The wireless headphone category is getting pretty crowded these days, and it isn’t hard to imagine consumers feeling a tad daunted when it comes to trying to choose the right wireless headset that’s reliable, comfortable and of course, sounds awesome. I can help narrow that field a bit, with a review of two of Sony’s new wireless headphones; the WH-CH700N and WH-CH500.
Sony WH-CH700N: What’s in the box
Along with the Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Noise Cancelling Headset, the box contains a charging cable and a headphone cable, as well as the usual user documentation, warranties, etc.
The headphones themselves are grey in colour (although they are available in black and blue), fairly light, and made mostly of plastic. The headphone band is padded at the top, and does not fold, however the ear pads do swivel to give the wireless headphones a more compact profile for travel or storage.
The soft leather ear pads are large and snug, which you know bodes well for keeping the outside noise away from your precious tunes. On the base of the right ear pad, you’ll find plastic buttons that control volume, and the fast forward, play/pause, rewind functions. The left one has the on and off switch, noise-cancelling switch, as well as ports for the charging cable and headphone jack.
Sony WH-CH700N Noise-Cancelling
I think these days, owning some sort of noise-cancelling headphones is a necessity. Whether its so you can block out the office clatter and chatter (or household chaos if you work from home) and get down to work quietly, or so you get no other sounds in your ears than your sweet, sweet music; digital noise cancellation is a real asset in our constantly cacophonous world.
The WH-CH700N ‘s noise-cancelling works just as expected. Simply push the button on the underside of the left ear pad and the Sony WH-CH700N’s Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation (AINC) analyzes all the sounds in the background and adjusts it for optimal performance in places like airplanes, subways, chatty offices, homes with kids and other noisy environments. I found it worked really well.
Sony WH-CH700N Headphone Sound Quality
First of all, pairing these to my smartphone was a snap using Bluetooth and the NFC One-touch. After connecting and popping on some of my favourite tracks from different genres including classical, hip hop and thundering classic rock, I was impressed with the WH-CH700N’s sound. The audio reproduction was clear no matter if I was in the home with noisy kids, or out for a walk with my dog along a busy road, and the volume was as loud as I need it to be (which is very loud!). The bass may not have been as deep as I wanted it to be, however I’ve been using super-bass heavy headphones lately, and maybe my ears are just tuned for an extra bass sound now. However, the overall highs and mid-range sounds were crystal clear and the audio range felt very deep and satisfying.
The headphones’ fit was very light and comfortable, and the ear pads were snug enough to insulate from sound, but did not make my ears all sweaty and stuff.
Sony WH-CH700N Headphone Battery Life
The headphones offer an impressive 35 hours of battery life, plus it only takes 10-minutes of charging for the set to have enough juice to play for 60 minutes. Other features of the WH-CH700N include hands-free calling, and voice assist function, compatible with Google and Siri.
Overall, with the noise-cancelling and the great price, I would say these are well worth a look (or rather listen) for someone seeking to purchase a decent set of multi-functional phones that won’t break the bank. If noise-cancelling isn’t on your must-have list of features, then maybe check out the next set of wireless headphones that I tested from Sony, the WH-CH500.
Sony WH-CH500: What’s in the box?
As with its big brother, the Sony WH-CH500 Wireless Stereo Headset comes with a micro USB cable for charging and the usual suspects of warranties and user agreement documentation, however no audio jack cable. Of course, that means the Sony WH-CH500 doesn’t offer a wired option for music and media appreciation. Keep that in mind.
The headphone band is black plastic, adjustable, and as with the previous set of phones, do not fold. However, the glossy black plastic ear pads do swivel inward for travel and storage. The ear pads have nice and soft black leather cushioning. The right ear pad gets all the controls-love though. On its underside, the right ear pad has volume controls, as well as on/off/multi-function switch and micro USB port. The left one has nada.
Using the Sony WH-CH500 Wireless Headphones
Bluetooth and NFC one-touch allow pairing and streaming with ease on the Sony WH-CH500. And, as an aside, I wish Sony and everyone else would start naming things a little better. WH-CH500 and WH-CH700N kind of sound like the names of the droids in the next installment of Star Wars, or something.
But I digress.
I don’t have an especially large head, but I did find these headphones fit a bit snug. If you have been accused of having an especially large noggin then you may want to try a pair on before buying. Otherwise, they ear pads are comfortable, and the whole headset is very lightweight.
Sony WH-CH500 Wireless Headphone Sound Quality
As for the audio quality, I was completely impressed that these smaller and inexpensive little wireless headphones have such great sound. The volume is loud, especially for wireless Bluetooth headphones, and the bass was fantastic, with lows that rumble. This was especially noticeable when playing hip hop, or for really getting that cello sound ringing clearly in classical tunes. The highs weren’t as piercing as I usually prefer, however the WH-CH500 offered outstanding digital fidelity for the tunes I tested.
Sony WH-CH500 Battery Life
Rounding out the features on the Sony WH-CH500 headphones are 20 hours of playback time, hands-free calling and voice assistant commands. Overall, I’d say if you were looking for a swell pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones that are inexpensive and sound great, these are well worth a listen.
Which would I prefer? Well, considering how I like my noise-cancelling headphones, and the WH-CH700N’s 40-mm drivers (compared to the WH-CH500’s 30-mm drivers), I would opt for the former personally. That being said, little brother is obviously less expensive, and it does a great job of isolating sound, and it has a booming bass. Well, they are both Sony, and you know that has always been a banner brand when it comes to awesome audio, so you decide which you’d prefer, and let me know in the comment section below.