Sony Inzone H7 wireless gaming headset test: virtual environment created by Sony at its most convincing?

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

Sony Inzone H9

Introductory price 300 €

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    299.99

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    299.99

  • Shop at La RedouteShop at La Redoute

    299.99

  • eBayeBay

    299.99

How the pricing table works

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

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

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

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Manufacturing

A simple look at the two headsets is enough to figure it out: the Inzone H7 and H9 are almost carbon copies of each other. And since the said H9 has been through our testing laboratory, we know here that we are having a hard time finding new things to say about the H7. The only points that distinguish it are the absence of light on the back of the ear cups and the nylon fabric that covers the pads of these same ear cups – strangely, the headband foam is still covered with synthetic leather.

The nylon pad of the Sony Inzone H7

The nylon in question seems to be durable and also has the advantage of being very easy to clean. However, this is more if the pads are removed, which unfortunately is not the case.

For others, therefore we find here the same materials of excellent quality as the H9, but also an assembly that is not always free, especially in terms of clearly visible ones arc plastic welding line.

The plastic welding line seen above the headband of the Sony Inzone H7

The list of accessories provided is minimalist: in addition to the headset and the USB transmitter / receiver, you need to do 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 name “wireless headset” is often taken literally, which means “wireless headset”. nothing thread”. The H7 is unfortunately no exception: it offers a completely wireless connection option. We have to do the proprietary radio connection via USB transmitter/receiver (PC and PS4/5 compatible, but also on Nintendo Switch in docked mode), where Bluetooth connectivity is still added.

The Sony Inzone H7 transmitter/receiver is 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 are then superimposed on each other. This allows, for example, to receive the sound of your game from a console, at the same time that 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 Switch in nomadic mode or Steam Deck. The Bluetooth-specific streaming latency is 223ms on the H7, too high for comfortable gaming.

Sony Inzone H7 Bluetooth measurement latency

Bluetooth impulse response delay.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Audio

Continuing with everything that happened before in this test, the Inzone H7 uses the same transducers as the H9. One might naively expect it to offer similar sound performances as well. However, this is forgetting the fundamental role played by the acoustic properties of the sound pads of a helmet. The twins are the perfect show: even if we can’t deny that we can find some common characteristics of the character, the difference in the material used by each one is not insignificant consequences.

The 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’s the H7 that benefits from a more controlled iteration. Nylon ear cups guarantee an exceptionally homogeneous reproduction of bass and low-mids. The highlighting of low frequencies is exceptional, with an excellent effect on perceived sound. But this in no way compromises the connectivity of the entire spectrum. The bass effects are percussive, large, but without overflow or mask effect at other frequencies: note the excellent stability of the stationary regimes of the square wave measurement at 50 Hz below.

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

On the contrary, as always with audio equipment dedicated to playing, the H7 chose to return most of the 4 kHz zone to the upper mids. Since this zone corresponds to the peak of the sensitivity of the human ear, it is believed that its excavation is intended to make listening as less tiring as possible, and therefore to facilitate long sessions of use. But it frankly damages the naturalness and the presence of the voice message, especially since it is here in two sufficient and concentrated in a very good band of frequencies. The sound lacks sharpness, while at the same time it takes a rather piercing turn due to the transfer of auditory attention to extreme treble.

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

The Sony Inzone H7 frequency response measurement with custom equalization

Example of frequency response equalization in dotted blue.

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

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

Everything is not perfect, however, in this upper half of the spectrum: we know everything better than a slight lack of precision and the slenderness of the upper midrange and treble, which prevents the headphones from reaching -ot of efficiency. It should also be noted that, a thousand times unfortunately, the similarity created is not recorded directly by the headphones, and therefore remains active when using Windows with the Inzone Hub application open. It is 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 accuracy of the H7 in the upper part of the spectrum.

Finally, regarding the virtual spatialization, the treatment offered is the same as the H9. In summary, this constitutes a very efficient 7.1 virtualization. The automatic processing adjustment system should significantly improve the contrast between sounds coming from the front and those coming from the back for most users – although we can’t guarantee that this is the case for absolutely everyone in the world. . For more explanations, especially how the headset adapts to its treatments thanks to the photos of its user’s ears, we also direct you to the corresponding paragraphs of our H9 test (second half on the audio side).

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

Strong points

  • Adequate sound reproduction.

  • Good reactivity in bass, homogeneity in low-mids.

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

  • Very comfortable, even for big heads (not so much for small ones).

  • Dual proprietary radio/Bluetooth connectors with simultaneous broadcasting.

  • Intuitive key controls, fun PC control app.

  • Excellent autonomy.

Weak points

  • Great lack of presence and sharp sound with default equalization.

  • Lack of accuracy in high mids and highs.

  • No wired connectivity.

  • The plastic assembly is relatively cheap.

Conclusion

we tried that we wanted
Global score

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

Sony Inzone H7 definitely left the active noise reduction that made all the singularity of H9, but it is not fundamentally less interesting. Extremely comfortable, highly autonomous and offering a convincing virtual 7.1 spatialization, there is no shortage of arguments in its favor. We could have called for a slightly more accurate sound in the upper mids and highs, and above all less dependent on the equalizer to achieve satisfactory transparency.

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