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Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Feb 17, 2020 at 09:17 am
Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
6.3
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
6.3
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
5.1
Wired Gaming
6.0
Phone Calls
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sony WH-CH510 are a mediocre pair of on-ear Bluetooth headphones. While they have a simple and straightforward design, they look and feel quite 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.

Our Verdict

6.3 Mixed Usage

The Sony WH-CH510 are sub-par headphones for mixed usage. While they are reasonably portable, they don't fold up or come with a case to take with you. They also aren't the most comfortable, and will likely cause fatigue after long periods of use. While most of their sound profile is fairly well-balanced, some vocals and instruments will likely sound thin and lacking in presence.

7.2 Neutral Sound

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.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.3 Commute/Travel

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.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.0 Sports/Fitness

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.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.0 Office

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.

See our Office recommendations
5.2 Wireless Gaming

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.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
5.1 Wired Gaming

The Sony WH-CH510 are Bluetooth-only headphones and can't be used wired.

6.0 Phone Calls

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.

  • 6.3 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 6.3 Commute/Travel
  • 7.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 5.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.0 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Decently well-balanced and accurate sound profile.
  • Outstanding long battery life.
Cons
  • Cheap overall look and feel.
  • Sub-par comfort may cause fatigue during long listening sessions.
  • Don't fold up for easy storage or portability.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sony WH-CH510 have a very basic and straightforward on-ear design that's available in black, blue, or white. They're very simple and look quite cheap.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.3 lbs
Clamping Force
0.8 lbs

The Sony WH-CH510 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.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The control scheme of these headphones is decent. It's easy to use, and the headphones play a sound when skipping tracks or when you reach min. or max. volume.

8.3
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 1.8 C

The Sony WH-CH510 are very breathable on-ears. They don't cover your ears entirely, like over-ear headphones, so they don't obstruct as much airflow and should be breathable enough for sports.

6.4
Design
Portability
L 7.3 "
W 6.4 "
H 1.4 "
Volume 65.4 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Their portability is mediocre. While their on-ear design makes them smaller than most over-ear headphones, they don't fold up to allow for easier portability.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

The Sony WH-CH510 don't come with any kind of case.

6.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality 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.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Sony WH-CH510 have mediocre stability. While they should likely stay on your head during normal use, quick head movements will likely cause them to move quite a bit on your head. They likely aren't the best option for running or working out.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sony WH-CH510 headphones
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.59 db
Treble Amount
-3.1 db

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.

7.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.47 dB

The frequency response consistency of these headphones 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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.53 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
31.75 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.79 dB
Mid-Bass
3.41 dB
High-Bass
0.94 dB

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.

9.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.06 dB
Low-Mid
-0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.28 dB
High-Mid
1.23 dB

Their mid accuracy is excellent. They're almost perfectly balanced and accurate throughout the entire range, ensuring present and properly balanced lead instruments and vocals.

6.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.29 dB
Low-Treble
-2.42 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.49 dB
High-Treble
-9.23 dB

Unfortunately, the treble range isn't nearly as well-balanced as the bass or mid ranges. Some instruments and vocals will be pushed back quite far in the mix and will sound dull and lacking in detail.

7.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.97 db
Dips
1.58 db

Their peaks and dips performance is decent. While they're decently accurate and well-balanced overall, the peak in the bass range will give them a bit of extra kick and thump, while the large dip in treble will make vocals and instruments lack detail and presence.

7.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.36
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.88
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.7
Weighted Phase Mismatch
8.67

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.

4.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
4.79 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.64 dB
PRTF Distance
5.52 dB
Openness
6.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.8

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.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

The Sony WH-CH510 don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.365
WHD @ 100
0.198

Their weighted harmonic distortion performance is decent. While they sound quite clean and pure at higher volumes, there may be some slight compression artifacts at lower volumes. However, it's likely that most people won't notice this.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.

Isolation
3.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-9.96 dB
Bass
0.5 dB
Mid
-3.91 dB
Treble
-26.59 dB

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.

6.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
41.59 dB

The leakage performance of these headphones is alright. At louder volumes, it's likely that people close to you will be able to hear what you're listening to.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

6.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
553.94 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.3 dB
HFE
7034.64 Hz
Weighted THD
0.061
Gain
-5.46 dB

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.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.51 dB

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.

Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
36.5 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
36.5 hrs
Charge Time
4.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

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.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

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.

Connectivity
7.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line Of Sight Range
290 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
188 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
185 ms
Android Latency
182 ms

The Bluetooth connectivity of these headphones is good. They support NFC pairing, which makes it easier to connect them to a NFC-enabled device, and their latency on both Android an iOS is decent. However, they likely will have too much of a delay for watching videos or gaming.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The Sony WH-CH510 are Bluetooth-only headphones.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones can only be used via Bluetooth. They come with a very short 7.5 inch USB-C cable for charging.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and therefore aren't compatible with PS4. While you'll be able to pair them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, their latency will likely be too high for any competitive gaming.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and therefore aren't compatible with Xbox One.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't come with a base or dock.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

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. Check out our recommendations for the best budget wireless headphones, the best Bluetooth headphones under $100, and the best on-ear headphones.

JBL T450BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

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 battery.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

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.

Beats Solo3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

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. The Sony will also likely represent better value for most people.

Beats EP
Unavailable
B&H

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 Bluetooth-only. 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. 

Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Price

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