The Sony WH-CH700N are good-sounding wireless headphones, decent enough for most use cases. They're an improved redesign of the Sony MDR-ZX770BN with better app support that gives them customization options. They're lightweight, comfortable and easy-to-use, however, their build quality still feels a bit flimsy compared to other headphones in their price range and their noise canceling is sub-par.
The Sony WH-CH700N are a redesign of the Sony MDR-ZX770BN with a slightly better build quality and more comfortable pads. They look fairly similar and you may not notice the differences at a distance but comparing them side by side the WH-CH700 have slightly wider and sturdier yokes. The padding on the ear cups is softer and slightly more comfortable, and they do not creak as much when putting them on your head. The swiveling hinges are also not as loose as on the previous model making them a bit more stable for jogging and mild physical activity although they won't be the ideal headphones for sports. On the upside, they have a good control scheme that provides all the necessary functions and a simple, lightweight design that will work for most.
The Sony CH700N look very similar to the MDR-ZX770BN. They have slight differences and a sturdier build quality that does not creak as much. The hinges are a little wider, and the pads are a slightly lighter grey and bit softer and more comfortable. They come in two color scheme the matte grey and blue, but overall their design is not particularly flashy which some may prefer over some of the other Sony lineups like the H.ear.on 2.
The Sony WH-CH700N are comfortable over-ears with a lightweight design and a decent padding. They're not too tight on the head and the ear cups are large enough to fit most ears although they are not very deep so they won't be the most spacious. The headband is not as well-padded as the rest of the design but overall they are comfortable headphones that you can wear for a bit longer than the original MDR-ZX770BN.
The CH700N have a simple and efficient control scheme. The well-designed buttons are located on the bottom of the ear cups. These headphones provide volume, call-music and skip controls, as well as the power and noise canceling enabling buttons laid out across the two ear cups. They take a little time to get used to but once you are accustomed they are efficient, and the tactile feedback is great.
The Sony WH-CH700, like most closed-back headphones, do not have the most breathable design. They create a decent seal around your ears which prevents a lot of airflow and will make your ears fairly warm during longer listening sessions. They will not be the most suitable option for intense workout routines (see our recommendations for the best over ear headphones for working out) but like most over-ear headsets they're fine for casual listening.
The Sony CH700N are not the most portable headphones but should easily fit into a bag. They do not fold into a more compact format like some of the other over-ears we've tested but do lay flat. Overall they won't be as portable as on-ear and over-ears but should be about as portable as most wireless over-ears.
The WH-CH700N have a decent build quality. They feel sturdy enough to handle a couple of drops without any damage. The ear cups are relatively dense and won't break or crack easily. However, they are mostly made of plastic and don't feel as durable as some better-built over-ear headphones. The metal frame that reinforces the headband is thin, and the swivel joints seem susceptible to breaking under moderate physical stress.
The WH-CH700n are decently stable headphones. They will easily maintain their position during casual listening sessions. They have a wireless design that prevents the headphones from being yanked off your head due to the audio cable getting hooked on something. However, they are not sports headphones and are not tight enough on your head to stop the ear cups from swaying and slipping off your ears, when used while running.
The Sony WH-CH700N is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep, thumpy, and well-balanced bass, an even mid-range which is clear and vocals and instruments, and a well-balanced treble. However, their bass delivery is not very consistent and could vary noticeably from user to user. Also, their mid-range is a bit hollow which pushes vocals and instruments towards the back of the mix and their treble is on the bright side. Overall, the CH700's sound profile resembles a classic V-shaped or "smiley face" response which is not neutral, but sounds exciting and pleasing to most people. This makes them a good option for a wide variety of genres from bass-heavy music to pop, rock, and film scores. However, they may not be the best choice for mixing/mastering applications since they are not neutral sounding.
The CH700 have an excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass (sub-bass), responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy tracks is hyped by more than 2dB. This will bring bit of extra thump to the bass, but won't make it muddy, so most people will find it pleasing. Low-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums is flat and balanced. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is also flat and balanced. Overall, the bass of the Sony is deep, balanced, and thumpy, without sounding boomy or muddy. However, their bass delivery is quite sensitive to the quality of fit/seal achieved between the headphones and the ears, so if you wear glasses or have a lot of hair around your ears, you may experience a drop in bass.
The Sony CH700N have a great mid-range. The overall response is very even, but a little bit recessed. Mid-treble is flat but under out neutral target by about 1dB, which won't be very noticeable. Mid-mid is also quite flat but underemphasized by more than 3dB. This will push vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix by giving more emphasis to the bass and treble ranges. High-mid shows about 2dB of recess which is the continuation of the dip in mid-mid. Overall, the mid-range of the Sony is clear on vocals and leads, but slightly hollow.
The treble performance is very good. The response throughout the range is rather uneven, but decently balanced. Low-treble is overemphasized by 1.6dB, bringing a bit of excess brightness to vocals and lead instruments. Mid-treble is also hyped, but by about 1dB. Overall, the treble of the Sony won't be very neutral and accurate, but will be perceived and exciting.
The frequency response consistency of the WH-CH700N is sub-par. There is shows quite a bit of deviation in bass delivery across our human subject, especially with the one who wears glasses. This shows that the bass of the Sony is sensitive to fit and seal and could cause as much as 9dB of drop in bass at 100Hz, which is quite noticeable. The treble delivery however, is a lot more consistent.
The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.28, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response barely crosses the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects), in the stereo field.
The soundstage is decent. The PRTF graph shows a decent amount of pinna interaction with decent accuracy. However, the notch at 10KHz is not very deep. This PRTF response and the closed-back design of these headphones results in a relatively large soundstage, but it will most likely be perceived to be located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in front.
The harmonic distortion performanceis mediocre. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced is a bit elevated, especially around 60Hz. Also the spikes in THD around 4KHz could make the sound of that region a bit harsh and impure. On the upside, at 100dB SPL the mid-range THD is lower than the 90dB SPL THD. This is probably due to the increased flexibility of the driver under heavier loads.
The noise cancellation of the Sony WH-CH700N is below-average and won't be ideal for loud and noisy environments. They will not cancel noise as well as some of the other Sony headphones we've tested and will let the rumbling sounds of a bus engine or the ambient chatter of a busy commute seep into your audio. You can somewhat mask the noise by playing your music or podcast at higher volumes, but your audio may be audible to the people around you since the headphones do leak a little at high volume levels. See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones.
The isolation performance is sub-par. In our test, they didn't provide any isolation in the bass range, which means they will let in all the thump and rumble of airplane and bus engines. However, the bass isolation of these headphones is dependent on the quality of the seal/fit between the headphones and the ears. With a better seal/fit it may be possible to get about 5dB of bass cancellation, which wouldn't be very noticeable. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieved about 10dB of isolation, which is decent. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts they provide more than 23dB of isolation, which is above-average.
The leakage performance is decent. The significant portion of the leakage is spread between 500Hz and 4KHz, which is a broad range. However, the overall level of the leakage is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 40dB SPL and peaks at 54dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of an average office.
The integrated microphone of the Sony WH-CH700N is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound slightly thin and noticeably muffled. However, it will still be relatively intelligible. In noisy situations, they will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.
The microphone of the WH-CH700N has an average recording quality. The dip around 200Hz makes speech recorded/transmitted with this microphone a bit thin sounding. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.2KHz means speech will sound noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. However, speech will still be relatively understandable since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.
The noise handling of the Sony WH-CH700N's microphone is mediocre. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 12dB. This means they are best suited for quiet environments as they will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud places.
The Sony WH-CH700N support the Sony headphones connect app which gives them a lof o customization options and makes them a lot more flexible for different types of listeners than the original MDR-ZX770BN The app provides an EQ, room effects, codec options and a noise canceling switch. They also have an incredibly long lasting battery life of 34.1 hours which is great if you do not get the chance to charge them on a long trip. Unfortunately, they will not automatically switch off when inactive which is not ideal for power saving but on the upside, they have a long standby mode, and you can use them passively when the battery dies.
The Sony WH-CH700N have an excellent battery life, easily lasting a day, but they take very long to charge, at 6.2 hours for a full charge. They also have a Standby mode instead of an auto-off feature which isn't ideal for power saving but will last you long enough for most use cases especially if you're not just using the noise cancellation when listening to music. They support passive playback, so they can be used when the battery is dead but will not have wireless audio while charging unlike some of the other wireless over-ears we've tested.
The Sony CH700N work with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, available for iOS and Android. The app is well designed and intuitive and offers a good selection of features. From the app you can control the equalizer through built-in presets or by individual parameters. Room effects can also be added or adjusted to change the soundstage to your personal preference. The noise canceling feature can also be controlled but not the extent of the WH-100xm2. There is also not auto-off timer/standby time settings.
The Sony WH-CH700N have a great wireless range and can easily pair with mobile devices via NFC. They do not have multi-device pairing and come 1/8" TRS audio cable that will only provide audio when connected to your console controller or PC. But on the upside, they support aptX and aptX HD, and their regular audio cable gives them an additional connection option for when you do not need to go wireless or to reduce latency when watching videos and gaming.
These headphones do not have simultaneous multi-device pairing like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. But on the upside, they do support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier.
The Sony WH-CH700N come with a regular audio cable that does not have an in-line remote/microphone or a USB adapter. They will only provide audio when used wired with consoles.
These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the Arctis Pro Wireless by SteelSeries.
The Sony WH-CH700N have an excellent wireless range suitable for most offices sizes. They rarely had any connection drops up to 50ft when we left the Bluetooth source in another room. They also have a good line-of-sight range of 185ft, which makes them a bit better than average if you have a fixed Bluetooth source like a PC or TV.
The Sony WH-CH700N perform better than most Bluetooth headphones for latency and also support aptX and aptX HD. Unfortunately, even with the better than average latency, they won't be the most suitable headphones for gaming or watching high frame rate videos.
The Sony WH-CH700N are a good mixed usage headphone with an above-average sound quality and a decently comfortable design. They look somewhat similar to the Sony MDR-ZX770BN but they're more customizable since they support the Sony Headphones Connect app. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation is fairly weak and won't be good enough for noisy commutes (check our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones). They also take a very long time to charge but on the upside they deliver up to 35hrs of playback on a single charge. They're a decent headset but do not quite outperform other headphones in their price range for mixed usage. See our recommendations for the best wireless headphones and the best noise cancelling headphones under $100.
The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are a somewhat better wireless headset than the Sony WH-CH700N. The Sennheisers have much better noise isolation and would be more suitable for commuting and noisy environments. The HD 4.50 also leak a little less so you won't distract your colleagues. On the other hand, the WH-CH700N are a bit more comfortable and have a slightly more balanced sound. They also have a longer battery life.
If you want a wired headset for commuting, then the Bose QuietComfort 25 are better than the Sony WH-CH700N. The Bose QC25 has a much stronger noise cancellation for noisy environments. They're also more comfortable and have zero latency since they are wired. However, the WH-CH700N have a greater range, and their wireless design makes them a bit more convenient to use with your phone on a daily basis.
The Sony WH-1000XM3s are more versatile headphones than the Sony WH-CH700N, thanks to their great noise-canceling feature. Even if the WH-CH700N are also noise-canceling, their isolation performance is sub-par and the feature barely does anything. The XM3s will be a better option for commuting and at the office, but their default sound profile might be a bit bass-heavy for more neutral critical listeners. If you care about sound fidelity, then the CH-700N might be a better option. They also have a longer battery life, but take a long 6 hours to charge fully. On the other hand, the XM3s are slightly more comfortable and have a nice touch-sensitive control scheme. They also feel more premium, but are significantly more expensive.
The Sony WH-H900N are a bit better overall than the Sony WH-CH700N. The WH-H900 have a slightly better sound quality and noise isolation performance than the CH700N. Therefore, the H900N will be slightly better for your daily commutes than the CH700. On the upside, the CH-700N are easier to use with tactile controls, have a better soundstage, and have a greater wireless range.
The Sony WH-CH700N are slightly better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT. They are compatible with the Sony Headphones Connect app which allows lots of sound customization options, while the Audio-Technica app lacks features. Also, they are noise canceling headphones, but this feature doesn’t actually seem to perform well. The Sonys are also very sensitive to glasses. On the other hand, the Audio-Technicas are better-built headphones and have better wireless range thanks to the Bluetooth 5.0 support.
If you want a gaming headset, then the wired HyperX Cloud Alpha are the better option but for mixed usage, the wireless Sony WH-CH700N are more convenient. The Cloud Alpha have no latency, they're a bit more comfortable and they're better built than the Sonys. However, the WH-CH700N have a much better range since they are wireless and they're a bit more practical for outdoors since they are noise canceling headphones.