In the modern arena of full-size headphones with ANC, Sony deservedly occupies a leading position and only a couple of famous brands can compete with it. In the midst of the 2020 quarantine, the company begins to actively scale in all price categories and presents to the world a budget version of its famous Sony WH-1000XM3.
Unlike its older brother, WH-CH710N does not have a rich package bundle, materials are selected more budgetary, but the noise reduction remains at a height for its price. The purpose of my review is to understand the philosophy of the junior model and, of course, share my observations with you.
Design, ergonomics, materials
The first thought when you pick up the Sony WH-CH710N is “oh, they’re so light.” The headphone weight is only 223 g, for comparison, AirPods Max weigh 385 g. Such characteristics are obtained due to the use of plastic parts in most of the structure. I was very pleased that all visible parts are matte, this perfectly saves from small scratches that inevitably appear on the glossy finish, it looks reliable. Of the decorative elements, only logos are present SONYon the outside of the cups. Looks minimal, I’m not a fan of the flashy logos from 2008, so that’s okay too.
The ear cups have a 90 ° swivel angle, which gives a significant advantage in carrying them around the neck, they do not become an edge and they fit comfortably with the ear cushions to the body. Unfortunately, the model is devoid of a compact folding design and therefore, if you plan to transport them in your bag, I strongly advise you to buy a hard case for headphones for them , since at the moment you can choose it for every taste and color.
The ear cushions, like the headboard, are made of soft synthetic leather, which for my taste is much better than the fabric performance, which tends to wear out quickly.
Operation, ANC Modes
Due to their light weight, the headphones are comfortable to wear for a long time, and this is also facilitated by a wide headband that can be adjusted over a wide range. The quality of the microphones is of great importance to me. I often find myself on tests in a situation when my interlocutor asks to switch from headphones to phone and this is completely uncomfortable. With the WH-CH710N model, I did not encounter such inconveniences, but I want to note that if you go against the wind, you will have to twist your head, because the wind will cause interference.
In the piggy bank of pluses, I boldly put the autonomy of the device, which is honest 35 hours, this is enough for the longest trip. I decided to test the fast charging mode, and the manufacturer was cheating a little. In 10 minutes from the network, I managed to squeeze 53 minutes of autonomy out of the 60 stated from the device, but this can be argued by the conditions of the experiment.
Now it’s summer and the device works in high temperatures, who knows, maybe this had such an effect on autonomy. However, it was not without its drawbacks. At least it seemed to me that the ear cushions are made of too soft material, which negatively affects passive noise isolation. But as you can guess, this disadvantage is more than covered by the ANC mode.
By the way, about it, I cannot say that it is similar to the older brother WH-CH710N, but the quality remains at the proper level. The only drawback that I found in its work is the roll-off of high frequencies. For me, the must-have feature of headphones with ANC is the presence of a transparency mode, whoever faced its absence – they will understand me. Just imagine how much inconvenience this is. Every time someone calls you, you have to react quickly, take off your headphones or pause the audio sequence. This also makes it impossible to use the device during training or cycling, because makes these activities too traumatic. To my delight, WH-CH710N have this function on board and it is activated by pressing the function key, everything is very convenient.
It seems to me that it would be completely unfair to compare our model with the flagship version of the Sony WH-1000XM4 , so in this part of the review I will describe my personal impressions of the headphones. First of all, I want to say that, in general, the device plays well, do not forget its cost and not build unnecessary hopes. At the first listening, attention is focused on well-developed low frequencies, they do not rush forward, but softly envelop, I like this way of sounding. However, if you are an avid fan of the bass to make your headphones shake and all that, check out the Panasonic RB-M700BGE or the Skullcandy BT Crusher ANC.
The middle frequencies seemed to me muffled, periodically there were moments when the vocals sounded not as bright as I was used to, but this may well be a matter of taste. The treble showed itself well, it is perfectly balanced and is in its place. I can’t say that detailing is the hallmark of the WH-CH710N, they don’t do very well with fast music, from which you expect passion, attack, etc. Although there are quite a few such compositions in my playlist, so I did not experience any inconveniences associated with this parameter. In general, I think that all the nuances of the sound should be attributed to the peculiarities of the sound, and not to its disadvantages.
SONY has done a good job on the WH-CH710N. By combining manufacturability, good sounding and design reliability, we ended up with a well-balanced device. A good discount on the device makes it one of the most profitable options for people who are not ready to pay $ 350 + for the flagship version.