The Sony WH-CH510 are a mediocre pair of on-ear Bluetooth headphones. While they have a straightforward design, they look and feel cheap. The headband is made of plastic, with no padding whatsoever, and they don't fold up to be smaller for travel. While their sound profile is decently well-balanced, unfortunately, some vocals and instruments may sound dull and lacking in presence, so they may not be the best choice for genres like rock or pop.
The Sony WH-CH510 are decent headphones for neutral sound listening. While their bass and mid ranges are very well-balanced, unfortunately, their treble range's accuracy is only mediocre, and some vocals and instruments may sound thin and dull.
The Sony WH-CH510 are only mediocre headphones for commuting or travel. While their on-ear design makes them a bit less bulky than over-ear headphones, they don't fold up at all, or come with a carrying case. They also isolate almost no background noises, so won't help with blocking out the low rumble from bus or train engines, or people chatting beside you. While you can turn the volume up to help block background noises, they leak a fair amount and people sitting next to you will likely be bothered by your music.
The Sony WH-CH510 are decent headphones for sports. Their on-ear design means that they breathe quite well and shouldn't cause your ear to get too hot. Unfortunately, they aren't the most stable and will likely move around or fall off during even moderately strenuous exercises or runs.
The Sony WH-CH510 are only passable for office use. While their outstanding battery life should last through almost an entire workweek, they're not the most comfortable and may cause fatigue after wearing all day. They also don't block out background speech well, and leak a decent amount of audio, which may bother co-workers sitting close to you.
The Sony WH-CH510 aren't recommended for wireless gaming. Since they're Bluetooth-only, they aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. While you can pair them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, their latency will likely be too high for gaming.
The Sony WH-CH510 are Bluetooth-only headphones and can't be used wired.
The Sony WH-CH510 are mediocre headphones for phone calls. Like most Bluetooth headphones, their microphone isn't the greatest and, while your voice will sound clear and intelligible, it will likely sound quite thin and lacking in depth. It'll also be difficult for the person you're speaking to to hear you, even in only moderately noisy environments.
The Sony WH-CH510 are budget Bluetooth headphones that look and feel quite cheap. While they're cheaper than most other Sony on-ear or over-ear headphones, they don't perform as well as some budget options from other brands. However, their successor, the Sony WH-CH520 Wireless, feel more solidly built and have more customization options via their companion app.
Check out our recommendations for the best budget wireless headphones, the best Bluetooth headphones under $100, and the best on-ear headphones.
The Sony WH-CH510 Wireless and JBL Tune 510BT Wireless are fairly well-matched, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your needs. The JBL have a more comprehensive control scheme, provide superior mic recording quality, and can pair with two devices simultaneously. Meanwhile, the Sony have a more breathable, stable fit and block out marginally more background noise, though their performance in this respect is still poor.
The Sony WH-CH520 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH510 Wireless. The WH-CH520 can connect to the Sony| Headphones Connect app, which features a graphic EQ with presets, playback control customization, and much more. The WH-CH510, in contrast, have none of these features, so you're stuck with their default controls scheme and sound profile, which is well-balanced but slightly bass-heavy. The WH-CH520 also have a longer continuous battery life and support multi-device pairing, so they'll last a whole workweek on one charge, and you can switch between your laptop and phone effortlessly.
The Sony WH-CH700N Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH510 Wireless, but with a different design. The CH700N are over-ears that are a bit bulkier but are more comfortable, while the CH510 are slightly smaller and more portable thanks to their on-ear design, but aren't nearly as comfortable. The CH700N also look and feel better-built, feel more stable on the head, have a better-balanced sound profile with more low-bass, and have a dedicated companion app with a graphic EQ and presets. On the other hand, the CH510 breathe better, are much more consistent among different users, and have slightly longer battery life.
The Sony WH-CH510 Wireless and the Sony WH-CH500 Wireless are very similar Bluetooth on-ear headphones. The WH-CH510 have easier-to-use controls, a better-balanced sound profile, and a much longer battery life. On the other hand, the WH-CH500 block out a bit more background noise and feature a standby mode to help conserve battery life.
The Sony WH-CH510 Wireless and the Beats EP are both mediocre on-ear headphones. The Beats are a bit more comfortable, feel better built, and have better controls, but are wired, unlike the Sony that are only Bluetooth. The Sony are much more consistent every time you put them on, but as long as you find a proper fit, the Beats have a more accurate treble range.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sony WH-CH510 Wireless. The Beats are more comfortable, feel much better-built, are much more stable, and have an even longer battery that charges significantly cheaper. While the Beats have a more bass-heavy sound profile, the bass range of the Sony are a bit more accurate. As a result, the Sony likely represent better value for most people.
The Sony WH-CH510 Wireless and the JBL T450BT Wireless are both mediocre on-ear Bluetooth headphones. The JBL feel quite a bit more stable on the head, leak less audio, and have much lower latency on Android. On the other hand, while their sound profiles are very similar, the Sony are a bit more accurate and less boomy sounding. The Sony also have a significantly longer continuous battery life.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are much better Bluetooth headphones than the Sony WH-CH510 Wireless. The WH-1000XM3 have a much more comfortable over-ear design, have better controls, and feel much more premium and better built. The sound profile of the WH-1000XM3 is also better-balanced, and they block way more background noise thanks to their excellent ANC performance. On the other hand, the WH-CH510 have a longer battery life.
The Sony WHCH510 are fairly cheaply made so they don't have nearly as much padding as some other options. Their ear cups are reasonably padded, but the headband is entirely hard plastic with no cushioning at all. Due to their on-ear design, the ear cups sit on the ear, which may not be the most comfortable for everyone. Luckily the headphones shouldn't fit too tight unless you have a very large head.
The control scheme of the WH-CH510 is decent. It's easy to use, and the headphones play a sound when skipping tracks or when you reach min. or max. volume.
The Sony WH-CH510 don't come with any kind of case.
The build quality of these headphones is passable. While they don't feel like they'll break too easily, they're made of noticeably cheap materials overall. The headband extenders feel quite thin, and may snap under moderate stress. While they should be able to handle some accidental drops or bumps, they likely aren't the best choice for someone who's hard on their headphones.
The Sony WH-CH510 are a reasonably well-balanced pair of on-ear headphones, except for in the treble range. They made sound a bit bass-heavy, but shouldn't be too boomy or muddy, and some vocals may sound a bit recessed. Overall, they should be decent for most genres, but may be best suited for less vocal-centric music.
The frequency response consistency of the WH-CH510 is good, though due to their on-ear design, they're sensitive to positioning. It's likely that people with glasses or long hair may hear different bass responses, and you may have to adjust them slightly to get the same treble response every time.
Their bass accuracy is good. While they're a bit over-emphasized in mid-bass, this will provide a bit of extra thump and shouldn't sound boomy or muddy. Due to their on-ear design, it's possible that people may experience varying bass responses depending on the positioning of the headphones on their ears.
The Sony WH-CH510 have good imaging. Their weighted group delay graph shows that almost the entire range is below the audibility threshold, so they should have a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Our unit's L/R drivers were well-matched in amplitude and phases, though they were only decent with frequency mismatch, so some objects (voice, instruments, video game effects) may not have the most accurate placement. It's worth noting that these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may differ.
The Sony WH-CH510's soundstage is bad. Due to their on-ear design, they don't interact with the pinna and activate its resonances. This, as well as their closed-back design, results in a soundstage that's perceived as small and located inside the listener's head.
The Sony WH-CH510 don't have any virtual soundstage features.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.
These headphones do a bad job at isolating background noise. This is partly due to the fact that they're on-ear headphones, which don't do as good of a job at blocking out background noises as in-ears or over-ears. They will do practically nothing to block out the low rumbles of bus engines, or to block out chatty co-workers. They will likely do a good job at blocking out the sounds of AC units, however.
These headphones have an integrated microphone.
Update 02/18/2021: We noticed that the wrong audio test file was uploaded to this review, and it didn't match our scoring. As a result, we have replaced it with the correct file. The scoring of this test hasn't changed.
The recording quality of the microphone is acceptable. While your voice should be clear and easy to understand, it will be lacking in depth and will sound quite thin.
The noise handling of the microphone is only adequate. If you're in even moderately loud environments, the person you're speaking to will likely have a hard time hearing you.
The overall battery performance of these headphones is decent. While their 36.5-hour battery life is outstanding, unfortunately, they take over 4 hours to charge, which is a long time. They also don't have any power-saving features to prevent the battery draining if you forget to turn them off, which is unfortunate. If you want headphones that don't take as long to charge, you may prefer the JBL Tune 660NC Wireless.
There's no dedicated companion app for these headphones. Unlike some higher-end Sony headphones, these aren't compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, which is a shame.
Update 01/31/2022: These headphones were updated to Test Bench 1.5 and their latency values have changed. Our previous Test Bench 1.4 measurements reported 'iOS Latency' at 185 ms. However, our new test bench uses an average of three measurements instead of one, resulting in 119 ms on iOS. As a result, we have updated our text to better reflect test bench 1.5 measurements.
The Bluetooth connectivity of these headphones is good. They support NFC pairing, making it easier to connect them to an NFC-enabled device, and their latency on iOS is decent. Unlike the JBL Tune 510BT Wireless, however, you can't pair them with two devices at the same time, so you can't stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your computer. In addition, their latency on PCs and Android devices is quite high, and you may notice syncing issues between your audio and visuals. That said, some apps and devices compensate for latency differently, so your real-work experience may vary.
The Sony WH-CH510 are Bluetooth-only headphones.
These headphones are Bluetooth-only and therefore aren't compatible with Xbox One.