Sony WH-CH720N headphones review: Featherweight comfort and impressive sound
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- Sony recently launched budget-friendly headphones with premium sound at ₹14,990.
- Sony's WH-CH720N headphones aim to strike a balance between affordability and premium audio performance.
- These headphones support AAC (for iPhones) and SBC (for Android) audio codecs but do not have Sony's higher-fidelity LDAC.
AdvertisementSony has established itself as a leading brand in the world of audio and video, renowned for their exceptional quality. From entry-level wired offerings to the premium WH-1000XM5 headphones, Sony has consistently delivered reliable products at every budget. The Japanese company has recently launched the WH-CH720N headphones, aiming to bring a premium music experience to the mid-range segment.
While the WH-1000XM5 headphones are targeted towards a niche audience who prioritize top-tier features and are willing to invest in a premium product, finding them within an odd- ₹14,990 price bracket can be challenging. Sony aims to simplify this decision by offering the WH-CH720N headphones as a more affordable option, making premium sound accessible to a wider audience.
Sony's WH-CH720N headphones aim to strike a balance between affordability and premium audio performance. These headphones are improved and upgraded over the predecessor in almost every way possible. But are those upgrades enough to persuade you to spend ₹14,990? Let’s find out in this review.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Good sound with very good noise canceling and ambient sound mode
- Good voice-calling performance
- Multipoint Bluetooth
- 35 hours of battery life
- Extensive EQ settings
- No carrying case
- No ear-detection sensors
- No LDAC support
Sony WH-CH720N: Design & Comfort
The design of the WH-CH720N may not exude a premium feel, but it's not cheaply built either. I found the design to be less appealing, especially due to the lack of folding ear cups which I miss clearly. The WH-CH720N follows the design approach of the XM5 with a single hinge that allows for swiveling but not folding.
Despite not being luxury noise-cancelling headphones, the WH-CH720N is designed to look and feel premium with a clean and minimalistic Sony-like aesthetic. The headphones are covered in a matte soft-touch coating, and while they are made of plastic, they hold up well in daily use. The headband is slightly thinner, and the ear pads are wider with more memory foam, maximizing comfort. I reviewed the black model, but they are also available in blue and white. The oval ear cups were large enough to fit over my entire ear, but those with larger ears may have a different experience. The headphones charge via USB-C and can connect via a 3.5mm connection. The right earcup features physical buttons for volume controls, toggling noise-cancellation, and transparency.
One thing that bothered me was that the WH-CH720N cannot be folded. Instead, they lay flat, which means I need a dedicated compartment in my backpack to keep them safe, making them less travel-friendly. Additionally, Sony does not provide a case for these headphones to keep the price down. On the positive side, I appreciate that Sony opted for physical button controls instead of touch controls. The right earcup features volume control buttons and a noise-canceling button that also toggles between noise-cancellation and ambient sound mode, while the opposite left earcup has a universal control button.
Are they comfortable to wear and easy to use?
During my road trip, I found the comfort level of the Sony WH-CH720N to be excellent. In fact, I even took a nap while wearing them and didn't realize I had them on; that's how comfortable they were. The design of these headphones ensures that they feel extremely comfortable without being overly bulky. Weighing just 192 grams, they are the lightest over-ear noise-canceling headphones from Sony to date.
You should go for a jog while wearing the Sony WH-CH720N. The weight is distributed so evenly that I never felt uncomfortable wearing them for a long time, whether sitting upright at my desk in front of my laptop or just chilling on my couch. The comfort level of these headphones is truly impressive, making them a great choice for extended use during various activities.
Sony WH-CH720N: Performance
The Sony CH720N headphones have 30mm drivers, similar to the XM5. These headphones support AAC (for iPhones) and SBC (for Android) audio codecs but do not have Sony's higher-fidelity LDAC.
AdvertisementThe sound of the CH720N is tuned to emphasize bass and treble, resulting in a pleasant listening experience. While they are not as bass-heavy as the XB series, they still provide ample attention to the lower frequencies without overpowering the overall sound. The vocals are clear, and the treble response is on the higher side, but still enjoyable and not uncomfortable.
I listened to various genres during my testing with these headphones. For ambient genre songs like ‘Around The World In A Tea Daze’ by Shpongle (Ott Remix), the crispiness was slightly lost as the bass overpowered the vocals and treble. However, songs that don't predominantly feature bass-heavy music, such as ‘Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast’ by
Songs from genres that have bass-heavy or minimal vocals, such as EDM, Melodic House, Dubstep, and Techno, were pleasing to the ears. Tracks like ‘The Alphabeat’ by David Guetta and ‘Rock The House’ by Afrojack delivered an enjoyable listening experience. The headphones performed exceptionally well when listening to techno or similar electronic music, such as ‘Deep Jungle Walk’ by Astrix.
One noteworthy aspect of these headphones is their performance with vocals. Tracks like ‘Kya Yahi Pyar Hai’ by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar sounded incredible, with crisp vocals and excellent instrument separation. ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ by Jasleen Royal and Prateek Kuhad was a joyful listen. The impressive part is that these headphones deliver music with zero distortion, ensuring no detail gets lost in the sound reproduction.
If you want to customize the sound of the WH-CH720N headphones to your liking, you can easily do so using the EQ controls in Sony's Headphones Connect app, available on Android and iOS. This allows you to fine-tune the audio to suit your personal preferences. However, even without adjustments, the WH-CH720N headphones still deliver the unmistakable Sony sound quality you can trust. Rest assured, you won't be disappointed with the audio performance of these headphones.
Noise cancelling & battery life
AdvertisementI thoroughly tested the noise cancellation capabilities of the Sony WH-CH720N headphones in various environments, including heavy traffic, a bustling open compound of a mall in Dubai, and even at the airport. While these headphones do a decent job of reducing outside voices and handling street noise, they fall short compared to Sony’s WH-1000XM5 in terms of complete noise isolation. However, the Ambient Sound mode on the WH-CH720N is impressive and worked well for me during testing. It's a great option for those who want to stay aware of their surroundings and not miss out on conversations without removing their headphones.
One area where the Sony WH-CH720N truly excels is audio call quality. With their multipoint Bluetooth pairing feature, you can connect them to two devices simultaneously, such as your laptop and phone. The audio will automatically switch based on which device is actively streaming music or handling calls. During my calls, many people I spoke to using the WH-CH720N mentioned that they couldn't hear external noise or the usual echo that wireless headphones often produce during calls.
In terms of battery life, Sony claims a remarkable 50-hour battery life with ANC off and up to 36 hours with ANC on. These figures are accurate, as I had to actively drain the battery over seven days of regular use. The WH-CH720N headphones truly impress with their long-lasting battery performance.
If you’re running late and your headphones are out of juice, you can plug them in for 10 minutes to get a few hours of battery life to help you during your commute.
Should you buy them?
Sony's flagship over-ear headphones, such as the WH-1000XM5, come with a hefty price tag, ranging from ₹30,000 to ₹60,000, which may seem exorbitant to some. However, Sony has introduced the WH-CH720N as an affordable alternative, offering a signature Sony style and sound at a lower price point.
AdvertisementThe WH-CH720N from Sony strikes a balance between affordability and performance, offering notable improvements in noise cancellation and overall sound quality. While features like folding ear cups, auto-pause, and a carrying case may be missing, the important elements are present. Sony has created a lightweight, versatile, and comfortable headphone that delivers superb sound and effective noise cancellation, all at a reasonable price. While audiophiles may have higher demands, the WH-CH720N will likely satisfy most music fans seeking a high-quality listening experience.
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