Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Headphones Review

Updated Jul 16, 2018 at 02:52 pm
Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.9
Mixed Usage
7.5
Neutral Sound
6.8
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.9
Wireless Gaming
7.5
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

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.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. The Sony CH700N have a simple and lightweight wireless design with a great range and a good sound. They also have an efficient control scheme and a long battery life (test still in progress). This makes them decent enough for most use cases but unfortunately, their noise canceling feature is not the best, and their build quality still feels a bit plasticky and cheap although it has been slightly improved from the older generation MDR-ZX770BN.

7.5 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral listening. The Sony CH700N are surprisingly well-balanced headphones with a deep and extended bass range that packs a good punch, a relatively flat mid-range that reproduces instruments and vocals fairly well although slightly recessed and good treble range that's not too piercing on bright tracks but can sound a bit sharp on some S and T sounds. Unfortunately, they do not have the most spacious soundstage so they may not be the ideal choice for more neutral listeners but overall they should sound good enough for most.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.8 Commute/Travel

Average for commute and travel. They are noise canceling headphones with a decently comfortable design and easy-to-use controls. Their battery life should also last you long enough for most trips. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation feature is not as strong as some for the other sony headphones and may not be enough for loud, noisy environments even if you're playing your music at higher than average volumes.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.1 Sports/Fitness

Decent for sports. They are lightweight, decently comfortable and have easy to use controls. They also have a great range in case you are working out at home or at the gym with a fixed Bluetooth source like a PC or a TV. Unfortunately, they won't be the most stable headphones for more intense physical activities. They're also not as breathable as in-ear design so they will make your ears sweat more than average when exercising.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.7 Office

Decent for office use. Although the Sony WH-CH700N do not isolate much from ambient noise, they have a comfortable design, a better than average battery life (test still in progress),n and they do not leak too much at average volumes but may be slightly distracting to those around you at higher volumes.

See our Office recommendations
5.9 Wireless Gaming

Below-average for gaming. They have an average integrated microphone and they're decently comfortable headphones to wear for long gaming sessions. Unfortunately, they will not work with your consoles via Bluetooth and their audio cable will only provide audio and no chat support when connected to console controllers which is not ideal.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
7.5 Wired Gaming
6.3 Phone Call
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 6.8 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.3 Phone Call
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable, lightweight design.
  • Efficient control scheme.
Cons
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Sub-par noise cancellation.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 7/24/2018: The review is now complete, and battery data has been updated.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

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.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
0.8 lbs

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.

7.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control Yes
Talk-Through
No
Additional Buttons No

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.

6.5
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.5 C

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.

6.0
Design
Portability
L 7.5 "
W 7.5 "
H 1.8 "
Volume 101 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

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.

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

These headphones do not come with a case.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

7.0
Design
Stability

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.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.85 db
Treble Amount
0.68 db
5.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.61 dB

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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.26 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.42 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.06 dB
High-Bass
0.77 dB

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.

8.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.72 dB
Low-Mid
-0.84 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.1 dB
High-Mid
-1.86 dB

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.

8.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.36 dB
Low-Treble
1.67 dB
Mid-Treble
0.79 dB
High-Treble
-1.84 dB

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.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.72 db
Dips
1.45 db
8.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.28
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.97
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.26
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.78

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.

6.8
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.27 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.52 dB
PRTF Distance
17.36 dB
Openness
5.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.6

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.

7.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.269
WHD @ 100
0.191
Isolation
4.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.26 dB
Bass
-0.69 dB
Mid
-10.2 dB
Treble
-23.76 dB

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.

6.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
40.4 dB

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.

Microphone
6.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
64.42 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
5.33 dB
HFE
3179.16 Hz
Weighted THD
6.506
Gain
40.63 dB

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.

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

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.

Active Features
8.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
34.1 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
34.1 hrs
Charge Time
6.2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

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. If this is too long for you, we suggest taking a look at the Plantronics Backbeat Go 810 with their quick charge feature that gives you 3 hours of playback for only 15 minutes of charging. These Sonys 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.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
Yes
Mic Control
Room effects
Yes
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

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.

Connectivity
7.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line of Sight Range
185 ft
Default Latency
183 ms
aptX Latency
165 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

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 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.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable
Length 4.1 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

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.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

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.

In the box
In the box

  • Sony WH-CH700n Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual
  • Carrying pouch

Compared to other Headphones

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. 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, the best wireless headphones under $100, and the best noise cancelling headphones under $100.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WH-1000XM3s are more versatile headphones than the Sony WH-CH700N, thanks to their great noise cancelling feature. Even if the WH-CH700N are also noise cancelling, 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.

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WH-CH700N are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT. They have a great audio reproduction and have over 30 hours of battery life. Their control scheme is noticeably easier to use, and they have an ANC feature, though it doesn’t seem to isolate against ambient noise that well. The Sony app is also great and offers multiple controls and customization. On the other hand, the Sennheiser headphones have low latency for Bluetooth and take noticeably less time to charge. However, they won’t be as comfortable as the WH-CH700N.

Bose QuietComfort 25/QC25
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

If you want a wired headset for commuting, then the Bose QuietComfort 25 are better than the Sony WH-CH700N. The Bose QC 25 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.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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 cancelling 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.

Sony WH-H900N/h.ear on 2 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
SEE PRICE
B&H

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.

Bose SoundLink 2 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundLink 2 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sony WH-CH700N Wireless thanks to their very comfortable build. They can also connect to two devices simultaneously and have a way shorter charge time than the WH-CH700N. Their fit also isolates more than the disappointing noise cancelling feature of the Sony WH-CH700N. On the other hand, the Sonys have noticeably more battery life, but have a very long charge time of over 6 hours. On the upside, they have a nice 5-band EQ to customize their sound to your liking, which you can’t do with the Bose SoundLink 2 Wireless.

Sony MDR-XB950N1 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WH-CH700N Wireless are better headphones than the Sony MDR-XN950N1 Wireless. They are more comfortable and have noticeably better sound quality. The XB950N1 have a very dark sound profile that's better-suited for very bass-heavy genres like dubstep. Unfortunately, both headphones’ ANC feature is disappointing and barely block ambient noise, but the MDR-XB950N1 are slightly better in that regard. On the other hand, you’ll get more battery life on the CH700N, although they take a very long time to charge. Also, their app offers more controls and a good 5-band EQ, while you can only play with the bass levels of the XB950N1.

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 are better mixed-usage headphones than the Sony WH-CH700N. Both headphones sound great, but the Go 810 are a bit more neutral and sound less sibilant. They also perform more consistently between different humans and reseats. While their ANC feature isn’t the best, it still outperforms the near-useless one of the CH700N. On the other, the Sony app is more customizable than the Plantronics app, and their battery life is better but takes longer to charge. The Go 810 also have a nice quick charge feature that gives you 3 hours of playback in 10 minutes, and they can connect to two devices simultaneously, which the Sonys can’t do.

HyperX Cloud Alpha
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

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Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Price

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