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Without a doubt, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the flagship model with superior noise-canceling, but not everyone is willing to buy it for the money that the retailers ask. For those looking to save some money, there is the Sony WH-CH700N.
Sony WH-CH700N is an amazing wireless headphone with noise-canceling capabilities for those who want the potential of the WH-1000XM3 for less money. The WH-CH700N are close to them in terms of sound character and noise reduction efficiency, although they aren’t as powerful, of course, but at the same time, they are lighter, more compact, and are a great companion for everyday use. They are also fully integrated with the voice assistants Google Assistant and Siri and possess a long battery life.
Sony WH-CH700N Mid-End Wireless Headphones Review
Type: Over-ear Bluetooth Headphones with ANC | Bluetooth: 4.1 | Latency: 160-180 (average) | Battery: 35 Hours | Quick-Charge: 1 Hours in 10 mins | Drivers: Dynamic | Drivers-Size: 40 mm | Frequency-Response: 7 Hz – 20,000 Hz | Frequency-Response (Bluetooth): 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz | Weight: 240g | Microphone: Built-in | Sensitivity: 97 dB/mW (at 1kHz) – 98 db/mW via cable | Impedance: 22 Ohms
In terms of workmanship, Sony WH-CH700N isn’t on the premium side. In fact, it’s made of plastic. It can be deemed as a compact and mobile headset with an inward folding mechanism and overall light construction. It’s equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 and some of the most popular and efficient Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX HD. The headphone noise reduction system is not as efficient as other Sony models especially Sony WH-1000XM3 or XM4. Nonetheless, the NC headphone model remains a qualitative budget option. The sound benefits from a wide frequency response, reproducing sounds from as low as 7 Hz up to 20 kHz. The bass is punchy and clear, mids are even and intelligible, while the sounds in the upper-end frequency band have good definition and presence.
The Sony WH-CH700N headphones come in a white cardboard box. Everything is very well packed and protected. Inside the package, you’ll find a MicroUSB cable for charging Sony WH-CH700N and a 3.5 mm cable for wired connection, and the usual paperwork. No carrying case is supplied with the headset.
The headphones are made of plastic, lightweight, the earcups fold inward, and therefore the model is perfect for use outside the home. They take up a minimum of space in the bag.
The ear cushions are soft, large enough to fit most people, but not deep enough, and many will have ears in contact with the protective mesh inside. There is nothing wrong with that, but I must warn about it. Those who wear glasses are less fortunate; because of the small thickness of the ear cushions, the headphones will noticeably press on the temples, making listening to music less comfortable. In general, the headphones are comfortable, but there is nothing out of this world regarding design, so let’s move on.
The layout of the controls is good. You get used to them quickly and don’t miss them. Each function has its own button. It is also convenient that you do not need to remember how many times you need to press the universal button to achieve the desired result. The controls work well and are easy to use. Although the design is functional, and the Sony WH-CH700N are for the most part solidly built, they look quite simple compared to, for example, the Marshall Mid Bluetooth.
Sony WH-CH700N is equipped with a Bluetooth 4.1 module, support codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD. There is no support for the proprietary Sony LDAC codec, but with aptX, you won’t be at a loss of sound quality. The signal remains stable if you do not move more than 10-12 meters from the sound source. At a distance farther than 20 meters, the signal completely disappears.
When the volume was set to 75 dB during our test, the headphones worked for an impressive 42 hours and 30 minutes with noise cancellation turned on—an excellent result. There is support for the function of fast charging; 10 minutes on the wire will give about one hour of battery life.
Most headphones, including the more expensive Sony WH-1000XM3, don’t deliver this much. However, charging the Sony WH-CH700N is embarrassing due to the lack of fast charging. To fully charge the headphones, it takes roughly six hours using the supplied Micro USB cable, which is disappointing if you want to use them right away. While long battery life means you’ll need to charge your headset less often, long charging times are inconvenient.
Using the proprietary Sony Headphones application, it is possible to reassign a couple of buttons and adjust the noise-canceling activity.
Sony’s Headphones Connect, an app available free to download for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, allows the user to adjust volume and personalize listening with a wide range of preset and customizable EQ settings. Virtual Phones Technology (VPT) can simulate different sound environment styles (outdoor, nightclub, concert hall, or stadium) to provide even more realistic sound.
In the Sony Headphones application, you can prioritize codecs or turn on aptX, but this will slightly deteriorate the connection stability in places with substantial electromagnetic interference, or forcibly activate the SBC codec, which will improve stability but degrade the sound quality.
There is no out-of-sync when using aptX while watching videos, so I recommend these Sony headphones with noise-canceling for movies and computer games.
When the WH-CH700N is connected to a compatible smartphone with the app installed, you can, among other things, adjust EQ settings, control noise canceling, and change the function of the noise-canceling button to launch Google Assistant (or Siri, on iPhone). An incredibly useful app that helped us set up the functionality and sound of our headphones.
The microphone sensitivity is relatively flat. The interlocutor hears your voice clearly, and without overt noises. However, if you listen, your voice always has a slight echo. It does not interfere with the conversation, and many do not notice it at all, but it is there. Moreover, no matter what room you are in, the echo will be, even if you speak in an open field. In general, the microphone’s quality is good, you can talk on the phone without any problems.
The headphone noise reduction system is not as efficient as other Sony models (the Sony WH-1000XM2, for example). It cannot reduce noise when you are in loud, noisy environments. Ambient noises or engine noise seep into the sound. You can turn up the volume to mask the noises around you, but your music will be audible to the people around you. Because the sound leaks of the Sony WH-CH700N are still higher than normal. Also, prolonged listening at high volume will damage your eardrums in the long term.
The Sony WH-CH700N Bluetooth headphones are equipped with 40mm diameter dynamic transducers motorized by powerful neodymium magnets to ensure balanced sound with distortion-free bass. It incorporates Sony’s proprietary DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) technology, optimizing the playback quality of compressed audio files to regain dynamism and amplitude.
Sony WH-CH700N has a frequency response range of 7-20,000 Hz and features Near-Field-Communication (NFC) for quick pairing. Moreover, to our surprise, Sony WH-CH700N supports aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth codecs. However, you will need to make sure the app is set to prioritize audio quality over connection stability so that your phone will default to aptX or aptX HD codec.
As a result of its deep frequency response and closed-back design, Sony WH-CH700N has deep and punchy basses. The mids are even and clear with very intelligible vocals. As for the treble, they are very present. However, the bass balance varies depending on the type of music, the mids are slightly behind, and the highs are brilliant. So the sound signature of the WH-CH700N has the shape of a “V.”
This kind of rendering will still satisfy a large part of the users. The headset WH-CH700N Sony can be used to listen to different kinds of music: EDM, pop, rock. On the other hand, you will have to choose another headset if you want to enjoy your music’s true tone as the sound reproduction is far from neutral.
With WH-CH700N, Sony is now letting us get a taste of the more expensive headphone’s quality, WH-1000XM3, or WH-1000XM4, without spending so much money. The Japanese electronics manufacturer sells Sony WH-CH700N for around $150 – less than half the premium model price.
This new headset has the same features – wireless connectivity, active noise cancellation, and the ability to use Google Assistant on the go. Ideally, it is combined with a Bluetooth-compatible smartphone, tablet, or laptop to listen to music or watch movies in good conditions in a noisy environment (public transport, train, plane).
Does the lower price mean a significant drop in overall performance? Not enough for a budget user to justify ignoring this unicorn.