Following a bucket-load of internet leaks, Sony last month announced its new gaming brand INZONE which is separate from PlayStation brand though you wouldn’t tell by looking at them. Currently the line up consists of two gaming monitors and three headsets; the latter of which I and a few other journos were invited to go hands on with in Melbourne. Sony gave us a full technical briefing of the new headsets after which we went hands and ears on with every model.
The new headsets are set to appear at local retailers starting in August 2022 and come in three tiers:
- INZONE H9 Wireless Noise Cancelling Gaming Headset — $449.95
- INZONE H7 Wireless Gaming Headset — $349.95 H7
- INZONE H3 Wired Gaming Headset — $149.95
The H9 and H7 are both fully wireless with simultaneous 2.4Ghz and Bluetooth connectivity so you can have two devices connected at the same time. The H3 uses a traditional 3.5mm wired connection to plug into a controller or device port. All three support Sony 360 Spatial Sound and have a Discord-certified, non-removable boom arm mic with flip-to-mute functionality. Only the flagship H9 supports Active Noise Cancellation. Additionally, all the headsets are designed to work seamlessly with the PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech and the H9/ H7 also show on-screen UI when changing volume or using the microphone.
Interestingly, while the INZONE headsets don’t bear any PlayStation branding, they certainly look like they were designed for it(and let’s be honest, they are). The pebble inspired ear cups with smooth white shell and black contrasts look right at home next to a PlayStation 5. The cups are kinda huge and do look a bit much on the head. The H9 uses leather pads while the H7 and H3 use nylon pads that aren’t quite as comfortable.
After spending about an hour testing all three, I can say they are generally comfortable headsets that swallow up your ears. There are some clear differences in construction between the H9/H7 and the cheaper H3 which feels, well, cheaper compared. The two wireless headsets also get better overall sound reproduction and access to additional software features available in the new INZONE Hub app for Windows PC’s. There’s also a ton of controls for EQ and other headset settings to get a sound that is just right. The free INZONE Hub app is surprisingly deep and yet very approachable with easy to understand language.
Sony says it used the same Dual Noise Sensor Technology found in its class-leading WH-1000XM ANC wireless headphones and I was quite impressed. With ANC active, I couldn’t hear the loud music playing on the room speakers or even the fans of the Alienware Aurora desktops under load. The H9 also has an ambient awareness mode which does the opposite and instead allows you to hear whats going on around you. Perfect for parents like me who want to keep an eye on the kids while I smash out a quick-play session.
The new headsets are certainly intriguing and I’ll need much more time with them to give a final verdict. But my initial impressions are that Sony’s pricing might be a bit too high compared to the likes of Razer Kraken V3 Pro, EPOS H3 Pro Hybrid or the Corsair HS80 which are all cheaper and offer similar feature set minus ANC.
Stay tuned to PowerUp! for the full reviews when Sony avails units in the coming weeks.