Sony WH-CH710N headphones review: Affordable alternative to WH-1000XM3s?

Sony WH-CH710N headphones
Sony recently launched its wireless Bluetooth headphones, the WH-CH710N, in India. With active noise cancellation its key feature, the headphones seem to be an affordable alternative to company’s premium WH-1000XM3s headphones. The new headphones from Sony look promising, but how does it fare in the overall scheme of things? Let's find out.

Design and build

The headphones weigh around 200 g, which is considered light weight in its segment. It is a treat for those who desist bulky headphones. Moreover, the headphones’ band has a comfortable fabric wrap with good amount of cushion that does not feel heavy when resting on head. The earcups have soft cushion, too. However, they are not the best and you might find them inconvenient in hot weather conditions. The headphones have matte finish, which looks impressive. However, the plastic built might not appeal to all.

The headphones feature control buttons on its earcups for ease of use. On the right earcup, there are buttons for volume, play/pause, noise cancellation and ambient sound. The play/pause button here doubles up to wake voice assistants, when used with smartphones. On the left, there is a power button, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm auxiliary port for wired connectivity.

Performance

While the headphones design is in-line with Sony’s premium offerings, performance seems to be the area where the company had cut corners to bring down its price. The headphones’ bass is good but lacks the punch. It boasts a massive 30mm drivers, yet it misses out on the sound quality.

The overall output is underwhelming, and the headphones do not do justice with the mids and highs. The treble seems a bit dull at times.

The active noise cancellation, which the company calls Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation, is adaptive in nature. It works sometimes but in most cases it does not live up to the expectation.

The headphones has near field communication (NFC) chip for quick pairing that adds to the convenience.

The battery life is impressive and we did not keep a count on charging cycles as the headphones barely needed charging, even after aggressive week long usage. Sony claims it can stay for up to 35 hours with noise cancellation on and we have no reason to doubt those claims.

The headphones has Bluetooth 5.0 and support sub-band codecs and advanced audio codecs. Unfortunately, the company’s proprietary LDAC codes support is missing here and the headphones does not support Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX HD codes, too.

Verdict

For Rs 9,990, WH-CH710N gets the job done, yet it's not the best offering from Sony. There are plenty of options for users around the Rs 10,000 price bracket. We suggest users can spend some more and get a versatile headphone.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel