for his insights on these ‘phones. Both are much appreciated!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


The Final Audio UX3000 wireless noise cancelling headphones have raised the bar for performance at only $149.

New Products

JLab's JBuds Lux wireless over-ear headphones and ANC 3 earbuds are featured packed and price competitive options arriving early 2024.


Shure took an already good wireless noise cancelling headphone in the AONIC 50 and improved it without raising the price or cutting corners. It’s...


Sennheiser's most affordable wireless noise cancelling headphones are tuned for younger music listeners who prefer pop and hip-hop.

Daily Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2023 are behind us. But some of the best holiday deals are still available on speakers, receivers and TVs.


The best high-end wireless headphones of 2023? The revised Bowers & Wilkins Px8 have dethroned their rival across the English Channel.

Gift Guides

It's Black Friday! Our gift guide has been updated with even better deals that just went live. These offers won't last long, so order...

New Products

Bowers & Wilkins flagship Px8 noise cancelling wireless headphone are now available in Royal Burgundy Nappa leather finish with newly updated tuning for $699.


ecoustics is a hi-fi and music magazine offering product reviews, podcasts, news and advice for aspiring audiophiles, home theater enthusiasts and headphone hipsters. Read more

Copyright © 1999-2024 ecoustics | Disclaimer: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

SVS Bluesound PSB Speakers NAD Cambridge Audio Q Acoustics Denon Marantz Focal Naim Audio RSL Speakers