The Sony INZONE H9 Wireless are gaming headphones from the INZONE lineup. This lineup is meant to be paired with the PlayStation 5 console as they share a similar aesthetic and, since they lack an AUX port, can't be used with the Xbox. These are the most premium model in this lineup and are packed with features like active noise cancelling (ANC), spatial audio, and Bluetooth. However, their build quality isn't quite on par with other high-end gaming headphones like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, and they otherwise don't have much that can help distinguish themselves from their competitors.
The Sony H9 are optimized for gaming, not for music. Their sound quality depends on the device you're using, and streaming music via Bluetooth results in a more cluttered and muddy sound than when using the dongle. Their default sound via wireless dongle is full of extra bass, which adds intense punch and boom to mixes. Vocals and lead instruments are also harsh, while sibilants like cymbals are piercing. This sound isn't great if you're looking for a balanced audio experience, but luckily, you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion software's graphic EQ and presets.
The Sony H9 aren't designed for commute and travel. They have a bulky, gamer-centric design with a non-detachable boom mic, and they don't come with a carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go. Although they have ANC, they offer a mediocre performance when it comes to blocking out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. On the upside, they do a significantly better job of cutting down passenger chatter and the hum of AC units. They also have a decently comfortable fit and last over 22 hours continuously.
The Sony H9 aren't designed for sports and fitness as they have a bulky design that can fall off your head with moderate head movements. They also have a gamer-centric design with a non-detachable boom mic, which will stand out at the gym. That said, they're decently comfortable, well-built, and support Bluetooth, eliminating the risk of the audio cable snagging on something and pulling them off your head.
The Sony H9 are decent for office use. Although they have a gamer-centric design, their ANC system helps block out chatty colleagues and the hum of computer fans. They have a decently comfortable fit and last over 22 hours continuously, making them a solid choice for long days at the office. If you need to participate in online meetings, their non-detachable boom mic ensures your voice sounds fairly clear to coworkers during meetings, even in noisy offices. Thanks to their wireless dongle, you can stay wirelessly connected to your PC while simultaneously receiving audio via your Bluetooth smartphone.
The Sony H9 are decent for wireless gaming. They're designed for PC and PS5, so you can't use them on your Xbox. If that isn't a problem for you, they have very low latency via their wireless dongle, which ensures that your audio and visuals stay in sync, and their battery lasts over 22 hours continuously. If you like to game with others, their boom mic ensures that your voice sounds clear, although a little distorted and bright, even in moderately noisy environments. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is boomy, which can help emphasize sound effects like footsteps, but you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets.
The Sony H9 are wireless gaming headphones, and you can't use them wired.
The Sony H9 are decent for phone calls and online meetings. If you don't mind their overall gamer-centric look, they have a non-detachable boom mic that offers a decent overall performance. Your voice sounds clear and understandable, although a bit bright and distorted. That said, you'll be heard clearly, even if you're taking calls in moderately noisy environments. If you're taking calls with a lot of noise around you, the headphones have an ANC system. They can block out the sounds of ambient chatter and the hum of computer fans well.
The Sony H9 come in one color variation: 'White', and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Sony H9 are the top-end model of the INZONE lineup. These wireless headphones are distinguished from the Sony INZONE H7 Wireless by their ANC system, which helps block out background noise like the hum of computer fans and ambient chatter. They also have lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency with their wireless dongle, ensuring that your audio and visuals stay in sync while you're gaming. However, when you compare them to other premium wireless gaming headphones like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, they aren't as comfortable or well-built.
If you're looking for more gaming headsets, check out our recommendations for the best headsets for PS5, and the best wireless gaming headsets. For even more gaming headphones, check out our article on the best gaming headsets.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox are better overall gaming headphones than the Sony INZONE H9 Wireless. Whether you have the Xbox or PlayStation variant, the SteelSeries are better-built, and have more consistent audio delivery. They also have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, their mic has a better overall performance, their companion app is more robust, and you can use them wired via their 1/8" TRRS cable. They even have a wireless base transmitter, which allows you to charge their spare battery pack and adjust controls on the fly. However, the Sony headphones have a better overall noise cancelling performance.
The Sony INZONE H9 Wireless are the top of the line model of the INZONE gaming lineup, while the Sony INZONE H7 Wireless are the mid-range model. The differences are minor between both models as the H9 have leatherette padding instead of cloth. They also have an ANC system to block background noise, while the H7 lack this feature. This feature affects the H9's battery life and controls, though, as they have a shorter continuous battery life than the H7, and they have a physical button you can use to cycle between different ANC modes. The H7 also have higher latency via their wireless dongle.
The Sony INZONE H9 Wireless are better wireless gaming headphones than the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The INZONE H9 are more comfortable, have noise cancelling, which helps them block out significantly more ambient noise, and their microphone offers better overall performance. Their battery performance is better, they have more customization features, and they support Bluetooth, meaning you can stay connected to your console and smartphone simultaneously. However, the PULSE 3D have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, their passive soundstage is more immersive-feeling, and you can use them wired via a 1/8" TRRS cable.
The Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset and the Sony INZONE H9 Wireless have different strengths, and you may like either model, depending on your preferences. The Logitech headphones are significantly more comfortable, better-built, and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. Their companion app also offers a lot of customization features. However, the Sony headphones support Bluetooth, which is nice if you want to receive audio from your smartphone while staying connected to your PC, and they have ANC to help cut down noise around you. Their non-Bluetooth wireless latency is lower too, which helps reduce audio latency when gaming.
The Sony INZONE H9 Wireless are better wireless gaming headphones than the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless. The Sony headphones are better-built, have an ANC system that can help block out ambient noise around you, and their mic offers better overall performance. They also support Bluetooth, meaning you can stay connected to your smartphone and PC at the same time, and their non-Bluetooth wireless latency is lower. However, the Razer headphones are more comfortable and have a more balanced sound profile out of the box, which some users may prefer. You can also use them wired via their included 1/8" TRRS cable.
Depending on your preferences, you may prefer either the Sony INZONE H3, the entry-level model of the INZONE lineup, or the Sony INZONE H9 Wireless, the top-of-the-line model. The H3 are wired headphones with a simple design. They're a bit smaller than the H9 and are less comfortable and aren't as well-built. Their boom mic has a better recording quality. If you're willing to splurge, the H9 are wireless headphones with ANC to help block out background noise, and they support Bluetooth.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless and the Sony INZONE H9 Wireless have different strengths, so you may prefer either one. The HyperX headphones are significantly more comfortable as well as better-built. They have a more neutral overall sound profile, which some users may prefer, their passive soundstage is more immersive too, and their microphone performance is better overall. They also have a significantly longer continuous battery life. Unfortunately, users have reported high latency when using their companion app's features. Conversely, the Sony headphones support Bluetooth, which is nice if you want to connect them to your console and smartphone at the same time, and they have ANC, which can help block out background noise. They also have lower latency, which is good for competitive gaming.
The Sony H9 have a very similar look to other headphones in the INZONE lineup. They have a mostly white design reminiscent of the PlayStation 5; however, the black accented hinges and white mic make them look basically identical to the mid-range Sony INZONE H7 Wireless. They also have LED lights around the hinges. While they aren't customizable, they glow white when you're connected via the wireless dongle and blue when connected via Bluetooth. These headphones come in only one color variant: 'White'.
The Sony H9 are decently comfortable. They're lightweight, and unlike the Sony INZONE H3 or Sony INZONE H7 Wireless, they have leatherette ear cup padding instead of cloth, which feels soft against the skin. The padding on the headband is comfortable, and the headphones have a better range of motion to help accommodate a wide variety of head shapes. That said, if you have a small head, you may find the headphones to be large, even when set to the smallest setting. If you have big ears, they may also touch the ear cups. Wearing glasses can cause a rubbing sound against the pads, which can be annoying.
The Sony H9 have great controls. There are a couple of physical buttons that let you adjust your settings on the fly, and most are decently easy to use. There's an infinite volume wheel on the left ear cup. It beeps to let you know when you've reached minimum and maximum volume. You can also flip the microphone up to mute yourself, and there's a click to let you know when you mute or unmute, so you don't need to worry about accidentally turning on the mic. There are ring lights near the hinges that flash white when you're in dongle mode and blue when you're in Bluetooth mode. While there are different chimes to let you know when you've entered Bluetooth mode vs. pairing mode and Bluetooth mode off, the flashing LED lights can be hard to decipher as they flash quickly at first, but then only flash in sets of two when ready to be paired. It can also be hard to tell whether you've adjusted the 'Game' or 'Chat' mix by feeling alone. On the upside, there's a lot of feedback to help you know which settings you've changed.
On the left cup:
On the right cup:
The Sony H9 have a bulky design that's slightly larger than the Sony INZONE H3. While the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, they still take up space on your desk. Even their default position takes up a lot of room. They also lack a carrying case to help protect them when you're not using them.
The Sony H9's build quality is satisfactory. They feel better built than the Sony INZONE H3, thanks to their different, more durable hinge design and leatherette ear cup padding. They're also a little bigger than the H3. However, their mostly plastic design feels a bit cheap, especially given their price point. The headphones will survive occasional impact damage without too much of an issue, though.
The Sony H9 have mediocre stability. Thanks to their leatherette ear cup padding, they grip more tightly onto your head than the Sony INZONE H3. However, they can still move around if you tend to make intense head movements while gaming. You won't experience this issue if you don't move around while gaming.
The Sony H9 have a very similar sound profile to the Sony INZONE H7 Wireless when connected via the wireless dongle. They have a boomy, warm sound profile that's great for bringing out sound effects in gameplay. Dialogue and instruments sound harsh, while sibilants like hi-hats are piercing, though. Luckily, you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion software's graphic EQ and presets.
We noticed that these headphones sound different depending on whether you're connected via Bluetooth or wireless dongle. Bluetooth audio lacks thump and rumble. It also sounds muddier and harsher compared to the same audio from a PC or PS5 when using the USB dongle. The difference is most noticeable when listening to music as bass-heavy sounds like Blinding Lights by the Weeknd sound muddy and thick. However, when gaming, this sound is better suited for gaming as explosions and footsteps are distinct from the rest of your game's audio, making it easier to spot these audio cues and feel more immersed. It seems like the dongle is applying an EQ to help improve their audio quality, and you can see a comparison per device and connection here.
The Sony H9's frequency response consistency is mediocre. Although they have ANC, it seems like it doesn't improve bass delivery, and you can experience a lot of deviations, especially if you have thick hair or wear glasses. These headphones are also prone to inconsistencies in treble delivery, depending on fit, positioning, and seal. Overall, it's important to take the time to ensure a good fit to get a more consistent sound each time you use them.
The Sony H9 have passable bass accuracy. Your gameplay has extra thump and rumble but intense punch and boom. While this can help bring out sound effects like footsteps in games like PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, the extra bass can muddy vocals and lead instruments in music.
The Sony H9 have satisfactory mid accuracy. There's overemphasis coming from the bass range into the mid range, which muddies and clutters vocals and lead instruments. That means when you're playing games like Kentucky Route Zero, the male vocals and banjo throughout the whole song, Long Journey Home, lack separation and sound jumbled together. Another bump in the high-mid makes the upper harmonics of these sounds harsh.
These headphones have sub-par treble accuracy. At the start of the low-treble, vocals and lead instruments are adequately bright, but a dip at the end of this range veil the upper harmonics of these sounds and weaken their clarity. In the mid-treble, sibilants like cymbals are piercing and painful.
The Sony H9's peaks and dips performance is mediocre. It's very even, and there are a couple of steep dips and peaks accross the spectrum. A peak across the mid to high-bass adds extra punch and boom to mixes, though it can overwhelm vocals and lead instruments. A dip in the mid-mid pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of your track, while a peak in the high-mid to low-treble makes the upper harmonics of these sounds harsh. A deep dip in low-treble veils vocals and instruments while a peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing.
The Sony H9's imaging performance is excellent. This manufacturer tends to have good quality control when it comes to drivers. As a result, their left and right drivers are well-matched. Although there's a small but somewhat wide peak in the low to mid-mid, which can skew audio towards one driver over another, it's difficult to hear with real-life content, and it won't be an issue while gaming. Objects like dialogue and sound effects like footsteps are accurately placed in the stereo image.
The Sony H9's passive soundstage performance is poor, which is normal for closed-back headphones. The soundstage seems wide, but unnatural and as if sound is coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you. It also seems closed-off and lacking spaciousness, especially when compared to open-back gaming headphones like the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019.
The Sony H9 are compatible with Sony 360 Spatial Sound. This feature analyzes your unique ear shape via photograph to create a more immersive sound. However, once set up, you can only turn this feature on or off. To set this feature up, you need to use the Sony 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer app on your smartphone to set up the virtual soundstage on PC. We didn't notice a significant difference whether this feature was on or off, though.
These headphones are also compatible with PlayStation 5's 3D Audio, which is found on the 'Settings' page. This spatial audio feature can help add depth and directionality to sound effects like footsteps and voices. However, we also didn't notice a big difference between on and off.
The Sony H9 have a satisfactory weighted harmonic distortion performance. There are a couple of peaks: in the low to mid-mid, there's a peak at high volumes, but it's hard to hear with real-life content. Another peak in the low-treble is more noticeable at moderate volumes than high volumes but isn't too noticeable, either.
These are the settings used to test the Sony H9. There's also a physical toggle for the 'PC' and 'PS5' on the wireless USB dongle. We set this switch to 'PC'. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The Sony H9's noise isolation performance is good. They have an ANC system, meaning they can block out more background noise than the Sony INZONE H3. While they don't reduce as much overall ambient noise as causally designed noise cancelling headphones like the Razer Barracuda Pro Wireless, they can still cut down a wide range of sound. They can filter out ambient chatter as well as reduce the high-pitched hum of computers or standing fans. They do a mediocre job of cutting down bass-range noise like the low rumble of car engines, which can be disappointing if you tend to game near open windows with traffic outside.
The mic's recording quality is okay. Although the Sony H9 are the most premium headphones in the INZONE lineup, their mic has a worse recording quality than the more budget-friendly Sony INZONE H3, even after firmware update 01.002.005. However, wired models tend to perform better in this regard than wireless models, as they receive audio directly from the source, resulting in less data loss. Still, the H9's mic does an alright job of capturing your voice, so you sound clear and natural, although a bit bright. There's a bit of distortion present, but whoever you're talking to will have no problem understanding you clearly.
Keep in mind that although the H3's 'Recorded Speech' file has white noise present, this noise is due to the mic picking up sound coming from the speaker inside our dummy head. However, this model has a noise gate that can cut out that sound.
The mic's noise handling performance is great. The mic has a noise gate that's always on, which helps to block out background noise when you're not talking. Overall, the mic can separate your voice from moderate background noise. If you game near an open window with a lot of traffic outside, others around you will still hear your voice clearly.
The Sony H9 have a great battery performance. They're advertised to last 32 hours with their ANC on, but we measured over 22 hours with the dongle connected to a PC and smartphone. That said, battery life can vary depending on usage. There's an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life, though, and you can customize the timer in the companion app. You can also use the headphones while they're charging, but you need to be connected to a device via Bluetooth or dongle as the headphones can't pass audio via their charging cable.
The Sony INZONE Hub is a great app with a lot of different features. However, keep in mind that you can't transfer your presets to the PS5. There are different profiles you can create and customize so you can move between different saved presets. You can turn the ANC on, off, or access ambient sound and adjust this setting via a slider. You can also access a 10-band graphic EQ, presets, and spatial sound. There's dynamic range control (DRC), which automatically balances the volume of your content between 'High', 'Low', and 'Off', as well as dedicated microphone controls like sidetone and gain control. You can even turn the LED lights around the hinge on and off or adjust the settings so ANC turns on or Bluetooth is enabled when you power the headphones. You can switch the Bluetooth connection quality if you want to prioritize sound quality or a stable connection.
The Sony H9 have great Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect them to your smartphone and console at the same time, which is great if you want to stream audio via Bluetooth while gaming using the wireless dongle. Keep in mind that you'll hear sound for both devices at the same time, so it's good to use the chat mix feature to help adjust audio to your liking. Bluetooth audio also has poorer sound quality than the dongle's audio. It can be disappointing if you prioritize listening to high-quality music while gaming; however, it will be less of a problem if you just want background music.
These headphones support SBC codec, but their latency is very high, so if you want to game on your PC, you're better off using the dongle and not Bluetooth. Their latency is lower on iOS and Android devices, so you won't notice significant lip-sync issues if you're streaming video.
The Sony H9 have excellent non-Bluetooth connectivity. The included USB dongle has lower latency than the Sony INZONE H7 Wireless, so your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming.
The Sony H9 are fully compatible with PCs via Bluetooth. You can also use the USB dongle with full audio and mic compatibility.
The Sony H9 have full audio and mic compatibility with PlayStation consoles when using their USB dongle.