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Sony WH-CH710N Review: noise-cancelling headphones on a budget

Jun 13, 2020 14:36 IST

These are the new Sony WH-CH710N wireless headphones and while they don't have the easiest name to remember, they are easy enough to recommend to anyone looking to buy an affordable alternative to Sony's flagship 1000XM3. Priced at Rs. 9,990, these are significantly less expensive and offer great features like noise cancellation and huge battery life. First off, pairing the headphones to your smartphone is really easy. It works fine with both Bluetooth and NFC. More importantly though, and let's just get this right out of the way, the CH710N's aren’t going to pack the same amount of high fidelity audio as the 1000XM3. But honestly, it's not a deal-breaker as these headphones hold their own when it comes to sound performance. Outfitted with 30-mm drivers, they offer crisp and powerful audio for the most part - bass is punchy, treble is well controlled, and the mid-range is crystal clear, so vocals and lead instruments stand out. The main issue with their sound is that the headphones don't offer the most spacious soundstage, especially when noise cancelling is on. Talking about noise cancelling, it's pretty good over here. Of course, these aren’t as great at cancelling out sound as the Sony WH-1000XM3, but at this price point, they do a very decent job of removing a lot of ambient sound around you. Although, if you want to be aware of your surroundings, then all you need to do is press down on the Ambient Mode button and it will allow exterior sound in via the headphones. Anyway moving on, lets quickly talk about design and comfort. The WH-CH710N's are fairly simple looking and made almost entirely out of plastic with a subtle matte finish. The plastic build implies that they are prone to scratches. In fact, the headphones come with a removable protective sticker to ensure they don't get damaged during shipping. Apart from that, the extendable headband gets leatherette cushioning and the large padding inside the ear cup feels super soft and squishy, making the headphones really comfy to wear even during prolonged listening. Tipping the scales at approximately 223g, the cans aren't too heavy, and the swivel design ensures you can transport them safely wherever you go. All the essentials are elegantly divided between both ear cups. On the left can are the volume controls and between them is the multifunction button that will pause/play music, and summon your phone's assistant. There's also a button that lets you toggle between the noise-cancelling feature or the ambient mode. The right ear cup gets a 3.5mm jack for plugging in the provided audio cable for listening in wired mode if that's what you prefer. Then there is a USB-C port for connecting the charger. Next to that is the power button that doubles up as a paring control a well. Now, the last thing that deserves a big shout out is battery life, which happens to be a major highlight for these headphones: they will easily last you over 35 hours on a single charge, even with noise cancelling turned on. I mean that is just fantastic for a pair of headphones in this price segment, and while it does take almost 5 hours to charge them fully, just a 10-minute top-up will give you an hour worth of playtime. So, overall I'm very impressed with the Sony WH-CH710N. They're definitely worth a purchase for folks who don’t want to spend over 10,000 Rupees on a pair of headphones. Apart from the 'plasticky' build, there's not a whole lot to complain about here. Sound quality is good, battery life is terrific, noise cancellation works well and they're also very comfortable to wear.

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