Sony INZONE H9 Review: Best for work & gaming use

Sony INZONE H9

Top-range SONY bluetooth gaming headphones with NC, physical keys, Spatial Sound (for those who deem it useful) and good battery life. Great sound quality, but not up to standard less expensive headphones. The Sony INZONE H9 goes only in bluetooth or with wireless receiver, for some reason the cable is only used for charging. Nice and easy to use application with lots of settings. Before moving on to my review, let’s talk a little about the contents in the package and Price, its technical design and its sound quality:

Things we like

  • Excellent built quality
  • Quality sound
  • ANC support

Things we don’t like

  • Missing IP ratings for water proof
  • Lacks multi connectivity
  • None

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Price and Availability

The Sony INZONE H9 headphone come with a white color option. It is price $299.99. You can purchase this headset from the company’s official website electronics.sony.com

Who should have to buy this INZONE H9?

  • Deep pocketed travelers and commuters will appreciate the Active noise cancelling performance of these headphone.
  • If you wear a glasses, however, the high clamping force of band will not be comfortable for you.

Box Content

Sony gaming headphones have been on the market for a while. As a supplement, Sony is now rounding off the range with the H9 with active noise reduction. The headphones are delivered in a simple but tidy-looking box. In addition to the headphones, which weigh around 340 grams, the Bluetooth transmitter and a USB C charging cable are also included in the scope of delivery.

Sony INZONE H9
  •  INZONE H9 headset
  •  USB-C charging cable (1.5m)
  • USB transceiver
  • User Guide

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Design and Build Quality

Sony INZONE H9

They have an excellent fit, and an excellent degree of both vertical and horizontal mobility: they can be turned 90 degrees to place the headphones on a flat surface. The ear cushions are covered in fine synthetic leather, which is very pleasant to the touch. Between the leather and the plastic structure, there is a grid that allows the air to escape, so as not to overheat the ears in prolonged gaming sessions.

Simple and minimal, combined with plastic materials that do not convey particular sensations to the eye or to the touch. The rather generously sized pavilions immediately catch the eye due to the absence of particular finishes or curvatures. The upper part of the bow is in synthetic leather, the lower part instead, in addition to the synthetic leather, is characterized by a plastic section, also in this case not particularly premium as a material.

However, this choice of materials has a not entirely negligible advantage. The total weight of the headphones, despite the size and the large battery inside, is about 330 grams. There is also non-customizable LED lighting, which acts as an on-and-off indicator and also serves to understand when the pairing mode via Bluetooth is activated.

Unfortunately, both the battery and the leatherette ear cups are permanently installed. An exchange is therefore probably at best possible via the Sony service. In my opinion, this should not be the case for reasons of sustainability – especially with frequent use, sooner or later a replacement will be necessary and that should really not be a problem with headphones in this price range.

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Touch Controls

On the right pavilion, there is the power button together with the one for pairing with Bluetooth devices and the switch to manage the game audio balance with that of voice chat. On the left one, there is the button for activating the active noise cancellation mode, the USB-C charging port with the LED that indicates when the charge level is low, and a practical volume wheel that offers a good grip for precise control. Also, on the left pavilion is the microphone boom made of flexible plastic, with the capsule in the final section in rigid plastic. The volume wheel and the various buttons on the earcups are easily accessible

Sony INZONE H9 Review: Comfort

In addition to the controls, wearing comfort is of course also important with headphones and the H9 scores here too. The headphones are very comfortable and the moderate weight is well distributed over the comfortable padded bracket. The ear cups enclose the ears without pinching and the soft synthetic leather cushions are very comfortable, even if you sweat underneath in summer temperatures. I’ve worn the headphones for many hours now and nothing presses or annoys me – except maybe the operation with the small buttons, which doesn’t work blindly for me. I find the built-in volume control via a rotary wheel very nice. I would find an LED for NC/Amb helpful.

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Features

The killer feature here is the ability to connect to your phone via Bluetooth and your PC/PS5 at the same time. This means if you get a phone call while gaming, you can take the phone call and hear your game in the background without stopping, just as I would have with my 7.1.2 surround system but the person on the other end of the call can’t hear what you’re playing. This is a game-changer! You can even stream music from your phone while connected to your game on the PC/PS5. Connecting these via the dongle or Bluetooth is easy, the only thing missing for me is the LDAC codec for Bluetooth, something I use when streaming music from my Xperia 1 iii. The Sony H9 also support 360 spatial audio and 3D audio from the PS5. When changing the volume there is also a useful notification on the PS5.

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Sound Quality

Sony INZONE H9

The fairly balanced and clear sound is pleasing when gaming – a few settings can be made on Windows computers via the Inzone Hub software (which can be found on the Sony website), which makes a very clear difference when listening to music. Unfortunately, this software is not available for Mac. Nevertheless, the headphones also work with the Mac. The good sound ensures that you dive deeper into the game, but they are also quite good for listening to music – as long as you turn off the noise canceling, otherwise the sound will be very muffled.

Furthermore, the headphones offer 360 spatial sounds for gaming. In order to achieve 360 ​​Spatial Audio, you need to download and install INZONE Hub software on your smartphone or PC. It is a newly developed virtualizer for gaming that reproduces spatial sound from a multi-channel audio signal as intend by game creators. Also, with the smartphone app 360 Special Sound Personalizer. You’ll find spatial sound optimized for the shape of your ears for truly personal gameplay.

However, they are certainly not the best headphones for wireless music enjoyment – there is better sound on the market in this price range. Not bad, after all, Sony clearly focuses on gaming. Speaking of noise canceling – I would have expected a little more, but the difference is audible.

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Noise Cancellation

The Sony INZONE H9 headphones come with advanced active sound cancellation technology. However, noise is everywhere. On the train, on the street, even when you work. Especially when you are working. Fortunately, the power to stop the real world from invading you and your music is at your fingertips. Just tap the button, and let our combination of Adjustable Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and incredible noise-isolating take the world away, freeing you (and whatever you hear) to go anywhere.

Moreover, With Ambient Sound Mode, you can play your game and still hear important sounds like phone calls, doorbells, or someone speaking to you in your environment. And just like with Sony music headphones, it’s just a touch of a button to switch to noise-cancelling mode.

Additionally, use the INZONE Hub software to select your level of Noice-cancellation. And let the advanced multiple microphone noise cancelling do their job to protect your focus. The sound cancellation performance on the INZONE H9 is excellent due to the passive separation from the tight fit. Even without turning on the ANC, the INZONE H9 reduces most of the noise above 500Hz by at least 50%. Set the ANC to a maximum level, and low-frequency noise (such as a rumble from an airplane engine) will also be heard at about half the volume.

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Microphone

The microphone, which I don’t normally need because I’m not an online gamer, only came off mediocre in the sound test and, according to the conversation partner, sounds rather tinny and thin. But that is not a real problem for me and in terms of comprehensibility, there is nothing to complain about. However, I would really like it if the microphone were detachable since I hardly ever need it. After all, it can be turned up so far that it is only visually disturbing.

Sony INZONE H9 Review: Connectivity

I basically don’t need the enclosed transmitter, since both the PC and the laptop have a built-in Bluetooth transmitter with which the headphones can be easily paired. This also works with cell phones and tablets. However, I have the feeling that the connection is more stable when using the transmitter because without it there are always short transmission interruptions. Along with the Bluetooth 5.1, the earphone also supported SBC and AAC audio codec.

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Sony INZONE H9 Review: Battery life

Sony INZONE H9

Visually, I find the Sony H9 unobtrusive and maybe a bit boring, but it makes a really good impression of quality. The built-in battery easily lasts 24 hours, but I don’t quite get the advertised 32 hours. On the other hand, charging is also possible while the headphones are in use and are done in a relatively short time. But certainly, after having put them on charge I have not been able to try them until they are discharged.

Conclusion

All in all, I find the Gaming Headset H9 from Sony convincing, even if it has one or two weaknesses. Whether the additional price of around €70 compared to the H7 for the active noise suppression is worth it depends primarily on your own user profile. When using it in the apartment, NC should be dispensable, when gaming in halls or public rooms it is certainly a practical gimmick – and also when listening to music on the go. The non-detachable microphone bothers me optically… Conclusion: really good headphones for gamers, which are also good for listening to music with limitations.

What is the best alternative of this headphones?

Steelseries ARCTIS 7+ is good alternative to the INZONE H9 headphone. The headphone come with a new compact USB-C dongle support, 30 hours of battery life, Bidirectional noise cancelling microphone, 40mm Neodymium drivers, and more. Additionally, it is offer early access to SteelSeries Sonar, our all-new audio software that enable 7.1 Surround Sound, ChatMix and much more.

Beyerdynamic DT 700 Pro X is another good alternative to the INZONE H9 headphone. It comes with a 48 ohm nominal impedance, 3 m or 1.8 m straight cable, 5-40,000 HZ frequency response, 100 dB SPL sound pressure level and 350g weight. Also, come with STELLER.45 driver that loudly reproduces the best sound in studio quality without any distortion.

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