Earlier today I got to spend a few hours with Sony’s new INZONE gaming headset range, which has been designed for PC but is also perfect for PS5. I primarily focused my time on the high-end H9 headset paired with the PS5, but got to experience all three headsets in the range.
Coming from reviewing the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless which many including myself consider to be the best wireless gaming headset on the market, there was probably one thing I thought that the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless lacked and that was really good PS5 integration from a UI level and I also was a little underwhelmed with the noise cancelling experience and how seamless that was to use.
Firstly, all three headsets in the INZONE range work perfectly with a PS5. Everything from showing the volume on screen when you adjust it on the headset, to being able to adjust game/chat volume on the headset (something you can only do on these three headsets and the Pulse 3D headsets) and being able to see the battery life on-screen. It’s a really seamless experience that at this point due to limitations that Sony has placed on other manufactures is something you’re going to get exclusively with Sony’s new INZONE line or the Pulse 3D headset.
The H7/H9 wireless headsets both connect to both the PS5/PC with a USB dongle that has a switch that can be changed depending on the device you’re using. Both of these headsets can also be connected simultaneously to a Bluetooth device such as your phone when connected to either your PS5/PC, which I’ve found super useful on other headsets that have this same functionality.
The H7/H9 whilst quite large were a lot lighter than I was expecting, and incredibly comfortable to wear, fitting incredibly well on my head, whilst not putting any unnecessary pressure on my glasses frame, ears or top of my head. Granted, this was only a very short experience with these, so stay tuned for the full review to see how they go over a longer period of time. The cups are the same ones used in the brand new Sony XM5s which is Sony’s new flagship headset, so you know they’ve put the same premium materials into this model.
I had high hopes for the noise cancelling in the H9 model due to the fact that Sony has had some of the best noise cancelling headsets with its XM range, and this did not disappoint. I was in a room with 20-30 odd people, music blaring over a speaker and the noise cancelling totally took away all of the deep bass of people’s voices and the music playing to let the sound of the PS5 come through clearly.
I was even more impressed when I went over to the InZONE Hub PC software which had more customisation than any headset software I’ve ever used presented in a really consumer friendly way. Initially when using the headset with the PS5, I was annoyed that the noise cancelling button flicked between on, off or ambient (letting noise in), because for me, I only would ever want noise cancelling on, or people’s voices heightened through ambient mode when somebody in my house is trying to talk to me, and low and behold, I was able to customise it using the software it so that this button would make it flick between noise cancelling on or ambient only. I was also able to customise things such as what would happened when the headset first turned on, which is minor, but totally allows for people to customise exactly how they want to use their headset, and I appreciate that.
I could also make it so that ambient mode only focused on letting voices in, which I assume is pulling from the excellent XM5 noise cancelling tech. I was amazed just how much of a difference making changes using the software made, especially in this instance.
When it comes to sound, the H9 sounded great, but I didn’t get long enough with it to have a final verdict. There was great clarity and bass sounded good. I have a good amount of confidence given I was told that the drivers used in this headset are the XM3 drivers, which is still regarded as one of the best headsets to date, not only from Sony, but in the general headset market.
I really liked how easy to access all the controls are on the actual headset as well, with noise cancelling having its own button, an easy to reach volume wheel, game/chat balance buttons as well as a dedicated power button and Bluetooth buttons. They’re all a really good distance apart too, so that even after a few minutes with the headset, I wasn’t second guessing myself. The microphone can’t be detached, but it does mute when flipped up, which is handy.
I think that the range that Sony is launching with is perfect. The H3 model is $150 and wired, but still retains a lot of the great functionality and integration that we’ve spoken about, the H7 model is $349 and has a 40 hour battery life as well as dual Bluetooth/dongle connectivity and then the H9 which most resembles the popular Sony XM headsets thanks to its fantastic noise cancelling functionality is $449.95.
Whilst I think there was a lot of confusion initially when these headsets were announced under the Sony brand, I actually think that after going hands-on and understanding how these take the best part of the Sony XM headsets from an audio/noise cancelling/design aspect and pair this with the integrated functionality of the PlayStation Pulse headsets that it’s the best of both worlds and I’m excited to get an extended hands-on to see how they go over a long period of time.