Sony WH-CH700N wireless ANC headphones review: Powerful balanced audio but ANC is middling

Priced at Rs 12,990, Sony WH-CH700N is the latest ANC wireless AI headphones available for purchase in India on online retail stores such as Amazon, vplak.com, and others.

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Sony might have lost an edge in the smartphone segment in the Indian market but the Japanese tech giant is doing quite well in other verticals. These include a wide range of consumer-centric products such as home-theatre systems, wireless, and non-wireless audio accessories, and smart TVs.

Rating:
4.0/5

Sony WH-CH700N wireless ANC headphones review

 

Sony has a lot to offer in the audio category for music lovers. The company's most recent product for audiophiles is WH-CH700N.

Priced at Rs 12,990, Sony WH-CH700N is the latest ANC wireless AI headphones available for purchase in India on online retail stores such as Amazon, vplak.com, and others. We got to the use the AI enabled wireless ANC WH-CH700N headphones for a while and here's our comprehensive review of the unit.

Design: Comfortable to wear even with prolonged usageDesign: Comfortable to wear even with prolonged usage

Design: Comfortable to wear even with prolonged usageDesign: Comfortable to wear even with prolonged usage

The Sony WH-CH700N AI headphones come in a premium looking design. The headphones are made out of good quality plastic material and resemble the WH-1000XM3 ANC headphones. However, the new wireless headphones have a slightly different earcup design. With an over-the-head design and light-weight body, the headphones are quite comfortable to wear even with prolonged usage. The soft cushioning on the earpads as well as on the headband ensures comfortable wear for long music listening sessions. And even though the cushioning on earcups is quite heavy, I didn't experience any major sweating problems in ears during continues music playback, which is quite impressive.

Rotatable earcups
 

Rotatable earcups

The headphones feature a rotatable (semi-foldable) earcup design which makes it easy to carry them around in a bag. All you need to do is to fold the earcups and chuck the pair in your carrying bag, the lightweight form factor adds to the portability. The earcups of the headphones are big and easily accommodates the ears inside for a comfortable wearing session. The earcups feature a matte texture design with some glittering on top and it does look good.

Ports and Keys placement

Coming to the placement of ports and keys, the left earcup of the Wh-CH 700N headphone houses a big power key integrated with an LED that glows when the headphone is switched on. Pressing the power key briefly will let you know the battery status. There is a micro USB port as well for charging placed at the bottom of the left panel, though, a USB Type-C port would have been much better. Finally, you get a 3.5mm audio jack to connect AUX cable and right next to it is the NC (noise cancellation) switch.

The right ear cup of the headphone primarily has the controls for audio playback. A small button slider is used to play/pause audio and play next or previous tracks. All you need to do is slide the key up or down to change through the tracks. The bottom of the right panel also houses the volume adjusters. The keys, as well as the ports, are placed neatly on the headphone and they are quite swift with their functionalities.

Audio: Specifications and performance

Audio: Specifications and performance

Let's have a quick look at the specification of the Sony WH-CH 700N ANC headphones. Sony has packed 40mm dynamic drivers in the headphone that delivers a powerful audio output. Offering a wide frequency response range of 7-20,000Hz and a sensitivity level of 97db, the headphone allows us to enjoy every beat and rhythm in the tracks being played. Like mentioned earlier, it has a 3.5mm audio port for connecting AUX cables and microUSB port for charging.

The AI noise-cancellation headphone uses Bluetooth to connect with wireless devices. The headphones are compatible with the all the Bluetooth enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops etc and supports both iOS and Android devices.via Bluetooth. I didn't experience any issues with the Bluetooth connectivity even if the connected device was kept a bit far (at a distance of around 7-8 ft). Though, the company claims a connectivity range of 35 ft which I believe is quite handy. The headphone also has an AI support including Google Assistant for Android.

Talking about the performance, the Sony WH-CH700 AI noise cancellation headphones offer a premium audio listening experience. The headphones will not let down in terms of performance. Whatever genre I played on Sony WH-CH700, I experienced immersive audio output. The sound signature is quite balanced and the headphones do not highlight any specific factor such as bass, treble or mid in a track.

Upon playing a wide genre of songs, I found that the headphones deliver a punchy bass, balanced mids, highs, and lows making the listening experience better. The instruments played in the background are easily distinguishable from the vocals and the audio does not get muffled even at maximum levels. The volume levels are suitable at around 60 percent and you will not need to pump up the volumes to enjoy your audio. One thing which impressed me about Sony WH-CH700 is that the headphones ensure the audio does not leak out even at maximum levels. This gives you the privacy to enjoy your music and videos at maximum volume levels without troubling anyone in the vicinity.

Noise cancellation: Not as effective as the WH1000XM3

Noise cancellation: Not as effective as the WH1000XM3

Sony WH-CH700N are AI-enabled ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) headphones. These are one of the few headphones to offer the premium feature at a price tag of Rs 12,988. Sadly, ANC is mostly good on papers and is not highly effective. I was able to hear the outside noise even with the feature turned on. Sometimes I don't play music and simply wear the headphones with ANC turned on to cut the outside noise on a busy office day. Sony Sony WH-CH700N failed to deliver the absolute noise-cancellation experience.

A major reason behind this could be the big ear cup size which seems to be unable to seal the ears completely in order to block the outside noises. However, this doesn't mean that this feature does not work at all on the headphones. In simple words, the outside noises do get faded but not as effectively as it does on the WH1000XM3 and some other premium Noise cancellation headphones. Switching on the noise cancellation is also simple. You just need to press the NC button placed at the bottom of the left ear cup briefly to activate it

Headphones Connect app

Headphones Connect app

Like the Sony WH-1000XM3, the CH700N also comes with Headphone Connect app. This app is available on both Android as well as iOS devices and can be downloaded from PlayStore and App Store respectively. Sony's Headphone Connect app has a number of features which allow to fine-tune the audio output.

With the app, you will also be able to activate or deactivate the noise canceling feature without the need of pressing the NC key on the headphone. Also, you can enable the Google Assistant functionality of the NC button with the help of the Headphone Connect app. The Google Assistant works without any hiccups and can be summoned easily by simply giving the ‘OK Google' command.

 

Battery: Close to a day of backup with a single charge

Battery: Close to a day of backup with a single charge

The battery of the Ch700N is a beast and it will not let you worry about the battery getting drained even with extensive usage. While Sony has not clearly mentioned the battery specs, it does claim that the headphone lasts for up to 35 hours with a single charge. During the testing, it did offer close to a complete day of backup with some charge still left, which is really impressive. It is good to see that this feature-rich wireless headphone offers big on battery so that we can enjoy our listening sessions.

The only letdown is the slow charging time. The headphones take more than 3 hours to get a complete charge which is rather time-consuming. However, it does make up for it by offering a long-lasting battery backup. Besides, we would have appreciated a USB Type-C port for charging instead of the regular microUSB port.

 

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