Sony is one of the best wireless headphone manufacturers in the market right now. They offer headphones like the WH-1000XM3 which is one of the best in terms. But not everyone is willing to pay that amount of money despite of what it is offering. Sony released some budget headphone models like the Sony WH-CH700N. So, now it is possible to look beyond the WH-1000XM3 and also get similar features of the flagship in a budget friendly option. But it cannot be compared to the WH-1000XM3 because it might have similar features to it but they are not as good as the WH-1000XM3 which is obvious because the WH-1000XM3 is a budget option. However, it is actually paced with similar features which is amazing considering its price.
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The unboxing experience is like any other Sony headphones. Not flashy, rather simple. The box includes the headphones itself, a Micro USB cable, Headphone cable and instruction manuals. The box does not include any carrying pouch which might be a bit disappointing. Third party carrying pouch is available and it is recommended. The general experience is okay.
Build Quality and Features
The headset is built out of plastic which makes it very lightweight and sometimes not noticeable after wearing it. It also features rotating earcups which makes it portable as it can lay on flat surfaces which also makes it a great travel companion. However, the padding is not deep enough and outer ear might touch the sound grill. An easy solution is to replace the ear cushions with a third-party deeper ear cushion. And it might not be the most comfortable pair of headphones for people wearing glasses. As it is a closed back headphone and the breathing mechanism is not very good, it might get a bit warm after extended use which is normal as it is a common issue for most closed back headphones out there. All in all, it can be used for long sessions without any significant discomfort.
The Sony WH-CH700N features 40mm neodymium drivers and has a frequency response rate of 7-20,000Hz. It does not feature a touch-oriented playback control like the WH-1000XM3 which a lot of people might prefer because it has dedicated playback buttons for each function (like skipping tracks, volume control, play/pause) so you don’t have to remember which touch gesture does what.
There is a noise cancelling button which can be reprogrammed to access voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant via the Sony Headphones Connect app. Many people might prefer the voice assistant over the noise cancellation so it is a decent feature. The voice assistant feature is a great touch because it does many things like reading out text messages which are well ordered.
The noise cancellation feature of Sony WH-CH700N is not as great as the WH-1000XM3 but it is not bad either considering the budget. It does an okay job in handling noise cancellation. It can be turned on and off with the noise cancelling button and further controlled with the Headphones Connect app.
As it is a Bluetooth headphone, connectivity is very significant. It can be paired via Bluetooth. Also, it features quick pairing with compatible devices. It even has support for NFC for the pairing process. Though it does not Support Sony’s LDAC codec, it provides support for aptX HD which reduces connection latency. These can be tweaked through the Headphones Connect app and adjusted accordingly. There are no major connection issues. And as there is a 3.5mm audio port included, it can be a major rescue when the battery runs dead. Wired connection outperforms any codec.
Battery life of this headphone is outstanding. It can go around 35 hours with fully charged with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) on. It beats other competitors in this sector. Moreover, it even beats the Sony WH-1000XM3.
However, charging it is a bit of a drawback. It features micro USB instead of USB-C port and doesn’t charge fast enough. It takes six hours to fully charge and offers 1 hour of playback time with ten minutes of charging.
How Does it Sound?
As it is a headphone, this is the most important question. After enabling the aptX codec from android devices, significant quality improvement can be noticed. The sound profile of it is flat with the low end being underemphasized but it does not compromise the mids and highs. The sound is very clean and detailed. This headphone might be a great pick for people who are fans of indie, acoustic or mid/ vocal focused music. And for hip-hop music fans, these headphones might sound underwhelming as it lacks that punchy heavy bass factor. While the low ends are underwhelming, the mid and high end are excellent. The dynamic drivers are calibrated in a manner that they sound more natural taking advantage of the human ear anatomy.
To enjoy this headphone at its fullest, better audio sample is very important. FLAC format audio file is recommended. The soundstage is wide, thanks to that it gives a live feeling and every instrument can be separated individually and positioning can also be pinpointed. Overall, this a decent sounding headphone and there’s not much to complain about. This headphone is for people who enjoy balanced sound and care less about bass.
For more alternatives, head to Best Sony Noise Canceling Headphones
If noise cancellation is a priority, this headphone might not be the best pick. But the noise cancellation is acceptable considering its price. There are so many other good features like the lightweight build, excellent battery life, easy to use navigation controls and very good sound quality. The sound quality is actually so good that it compensates its flaws. It is also capable of handling everyday usage without any issues like gaming or phone calls. To squeeze the best performance out of these headphones, good audio source is a must. For good source, I mean an android device compatible with aptX support or a good media player.