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Headphones big enough to fit Sonnet 2?


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In another thread, @Juan P mentioned searching for big headphones for his Sonnet 2 with Airstream and looking at the HIFIMAN Ananda.  That got me wondering does the HIFIMAN have the largest ear cup size?

I've been using the Sony XM5. My Sony XM5 headphone cup is almost an exact match to the Sonnet 2 with Airstream which means the cushion pad covers the microphones. If I'm using it to stream directly to the Sonnet 2, then the microphone placement doesn't matter too much.  If the streaming is to the headphones, then the microphone placement does matter.  While traveling, I've used it both ways. 

It still seems to work pretty well but might cause premature cushion wear.

Here are what seem to be the cup opening size for three headphones along with data source on measurement, Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancellation, and list price.

  • Sony WH-1000XM5:  2.375 inches by 1.625 inches wide (My measurement) [BT, ANC, $399]
  • Cowin E7 Pro:  2.125 inches by 1.5 inches  (My measurement, Cheap old pair that I have) [BT, ANC, discontinued, 5 years ago was $50]
  • HIFIMAN Ananda:  3.5 inches by 2.5 inches (according to a question/answer on the Amazon listing) [No BT, No ANC, $599]

I really like the Bluetooth and active noise cancelling though.  The HIFIMAN seems to be targeting an audiophile group and just happens to be really big.  I'm wondering if there are options with BT and ANC.

I know @Mary Beth is a big fan of her Bose QC 45's.  Here are some of the headphones that compete with the Sony. 

  • Bose QC 45:  ____ by _____ [BT, ANC, $329]
  • Bose 700:  ____ by _____ [BT, ANC, $299]
  • Apple AirPods Max headphones:  ____ by _____ [BT, ANC, $549]
  • Sennheiser Momentum 4:  ____ by _____ [BT, ANC, $349]

I suppose if it is too big, it would be hard to get it to fit under a Rondo when I switch to that. 

Also it fits a lot better with the regular cover instead of the Airstream cover.

My headphones pre-date getting a CI but it seems like it would be helpful to see what options are out there and others might find it useful. 

If you have a pair, feel free to add the internal cup measurement. 



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Tim, thanks for providing some useful measurements.  So far the Hifiman ananda seems the best fit for me. Audio 46 store in NYC claims that other more expensive models could also fit my Sonnet 2  with the audiostream cover. However, I didn't  see them as they were too pricey for my budget.
What's the ear cup size of the SONY Xm5?

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I have the previous version of BOSE… BOSE QC35.

I am not sure if QC35 and QC 45 have the same ear cup dimensions.

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@Juan P Sorry, my XM5 is just a shorthand for the WH-1000XM5 so 2.375 inches by 1.625 inches wide and much smaller than the HIFIMAN.  Looking forward to seeing what you find out.  In my use, I would be a little concerned that the audiophile headphones might have open backs and enough sound leakage to be a problem for other people or not provide enough benefit for things like noise on an airplane.  I spent about 15 hours wearing my Sony's over my Sonnet 2 on the trip back from Europe last week. 

@Mary Beth I would expect the QC35 and QC45 are very similar and I know that you like it so I'm curious if it is bigger or smaller than the Sony's. 

I'll add two more data points.

  • AO Safety 1000:  2.625" x 1.625" (Cheap construction ear muffs, my measurements) [Sound isolating, no BT, no ANC, no audio, around $20 from Home Depot]
  • Anker Q45:  2.4"x1.75" (60.8 x 44.6 mm) (measures provided by Anker on Amazon Q&A) [BT, ANC, $150]  (Gets good reviews as a cheaper alternative to the high end Sony & Bose).

Off-hand, some of the possible benefits to wearing headphones on top of Sonnet(s):

  • Active noise cancellation (even whatever residual hearing on my CI side might be bothered by airplane noise and no need to wrestle with trying to get the microphone mix turned off.)
  • Sound unbalancing for SSD rehab (ex. set it to 95:5 ratio for volume to CI vs. good ear)
  • Better audio codecs for music quality (not that I can tell much when it is all going through my CI and early in  rehab journey!)
  • Conserve battery power for the CI by letting streaming go through headphones
  • More stable Bluetooth (maintains my BT connection even when my phone is in my pocket on my other side)
  • Audioback channel for talking on the phone
  • Helping hold the Sonnet on my ear (keeps it clamped on while on an airplane)

My biggest use is likely to be during travel.  I've worn it around the office some when people weren't around.

Desired features:

  • Big ear cups (height, width, and depth)
  • Replaceable ear pads
  • Good BT, Noise canceling, carrying case, battery life.


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Around the ear headphones are my go to device for traveling by plane.  Easily connects to seatback or personal entertainment.  Battery life of 20 hours.  Can easily pop them off to hear others when desired.  Awesome sound quality.  True left/right audio separation which is amazing in music and some movie audio as well.  Noise canceling to a good degree but not as much noise canceling as acoustic hearing due to the mic location in the ear cup.  Ability to be truly handsfree if calls are needed in busy airports.

And for BOSE QC35 (but not applicable to QC45) two headphones can stream the same audio with separate volume control via the BOSE Connect app.  We use this when watching movies from an iPad while flying.

I can measure the ear cup on my BOSE QC35.  The opening inside the ear cup is about 2.5 X 1.5 inches.  The Sonnet/Sonnet2 with the standard battery cover fits inside.  I doubt that the new rechargeable max battery & battery cover would fit.  I am not sure if the AudioStream cover would fit for those who use that as their everyday cover.

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@Mary Beth Thanks! 

You are right, I doubt that the Audiostream doesn't really fit either the Bose headphones.  I think my Audiostream doesn't technically fit my Sony headphones either but I just kind of forced - the soft cushions probably worked pretty well to mold around it.  It worked but I bet it gave the microphones on the Sonnet 2 a hard time since they were pushed up against the cushions.

The standard battery cover fits pretty easily in the Sony headphones.  The Max battery case is a worse fit than the Audiostream. 

I suppose I should plan for using the standard battery cover for next time while flying. 


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