35hrs of Battery Life - The Sony WHCH710N Review
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
The first thing you’ll notice when you take these out of the box is just how light they are. At 218 grams they don’t weigh much at all, and you don’t feel like you’re wearing a giant gadget on your head when you put them on. That’s because these are made entirely of plastic and… not the less expensive kind. What I mean is: the build materials here aren’t premium by any stretch. This is the first and obvious part of the headphones that took a hit in order to get the price down.
There’s a lot of creaks and squeaks here and while the earcups do swivel 90 degrees to lie flat, there’s no hinges. So if you’re trying to save space in your bag: you’re out of luck here. The plastic also has a habit of amplifying sounds. So if you happen to accidentally bang into something or even just lightly scratch the side of the headphones, you’ll hear it immediately.
The padding doesn’t feel or look premium to the touch but they do their job when you put the headphones on, which is to make the headphones as light as possible. My only issue here is that I don’t feel like the earcups are deep enough and if you have big ears (like myself) I can actually feel the drivers pressed up against my ear and after a few hours of listening that’s the only part that became uncomfortable. Unlike the Sony WH-1000XM3 there is no touch-sensitive earcup here for playback, instead you’ll get good ‘ol fashioned buttons. They’re super clicky and provide good feedback so you’ll always know when you clicked a button.
You can pair to the Sony WH-CH710N headphones in two ways. 1st you can just hold down the power button for a few seconds after turning them on. From there, the headphones will enter pairing mode and you can just find the device in Bluetooth settings of your source device. The second way is via NFC, so if you have an Android phone you can just hold it up to the NFC logo on the left earbud and a little pop-up will come up on your phone asking if you want to pair to them.
Is the Battery any good?
Sony headphones aren’t known for skimping on battery and these are no exception. The company claims that you can get 35 hours of constant playback. In a battery test experts made on these on a output of 75dB with active noise cancelling turned on they managed to squeeze out 41 hours and 35 minutes of constant playback which is more than the company even claims on the packaging. Beyond that, these also have quick charging. So if you forget to charge Sony WH-CH710N up before heading out the door, just 10 minutes on the charger will give you a solid 60 minutes of playback which is incredibly phenomenal.
Is the Noise Cancelling good?
The noise cancelling here is really good for what you’re paying for. The combination of the padding on the earcups and the active noise cancelling technology really cancels out a lot of ambient sound around you, including frequencies 300Hz and below which is where most noise cancelling headphones struggle. I haven’t been able to jump on a plane or go on the subway with these just yet due to quarantine but I don’t see these having issues with the low rumbles that so frequently cut through most other headphones.While these aren’t as great at cancelling out sound as the Sony WH-1000XM3 are, they’re pretty damn good considering these cost about $128.00 less at the time of this review.
Is the Microphone Good?
While the microphone is good enough for phone calls, it isn’t going to blow you away. The frequency response is pretty inoffensive, but because the Bluetooth connection is the way it is, the voice data sent back through your phone is pretty compressed. Here’s a sample so you can get a feel for how these sound in perfect conditions, and then how they sound with an AC blowing in the background.
Where are the Playback Controls?
Playback controls are all on the right earcup and they work as you’d expect. There are three buttons and the middle one acts as a multifunction that will pause/play music, answer and end phone calls, and also access your phones assistant if you hold it down. On either side are the volume buttons and then there is a fourth button that lets you toggle between the active noise cancelling feature or the ambient mode.
This uses the onboard microphones to let you hear what’s going on in your environment. It’s basically the opposite of noise cancelling and can be super useful when you’re on a plane or train and want to hear any announcements. The only issue I have here is that when you click the button you’ll get a little voice that says “Ambient sound” which is… debatably helpful.
Should I buy them?
If you want the best pair of active noise cancelling headphones, then no you shouldn’t buy these. Instead I highly recommend you go with the Sony WH-1000XM3. The lack of LDAC support, the cheaper build quality, slightly worse sound quality, and the lack of swipe gestures means that they can’t dethrone their bigger brother for that title unfortunately.
Still, if you only have $200 to spend on headphones, then these will definitely get the job done well. They have decent noise cancelling, comfortable padding, and a solid battery life. While these aren’t a must buy by any means, they’re serious contenders for anyone with that hard limit.
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