Sony Inzone H7 wireless gaming headset test: virtual surround made in Sony at its most convincing?

Sony Inzone H7 wireless gaming headset test: virtual surround made in Sony at its most convincing?

Within the new line of headsets gaming launched by Sony in this summer of 2022, the Inzone H7 acts as a mid-range. Wireless headphones for PC and PlayStation 5 players, it shares most of its features with the most prestigious of its brothers, the H9, but differs in two aspects: the absence of active noise reduction and ear cups covered not with synthetic leather, but with nylon fabric.

Sony Inzone H9

Introductory price 300 €

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    299.99

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    299.99

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How the pricing table works

The H7, on the other hand, maintains the flagship feature of the entire Inzone audio range, namely the 360 ​​Gaming Audio virtual audio spatialization technology. Available only on PC, this technology intends to offer the user a virtual surround processing specifically adapted to his personal hearing characteristics, thanks to an automatic analysis of the morphology of the ears.

The Sony Inzone H7 connected via its USB transmitter/receiver to a laptop

The Sony Inzone H7, also known as the WH-G700 reference, has been available since July 2022 at an indicative launch price of €230.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Manufacturing

A simple glance at the two headsets is enough to realize this: the Inzone H7 and H9 are almost carbon copies of each other. And since said H9 has already passed through our test laboratory, we recognize here that we have a hard time finding new things to say about the H7. The only points that differentiate it are the absence of light on the back of the ear cups and the nylon fabric covering the pads of these same ear cups – curiously, the headband foam is still covered in synthetic leather.

The nylon pads of the Sony Inzone H7

The nylon in question seems quite robust and also has the advantage of being very easy to clean. However, it would have been even more so if the pads had been detachable, which is unfortunately not the case.

For the rest, we therefore find here the same materials of excellent quality as on the H9, but also an assembly that is not always impeccable, in particular with regard to the clearly visible plastic weld lines on the arch.

The plastic weld line visible on the top of the Sony Inzone H7 headband

The list of accessories provided is minimalist: in addition to the headset and its USB transmitter / receiver, you have to make do with a 1.5 m USB-A to USB-C charging cable. No case or storage pouch in sight, unfortunately.

The Sony Inzone H7 and its accessories

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

connectors

Nowadays, the term “wireless headset” is too often taken literally, as meaning “wireless headset”. none thread”. The H7 is unfortunately no exception: it offers absolutely no wired connection option. We have to make do with the proprietary radio connection via the USB transmitter/receiver (compatible with PC and PS4/5, but also with a Nintendo Switch in docked mode), to which is still added Bluetooth connectivity.

The Sony Inzone H7 transmitter/receiver connected to the USB port of a laptop

As with the H9, it is possible to use these two wireless connections simultaneously, the two audio streams then being superimposed on each other. This allows, for example, to receive the sound of your game from a console, at the same time as you are connected to a voice chat room on your smartphone.

On the other hand, we strongly advise against using Bluetooth to connect to a portable gaming machine, such as a Switch in nomadic mode or a Steam Deck. Bluetooth-specific streaming latency is 223ms on the H7, far too high for comfortable gaming.

Sony Inzone H7 Bluetooth latency measurement

Bluetooth impulse response delay.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Audio

In continuity with everything that came before in this test, the Inzone H7 uses the same transducers as the H9. One could therefore naively expect that it also offers the same sound performances. However, this would be to forget the fundamental role played by the acoustic properties of the pads in the sound of a helmet. The twins are the perfect demonstration: even though we undeniably find some common character traits, the difference in the material used by each is not without significant consequences.

Sony Inzone H7 frequency response measurement

Default frequency response (“flat” EQ profile).

Sony Inzone H7 harmonic distortion measurement

Harmonic distortion is inaudible across the spectrum.

And against our expectations, it is the H7 which benefits from a significantly more controlled restitution. The nylon ear cups guarantee a remarkably homogeneous reproduction of bass and low-mids. The highlighting of low frequencies is notable, with a very flattering effect on the perceived sound. But it in no way compromises the coherence of the entire spectrum. The bass effects are percussive, massive, but without any overflow or mask effect on the other frequencies: note the excellent stability of the stationary regimes on the square wave measurement at 50 Hz below.

Measurement of the 50 Hz square wave response of the Sony Inzone H7

Conversely, as very often with audio equipment dedicated to gaming, the H7 has chosen to largely set back the 4 kHz zone in the upper mids. Since this zone corresponds to the peak of sensitivity of the human ear, it is assumed that its contraction is intended to make listening as less tiring as possible, and therefore to facilitate very long sessions of use. But it frankly harms the naturalness and the presence of the sound message, especially since it is here both very ample and concentrated on a very fine band of frequencies. The sound lacks sharpness, while at the same time it takes on a somewhat piercing turn due to the transfer of auditory attention to the extreme treble.

The good news is that this character is correctable with the equalizer available in the Inzone Hub application on Windows. By adding 4 or 5 dB on the 4 kHz band, then removing 2 or 3 dB on the 16 kHz band, we find a sound that is noticeably fuller and more transparent.

Sony Inzone H7 frequency response measurement with custom equalization

Example of frequency response equalization in dotted blue.

EQ profile used in the Inzone Hub app for the previous measurement

Equalization profile used for above measurement: +2 dB at 500 Hz, +6 dB at 4 kHz, -2 dB at 16 kHz.

However, everything is not perfect in this upper half of the spectrum: we perceive all the better then a very slight lack of precision and of the hairline of the upper midrange and treble, which prevents the headphones from achieving excellence. It should also be noted that, a thousand times alas, the equalization thus shaped is not recorded directly in the headphones, and therefore only remains active when used on Windows with the Inzone Hub application open. Impossible to enjoy it with a PS5 or a Bluetooth source.

Measurement of the 500 Hz square wave response of the Sony Inzone H7

The response to square waves at 500 Hz lacks stability, witnessing the lack of precision of the H7 in the upper part of the spectrum.

Finally, concerning virtual spatialization, the treatment offered is strictly identical to that of the H9. In summary, it consists of a very efficient 7.1 virtualization. The automatic processing customization system should significantly improve the distinction between sounds coming from the front and those coming from the back for most users – although we can not guarantee that this will be the case for absolutely everything the world. For more explanations, in particular on how the headset adapts its treatments thanks to photos of its user’s ears, we once again direct you to the corresponding paragraphs of our H9 test (second half of the audio part).

Finally, remember that this processing only works on a PC; on PS5, it simply renders the Tempest 3D Audio spatialization made by the console itself, like any other headset.

Strong points

  • Ample sound reproduction.

  • Good reactivity of the bass, homogeneity of the low-mids.

  • Efficient personalized virtual spatialization system (on PC only).

  • Very comfortable, even for large heads (less so for small ones).

  • Dual proprietary radio/Bluetooth connectors with simultaneous broadcast.

  • Intuitive essential controls, enjoyable PC control app.

  • Excellent autonomy.

Weak points

  • Big lack of presence and sharp sound with the default equalization.

  • Lack of precision in the high mids and highs.

  • No wired connectivity.

  • Plastic assembly a bit cheap.

Conclusion

we tested we liked
Global mark

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

The Sony Inzone H7 certainly abandons the active noise reduction that makes the H9 unique, but it is not fundamentally less interesting. Supremely comfortable, very autonomous and offering a convincing virtual 7.1 spatialization, there is no shortage of arguments in its favour. We could still have called for a slightly more precise sound in the upper mids and highs, and above all a little less dependent on the equalizer to achieve satisfactory transparency.

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