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Review: Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WHCH710N

 


 

Having multiple pairs of headphones and earbuds are important to me. I still use my Galaxy Buds on walks or at the gym, but I prefer wired, over ear for at home, and it was time to get a new pair, moving to Sony.

These replace my Sennheisers from about 2017 -- While they were uncomfortable for a long period of time, the sound quality was unmatched. I couldn't find a pair that looked comfortable and were hovering around 120$. One of the ear cups has broken off, and I can't super glue and rubber-band it back forever 😥 (Maybe I could use sugru? It's held up my car windows for 5 years. #NotAnAd)


 I had 5 criteria for a new set of wired over the ear headphones;

  • Colorful
  • Wired
  • Reasonable sound quality
  • Under 100$
  • Made in the past 3 years (No earlier than 2019)

 

I managed to get 4.5/5 -- The headphones are a nice blue (albeit darker than I'd like -- A lot of my furniture is dark, and I have lost tech for days because my cases are also dark.), they have both wired and Bluetooth capability with a microphone, we'll get back to the sound quality, they were 64$ on Black Friday, and they were first available in 2020!

 

Comfort

The ear cups are much more comfortable -- They are over-ear as opposed to on-ear, and the cushion is flexible enough to not press the ear directly against the hardware or my glasses. No complaints.


Connectivity

The fact that these have several options is interesting -- Wired, Bluetooth, and even NFC, which I have never seen as a connection option. My familiarity with NFCs is through Amiibo and Amiibo cards to use with my Switch. 

I wonder if I could listen to a card. What would it sound like....I digress.

These do need to be charged for Bluetooth use -- The PDF guide says something akin to 24 hours for a full charge, and 10 minutes gets you 1 hours of playback -- but I wonder how it would work. Traditionally, headphones are powered through that cable that also gives us the audio, and better sound quality often comes from a wired connection instead of Bluetooth.


Update: 1/25 -- It has to be charged to even use the cable. That's...why I bought the cable. So I didn't have to charge it and it could be powered through the cable, like past headphones. Interesting choice! And by interesting I mean odd.


Sound Quality

 Want to follow along with your own sound tests? Use the videos that I did:

Audio (No Vocals):

 Audio (Vocals):

Audio (Spoken Word):
* Use your own discretion, may involve language unsuitable for work. We're all adults here.

So my goal is to use these wired -- My initial connection was to my phone (Because it still has a headphone jack, ha ha!). It sounded oddly muffled. Then I attached it to my laptop to the same thing. 

Wondering if I would have to get out the superglue again, I decided to look at the PDF guide and reset the settings by holding the power button -- Sounds clearer, though not as much as the Sennheisers.

There is a noise cancelling button on the right earcup, but I'm not sure what it does, if anything, after pressing when wired. When Bluetooth-connected, it works well enough. It also seems to suck the battery fairly quickly.

Overall

With the variety of connectivity options is admirable, I'm not sure if some of the lesser-used options like NFC were necessary. Could that effort have been used to improve sound quality?

Also, needing almost a full day to charge completely hinders a quick wireless pickup and go.  Samsung Buds are better for that. These, in 2022, retailed for more than the Sennheisers in about 2017, but the sound quality is worse. However, Sennheiser seems to no longer make headphones that came out within the past 3 years around the 100$ range.

 These are around the same price as the Sony headphones, albeit currently on sale for $149 - A dollar more than the Sony ones. I'd spring the extra pocket change and get those.

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