Sony WH-CH710N Review: Active Noise Cancelling and premium sound on the cheap

Sony WH-CH710N

Once upon a time, the Sony WH-CH710N headphones retailed for a whopping $199 which was a hard sell at the time given the alternatives in the same price margin. It appears Sony had a change of heart over time to cut this down to $129 depending on where you buy it from. When you are to think about it, it’s just about the perfect price for headphones that are neither premium nor particularly cheap.

Whichever way you look at it, Sony took liberties in the lab to give you an affordable product albeit with some cost cutting that might or might not be a deal breaker. We leave it up to you to decide.

Advertisement - Continue reading below

What’s in the box

  • Headphones
  • USB-C to Type A cable
  • 3.5mm auxiliary headphone cable

Build and Design

Sony WH-CH710N

The Sony WH-CH710N aesthetic is that less is more. The headsets are slim and lightweight for headphones that big. The memory foam is unbelievably cushy that using the headsets for an extended period is barely an inconvenience. Those with bigger ears than mine might complain about the size of the earcups but it was just perfect for me. I have used the Sony WH-CH710N from morning to night for weeks without the slightest bit of discomfort.

I also loved the matte finish which lends them an inconspicuous look although I’ll be the first to admit that all the plastic makes the headphones look a tad cheap. The creaks are rather pronounced when I so much as move my jaw or wiggle my ears a bit. It’s less noticeable when you’re playing something though, so I wouldn’t say it’s a deal breaker or anything.

The Sony WH-CH710N comes with a USB-C port for charging, old-school tactile buttons for Play/Pause, volume buttons, noise cancellation and ambient sound buttons, and the power button. I will admit though that I mostly use my headsets on a PC and never need to touch the controls at all. I rarely even use the NFC/Bluetooth too.

My one gripe with the headsets is that they aren’t quite as portable as I would have liked. They fold to lie flat on one side, but without a hardcase to protect the memory foam, it feels irresponsible to dump them in a backpack. Best case scenario is carrying them around your next like bling bling.

Performance

The Sony WH-CH710N headphones support NFC for one touch connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0 with support for SBC and AAC codecs. Disappointingly, they don’t support LDAC or AptX , so don’t expect Hi-Res audio.

If you’re not an audiophile (same here), and all you care about is easy listening and comfort, Sony’s got you. I honestly can’t remember the last time I wore headphones for most of the day and my ears didn’t ache from the extended contact. The continued relevance in my routine earns the headphones a few badges.

Advertisement - Continue reading below

When it comes to sound quality, what I love abut the headsets is that the bass isn’t distorted even at high volume. There’s a decent balance of the highs and the lows to give you that clean, crisp sound.

Noise cancellation is pretty decent too especially for low frequencies. Higher frequencies sneak through which is a bummer. Also, when ANC is turned on, you do hear a faint hissing sound. I do get used to it, but it would be better not to have it altogether. Oftentimes though, I go for Ambient mode so that I maintain awareness of my environment as I listen to my jams. I actually got disoriented during meetings because of the ANC blocked out the sound around me making me feel like I was talking into a void.

Battery Life

Sony WH-CH710N

The times I had to work away from the office, the Sony WH-CH710N headphones really impressed with how long it lasts on a single charge. The advertised duration is 35 hours of music playback. In truth, I have stretched this to about a week of intermittent usage with noise cancelling turned on.

An area of concern though is just how long the headphones take to charge. Sony approximates 7 hours to get a full charge (35 hours of playback) and 1 hour playback after 10 minutes of charge. I haven’t been able to put this to the test. While in charge, an LED will go red. That goes out when it’s done.

The included USB-C to Type A cable is ridiculously short. Not that I can use the headsets when they are charging (you’ll hear a buzzing sound), but come on! Luckily, USB-C is fast becoming ubiquitous so that shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience.

Price and where to buy

The price of the Sony WH-CH710N headphones is at an all-time low. You save yourself $100 for headphones that initially cost $199 and are now at $129.99 Amazon. If you live in Uganda, you can also find them on Odukar store for UGX670,000.

Verdict

At the moment, the biggest selling point of the Sony WH-CH710N is their low price. The build quality is a bit of a downer but you still get many of the features reserved for the more premium offerings such as above average ANC and Sony’s remarkable sound finetuning.

Personally, I love the option to choose between wired and wireless depending on my mood. They are also so darn comfortable, especially if you got medium to small ears. And coupled with their long standing battery, you can leave the headphones on for hours without succumbing to ear fatigue.

If the Sony WH-CH710N aren’t to your liking, you might perhaps give the Sony MDR7506 a try for roughly the same price. And if your pockets run deep, you can splash on the highly rated Sony WH-1000XM4.

Advertisement - Continue reading below

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.