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Reviewed on May 22, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Sony WH-CH400 Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.2
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.2
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.0
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.7
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.3
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.0
TV
Score components:
4.6
Gaming
Score components:
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony WH-CH400 are good sounding on-ear headphones. These are wireless-only and can’t be used with an audio cable. They feel quite cheaply-made with very thin plastic and poor padding. They aren’t very comfortable and won’t create a good seal to block out ambient noise, meaning they won’t be great for commuting or to use at the office. On the upside, their battery life is long enough to last you a full workday without a problem, but they take a bit of time to fully charge. They also have amazing wireless range and support NFC for quicker and easier pairing.

Test Results
Design 6.0
Sound 7.5
Isolation 4.6
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 5.3
Connectivity 3.0
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Remarkable wireless range.
  • Good battery life.
Cons
  • Long charging time.
  • Flimsy and plasticky build.
  • Very high latency.

Check Price

6.0

Design

Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Design Picture

The Sony WH-CH400 are flimsy on-ear headphones that aren’t very well-built. They are made out of thin plastic that feels cheap and that could easily break. On the upside, the cups are fairly dense and decently comfortable for on-ear headphones, but not everyone will like the fit. However, there’s minimal padding on the cups and none on the headband, which can get uncomfortable rather quickly for some. They have a nice and easy-to-use control scheme with physical buttons, but they won’t be the easiest to carry around as they don’t fold.

Style
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Design Picture 2

The WH-CH400 are flimsy looking on-ear headphones that can stand out by their bright mono-chromatic colors (red, blue, and grey) but also come in a more low-profile black design. The cups are very small with poor padding, and the headband of the headphones is thin but quite wide. The headphones rest on your ears without covering them. They look plasticky and feel like cheaply-made headphones.

6.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.23 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.6 lbs

The Sony WH-CH400 aren’t very comfortable, like most on-ears we’ve tested so far. The padding on the ear cups seems fairly thick but the driver is hidden in it and in reality, there is barely any padding between your ears and the driver itself. The cups sit at an angle on your ears which may feel weird for some. The headband is made out of plastic and doesn’t have any padding on it, which isn’t comfortable during long listening sessions. On the upside, the headphones are very lightweight and aren’t too tight.

7.4 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Controls Picture
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

The CH400 have a pretty straightforward control scheme with common functionalities. You get a volume rocker that also serves as a track skipper, and the power button acts as a play/pause button on top of being used for call management as well. You can enter their pairing mode by holding the power button, but you’ll need to hold it for 7 seconds, which is quite long. You don’t have any voice prompts, but you can trigger your device’s voice assistant for voice-enabled commands.

6.9 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.2 C

Since the Sony WH-CH400 headphones don’t entirely cover your ears, they’ll be more breathable than most closed-back over-ears. They still trap a bit of heat under the ear cups, but this shouldn’t be an issue during casual listening sessions. You might sweat a bit more than usual if you work out with these, but it won’t be as drastic as some over-ear headphones.

6.1 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Portability Picture
L : 6.6 "
W : 6.2 "
H : 2.2 "
Volume : 90 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

While the Sony WH-CH400 headphones have a smaller footprint than most over-ear headphones, they aren’t very portable due to the fact they can’t be folded in a more compact format and their cups don’t swivel, which would have made them easier to slide in a bag. The headband is quite flexible, but it might break if you try to squeeze them in a more portable format.

0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

The Sony WH-CH400 don’t come with a case or a pouch.

5.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Build Quality Picture

These headphones do not feel very durable and well-built. The whole build is made from thin plastic that feels cheap and easily breakable. On the upside, the cups are decently dense and the headband is flexible, but the plastic used is cheap and the one-piece design doesn’t help with durability, especially that you can’t fold them. Putting the headband under a bit of stress feels like it could snap easily.

6.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Stability Picture

The Sony WH-CH400 aren’t the most stable as they simply rest on your ears. They aren’t very tight, so a bit of head movement makes them sway around easily. They won’t be ideal for sports as they could easily fall off your head, but on the upside, since they are wireless, you don’t have any wires in your way that could get stuck on something and yank the headphones off your head. This shouldn’t be an issue during casual listening sessions and they could be used for a casual jog.

Cable
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

The Sony WH-CH400 headphones don’t come with any audio cables and only have a short micro-USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.5

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Frequency Response

The Sony WH-CH400 are good sounding on-ear closed-back headphones. Their bass is accurate and punchy, their mid-range is well-balanced and even, while the treble is very good. However, their bass might feel light on thump and rumble and is very inconsistent across different users. Their treble is also lacking in detail on one driver and is slightly too sharp on the other. Overall, these headphones will be versatile enough for a wide variety of music genres.

8.6 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.03 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
25.94 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.92 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.85 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.01 dB

The WH-CH400 have great bass performance. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 26Hz, which is very good. However, their low-bass is slightly lacking, which results in a bass that may be a bit light on thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres like EDM and dubstep. There’s also a small 2dB bump in mid-bass, responsible for the punch of bass guitars and kick of drums. Since the high-bass is accurate and follows our curve well, this will result in a fairly good bass, but it may feel a bit light on thump.

However, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

8.4 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.07 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.91 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.37 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.85 dB

This mid range of the WH-CH400 is very good. The response throughout the range is fairly even and well-balanced, which results in an accurate reproduction of vocals and instrumentals. However, there’s a small bump around 500Hz, which could bring them forward in the mix. However, the effect is fairly subtle and will barely be noticeable.

8.2 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.27 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.21 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.86 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.36 dB

The treble performance is also great. The response is flat and even throughout the response, with a small dip around 6kHz, which will have a negative effect on vocals, leads, and cymbals, but will be barely noticeable. There also seems to be a small mismatch in our unit drivers in the treble range, resulting in the right driver to sound a bit sharper.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
5.5 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Consistency L Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.22 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Sony WH-CH400 is pretty bad in the bass range, but they perform quite consistently in the treble range between reseats. In the bass range, the graph shows major variations at 20Hz, reaching more than 20dB of difference between our human test subjects. This will be very noticeable and means that people’s listening experiences will differ greatly from one another.

8.2 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Group Delay Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.35
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.6
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.41
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
6.4

These headphones have very good stereo imaging. Weighted group delay is at 0.35, which is good. The GD graph also shows that except for the area around 70Hz, which could sound a tad loose, the response is below the audibility threshold. This suggests a bass that is tight for the most part, and a treble that is transparent. In terms of driver matching, our test unit was very well-matched, which is important for accurate localization and placement of objects (voice, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image, but there is a slight frequency mismatch between the L/R drivers. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may not perform the same way.

5.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.75 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.68 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
7.46 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
6.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.6
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the WH-CH400 is poor. These on-ear headphones PRTF graph shows a small amount of pinna interaction, with mediocre accuracy. This results in a soundstage that is perceived to be small and unnatural. There is also no deep notch around the 10kHz region and with their closed-back design, the soundstage will be perceived inside the listener’s head rather than in front.

6.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
8.689
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
15.442

The harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is okay. The level of THD throughout the range is fairly elevated, and the high peak around 5kHz will make these frequencies harsh and impure, which can get fatiguing after a while.

4.6

Isolation

Score components:

The WH-CH400 have a poor noise isolation performance. They only block noise passively, and unfortunately, the small on-ear cups don’t prevent noise from easily seeping into your audio. This means you may struggle to hear your music in loud environments, making them a bad option for traveling and commuting. They also leak quite a bit at higher volumes, so they may be slightly distracting to the people around you in quieter settings.

3.4 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-7.04 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.75 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-6.57 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.01 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.2 dB

The noise isolation performance of these headphones is bad. Their on-ear design doesn’t isolate against the deep rumble of a plane or bus engine, which means they won’t be suitable for commuting. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve about 7dB of isolation, which is fairly negligible. In the treble range, important for blocking out S and T sounds and A/C noise, they block out about 16dB of ambient noise, which is sub-par.

6.9 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
40.54 dB

The Sony WH-CH400 have an acceptable leakage performance. The significant portion of their leakage is spread from 1kHz to 10kHz, which is a relatively broad range and will mostly consist of the high-mid and the whole treble ranges. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away will average around 41dB SPL and peaks at 54dB SPL, which is about the same as the noise floor of most offices.

6.5

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The WH-CH400 have an okay integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound noticeably thin, as well as muffled and lacking in detail. However, it'll still be relatively easy to understand in quiet environments. In noisy environments, the mic struggles to separate ambient noise from actual speech and won’t fare well in situations like a busy street or a subway station.

6.7 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
236.29 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
2.84 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
4.745
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
37.98 dB

The recording quality of the integrated microphone is passable. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 236Hz, which means transmitted/recorded speech with this mic will sound slightly thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.4kHz indicates speech that lacks detail and is noticeably muffled. This will have a negative effect on the intelligibility of speech, but it should still be understandable in quiet environments.

6.3 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Sony WH-CH400 Wireless SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
15.44 dB

The integrated mic is mediocre at noise-handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 15dB, indicating the mic is best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.

5.3

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Sony WH-CH400 have a good battery life with over 16 hours of continuous playback, but they do take a bit of time to charge fully. They also only automatically turn off after 5 minutes after being disconnected from your source. Unfortunately, you can’t use these headphones passively as they don’t come with an audio cable, so you’ll need to recharge them if the battery is dead.

5.9 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
16.6 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
3.6 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The Sony WH-CH400 will allow you to listen to audio content for more than 16 continuous hours on a single charge, which should be more than enough for a normal workday. Unfortunately, they take more than 3 hours to charge fully, which is quite longer than most Bluetooth headphones. They will automatically turn off if they are disconnected from their source, but won’t do so if you’re still connected to your phone, for example. They also can't be used while charging, which is especially disappointing considering they can't be used passively with an audio cable either.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

There is no companion app for the Sony WH-CH400.

3.0

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:

These wireless-only headphones are Bluetooth compatible and support NFC for easier pairing. However, the fact that they can’t be used wired over their USB charging cable is disappointing, since you can't use them with an audio cable either. They also have very high latency, so they won’t be suitable for watching video content and gaming. On the upside, they have an amazing wireless range and practically maxed out our testing facility.

8.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC Pairing
Bluetooth Version
What it is: The version of Bluetooth that the headphones support.
When it matters: Newer versions of Bluetooth, when paired with devices that support the same version, may have improved latency and wireless range performance.
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC Pairing
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

These headphones are Bluetooth compatible, but can only be connected to a single device at a time. On the upside, they support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure, which is nice since it takes 7 seconds to put them into pairing mode.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
N/A
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

The Sony WH-CH400 can’t be used wired. There is no jack for an audio cable on the headphones and they don’t support audio over their USB charging cable.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a specific frequency range or wired headphones that have a proprietary amp.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and personal computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Type
What it is: The type of base/dock the headphones use, whether a USB dongle, charging case or docking station. Wired or wireless.
When it matters: Larger docking stations tend to have more controls and sometimes even customization options while smaller USB dongles are more portable. Charging cases allow you to keep your earbuds charged on-the-go.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source for the base/dock/transmitter.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones don’t have a dock.

10 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
70 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
311 ft

The Sony CH400 headphones have remarkable wireless range. They pretty much maxed out our testing facility in our line of sight range test and had an amazing 70ft of range when the source was obstructed by walls. You should be able to walk around an office or a small apartment with these headphones without them cutting off completely. However, wireless range is dependent on your device’s signal strength and many other factors, so your results may differ.

0 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
292 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

Their latency is very high. Even if some apps and devices offer some sort of delay compensation, they won’t be ideal for watching video content and playing games. Most people should see a noticeable delay between audio and video content.

In the box

Sony WH-CH400 Wireless In the box Picture

  • Sony WH-CH400 headphones
  • Micro-USB to USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Sony WH-CH400 Wireless Compare Picture

The Sony WH-CH400 are okay on-ear headphones that set themselves apart by their good audio reproduction. Unfortunately, their build quality is quite cheap and they feel quite fragile. See our suggestions for the best on-ear headphones and the best on-ear wireless headphones.

Sony WH-CH500 Wireless

The Sony WH-CH400 are slightly better headphones than the Sony WH-CH500 Wireless. While the CH500 model feels better made, there’s a big difference in sound quality that favors the CH400. They also have better wireless range, but they don’t have the same great 20-hour battery life as the CH500. They also offer better value overall since they are cheaper.

JBL T450BT Wireless

The JBL T450BT Wireless are better mixed-usage headphones than the Sony WH-CH400, but the Sony have better sound quality. Other than that, the JBLs are more stable, better-built, leak less and have about half the latency of the CH400. On the other hand, the Sony headphones have more battery life, better wireless range, and they support NFC. If sound quality is your most important criteria, then the Sonys will be the better choice.

Skullcandy Grind Wireless

The Skullcandy Grind Wireless are more comfortable on-ear headphones that can also be used wired. They’ll be more versatile than the Sony WH-CH400 and they are noticeably more durable too. These headphones will sound fairly similar, but the Grind will have a more accurate bass for most, with a slight V-shaped sound profile. They also take about half the time to charge, which is nice. However, the Grind don’t support NFC like the CH400 do, but you can use them wired, and also get an in-line microphone, which the Sonys are lacking.

Mpow H5 Wireless

The Mpow H5 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH400. These over-ears offer great value thanks to their ANC feature. They are more comfortable than the Sony on-ears and will also have a decent sound quality, on top of being noticeably better-built. Their design is more stable due to larger cups, and their latency is fairly low for Bluetooth headphones. On the other hand, the WH-CH400 support NFC for quicker and easier pairing, and they have better sound quality as well. However, you can’t use them wired like you can do with the Mpow H5, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

Conclusion

6.2Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Passable for mixed usage. The Sony CH400 have a good audio reproduction that is versatile for a wide variety of music genres but their on-ear fit won’t be ideal for other use cases. They won’t block out enough ambient noise to be suitable for commuting and they’ll be too leaky for the office. They won’t be stable enough for sports, but they won’t trap as much heat as over-ears. Their latency is also too high for watching TV wirelessly and they won’t be suitable for gaming, on top of having a microphone that won’t be good enough for online games.
7.2Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. Their bass is accurate and punchy, their mid-range is well-balanced and even, and the treble is very good. However, their bass might feel light on thump and rumble and is very inconsistent across different users. Their treble is also lacking in detail on one driver and is slightly too sharp on the other. Overall, these headphones will be versatile enough for a wide variety of music genres.
6.0Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Mediocre for commuting. They aren’t that portable since you can’t fold them, and most importantly they don’t block ambient noise. This means noise will easily seep into your audio and will negatively affect your listening experience. They also won’t be the most comfortable option for long rides and flights.
6.7Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Passable for sports. The Sony CH400 aren’t the most stable headphones for most sports, but they’ll be fine for a casual jog. However, they don’t fold into a more compact format and they aren’t that easy to carry around. They won’t trap as much heat inside the ears as some over-ear headphones, but they still won’t be the most breathable option. On the upside, they are wireless, so you won’t have a cable in your way if you work out with these.
6.3Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Passable for the office. The Sony CH400 won’t isolate much ambient noise like ambient chatter and A/C systems, but you’ll have enough battery life to go through a normal workday without a problem. However, they aren’t the most comfortable on-ear headphones we’ve tested so far and you might feel discomfort quite quickly due to the poor cup and headband padding. On the upside, their range is pretty impressive, and you’ll be able to walk around the office without hearing too many audio cuts.
5.0TV
Score components:
Poor for watching TV. They won’t be comfortable for a long movie or binge-watching TV shows and their latency is too high to watch video content. You’ll see a noticeable delay between the audio and video content, which quickly gets frustrating, especially since you can’t use them wired without any latency issues. They also won’t be a good option if you’re looking for headphones that will block out household noise.
4.6Gaming
Score components:
Bad for gaming. These won’t be suitable for playing video games as their latency is very high and their microphone won’t rival a gaming headset's boom microphone. They also aren’t customizable and won’t be comfortable for long gaming sessions. These headphones should not be used for this use.

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