Over the last few years, Sony has given Bose a run for its money when it comes to noise-cancelling headphones. With the 1000X line, Sony has continued to improve both audio and active noise cancellation (ANC) in successive products. It also offers a taste of those high-end features in more affordable models, like the WH-XB900N I reviewed last year. Still, that Extra Bass option was $250. Now the company is back with another set of noise-cancelling headphones: the WH-CH710N. And this time, thankfully, they're even more affordable at $200.
Sony isn't clear if it's the exact same adaptive noise cancellation that the WH-1000XM3 employs, but the WH-CH710N comes with powerful ANC that should hold its own. The company says these headphones monitor your surroundings with "Dual Noise Sensor Technology" and uses it to "improve" the noise cancellation as needed. Like the WH-1000XM3, these headphones are able to automatically switch to the ideal ANC mode for your current environment. Thanks to microphones facing forwards and backwards, Sony explains that the WH-CH710N can pick up more ambient sound, which should mean fewer distractions when you're trying to block out the world.
Like a lot of noise-cancelling headphones these days, the WH-CH710N offer an ambient sound mode. This handy feature allows you to hear things like traffic noise and the barista at a coffee shop without having to pause your music of take them off. As you might expect, Sony also touts the "pure, clear sound" from the WH-CH710N's 30mm drivers. The company promises that despite being lightweight and comfy, these headphones are still "ideal for reproducing a range of frequencies, from low beats to high vocals." I look forward to seeing if that's true as soon as I can test these.
The company also has knack for efficient headphone battery life, and that's still true here. Sony says the WH-CH710N will last for up to 35 hours on a charge -- five hours longer than the flagship WH-1000XM3. When you do have to reach for the USB-C cable, a quick-charge feature will give you an hour of listening in in just 10 minutes. The WH-CH710N also supports NFC quick pairing and one-button access to your phone's voice assistant. There are also on-board volume controls and earcups that rotate flat that make these an no-fuss travel companion.
The WH-CH710N will be available for pre-order this month for $200.