Active Noise Canceling that fits your pocket
Want the great active noise canceling that Sony has become famous for, but don’t have the budget for Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM4?
Well look no further, Sony’s budget-friendly WH-CH710N is here to do exactly that!
Great noise canceling usually comes at a steep price, but on offer here, we get exactly that, but at a lower price. So, what shortcuts have been taken to get the lower price?
Let’s find out in this Sony WH-CH710N review…
Once in hand, you quickly realize how lightweight these headphones are. They are entirely plastic, which explains why they weigh so little, but that doesn’t mean they feel cheap. The WH-1000XM3’s are also entirely plastic, but Sony coats the plastic with a soft, matte black that feels amazing when held, whilst remaining pleasing to the eyes.
The earcups are able to swivel, but there are no hinges present, which means it takes up some extra storage space.
Sleek and modern…
The subdued looks are pleasing, and one of our favorite parts of the design. They don’t draw attention but look still look sleek and modern.
The earpads are decently padded with memory foam and wrapped in a leatherette, the same as on their more expensive counterpart. They stay comfy no matter how long you wear them, great for long workdays or gaming sessions. There is also some padding under the headband, which helps keep pressure off your crown, without making them feel too loose.
Too close for comfort?
The only gripe we had with the pair was how flat the earcups were. If you don’t have small ears, it’s a guarantee that your ears will be very close to the drivers.
Another corner that has been cut, for the better, is the touch controls. The finicky touch gestures are gone and replaced with clicky, easy to use buttons.
The sound profile on the Sony WH-CH710N is anything but consumer friendly. There is a slight boost between 50-100Hz, which helps the bass sound a bit more refined, but nothing more than that.
If you are a bass junkie, this might disappoint you, but Sony has their very own bass-boosted headphones, the WH-XB900N.
True to the mix…
If you’re like us though, you’d prefer the mix to remain the way it should sound, since this is how it was intended to be listened to.
We did find some songs lacking the extra punch, especially when it came to vocals. The mix seems too flat at times, leaving some music, like rock and indie sounding a little too flat. During the last chorus of “Let her go” by Passenger, his voice seems ducked behind the rest of the instrumentation instead of being upfront and center as we’ve heard on a lot of other headphones.
Muddy in fuller mixes…
The highs also seem a little muddled when there is a lot of instrumentation. This could be due to the narrower soundstage, which is strange for over-ear headphones.
The microphone worked well in most cases. Phone calls went well and uninterrupted. In good, indoor conditions, that is.
Once we had an AC blowing on the headphones, they did pick up some of that background noise. Suffice to say; these won’t be the best in a noisy coffee shop or office if you want to use them to make phone calls.
Now let’s talk about why you’re really here, the noise canceling.
Sony’s noise canceling has really improved over the last few years. These headphones are able to block out any noises below 300Hz, which is where a lot of headphones struggle. The low hum sounds you’d find at home or at work, like an air conditioner or fridge.
Some loud chatter did sneak through, but nothing that’s really worth complaining about considering the lower price tag.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Sony has been packing in NFC with most of its new headphones, and these are no different. If you have an NFC capable device, connecting these headphones are as easy as tapping the two devices together.
However, if you don’t have an NFC capable device, connecting with Bluetooth is virtually hassle free as well. Just power on the headphones and look for them on your Bluetooth enabled device. The headphones use Bluetooth version 5.0, so walking around your home or office will be no problem for these cans.
Best for Apple users…
Unfortunately, Sony has once again excluded their own LDAC codec and opted only for AAC, which is for IOS only. It seems that LDAC is solely reserved for their flagship series, which isn’t a great move. So, there is no high-quality streaming wirelessly, unless you have an iPhone or iPad.
At least these can still be used with a standard 3.5mm jack if you prefer.
Great battery life and superfast charging…
The batteries of Sony headphones are known for their amazing performance, and these are no different. You can expect up to 35 hours of playback time, even more, if you listen at half the volume. They charge up via USB-C and have fast charging. Ten minutes of charging will give you an hour of playback, great if you’re in a pinch.
Who is the Sony WH-CH710N for?
If you are a massive Sony fanboy, want the noise canceling, but don’t have the cash for their flagship. They won’t be dethroning the WH-1000XM3 or WH1000XM4, but make a great choice at their price.
They also have some of the best battery life on the market, which can be a dealbreaker for some. And you can expect these to last you a whole work week without a single charge.
The daily commute…
The WH-CH710N is also great for everyday commuters who want to listen to music and not the rumbling bus or train.
Considering the new WH-1000XM4’s has just dropped, the price of their previous version will reduce, and you might be able to pick up a pair of WH1000-XM3’s for a bargain. That makes recommending these quite difficult, but if you have a tight 200$ budget, these will be your best bet.
Sony WH-CH710N Review Pros and Cons
- Great active noise canceling.
- Battery life.
- AAC for IOS users.
- No LDAC or aptX support.
- Lacking clarity.
- Build quality.
Are you a Sony Fanboy?
You may also be interested in our general review of the Best Sony Headphones you can buy in 2020.
Or, if you’re after a portable sound solution, take a look at our review of the Sony SRS XB41.
Sony WH-CH710N Review Round-Up
If you’re on a tight budget and must have active noise canceling headphones, the Sony WH-CH710N is the best active noise canceling headphones you can buy.
If you have some patience and are tech savvy, you might be able to pick up a pair of WH-100XM3’s around the same price, which puts these in a strange position. However, if you aren’t able to find the 1000XM3’s, these are the best alternative.
If noise canceling isn’t a concern, you will find a large variety of great headphones around the same price like the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2.