Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

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Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

Introducing the Sony INZONE H5, a wireless gaming headset designed for computer gamers who seek a blend of functionality, comfort, and sleek aesthetics. 

While Sony is renowned for its on-ear headphones, such as the WH-1000XM5, which found praise for its overall quality, the INZONE H5 takes a different approach tailored for gamers. Recognizing the preferences of gamers, especially those on computers, the headphones feature both a wired connection and operate on the 2.4 GHz band, addressing the low-latency needs often crucial in gaming.

With a starting price of $148, the INZONE H5 gaming headset faces stiff competition not only within its price range but also from lower segments of the market. Sony’s pitch centers around providing exceptional comfort, an AI noise reduction-equipped microphone, extended battery life on a single charge, all within a lightweight design. The emphasis on comfort suggests a focus on extended gaming sessions without sacrificing the user experience.

Sony INZONE H5 Wireless Gaming Headset, 360 Spatial Sound, Works with PC,...
  • Let sound give you the edge, with 360 Spatial Sound.
  • Game for hours in comfort with lightweight and low-pressure fit.
  • Bidirectional boom microphone and AI Noise Reduction.
  • Up to 28 hours of continuous wireless gameplay
  • 40mm drivers for detailed sound, and immersive gaming.

One notable feature of the INZONE H5 is its compatibility with the sound functions of the PlayStation 5. Although this couldn’t be verified in the absence of the console during the review, it hints at a versatile headset capable of catering to different gaming platforms.

Sony INZONE H5: Video Review

SpecsSony INZONE H5
Drivers40mm
Connection2.4GHz / wired
Frequency response5Hz - 20kHz
MicrophoneBidirectional with AI noise reduction
ANCNone
ControlsPower, volume, chat mix
Sensitivity89dB
Impedance21ohm(1kHz)
Battery520 mAh
Battery Life28 hours
Battery Charge Time3.5 hours
CompatibilityPS5, PS4, PC
Weight260g
ColorWhite, Black

Unboxing

Upon opening the box, users are greeted with the Sony INZONE H5 headphones and a carefully curated set of accessories. The inclusion of a 2.4 GHz USB transmitter and receiver emphasizes the wireless capabilities of the headphones, ensuring a seamless connection for gamers who prioritize mobility. Complementing this, a USB-A to USB-C cable is included, maintaining the modern connectivity standard, while a headphone cable with 3.5mm jack terminals provides the option for a wired connection.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

A short manual ensures quick setup and usage guidance, and a warranty card provides peace of mind regarding the longevity of the product.

Sony INZONE H5: Design

The Sony INZONE H5 headphones are a departure from the flashy RGB-lit gaming equipment, embracing a minimalist design that sets them apart within Sony’s lineup. The construction exudes a sense of simplicity, dominated by matte materials with varying degrees of roughness. In the black variant, fingerprints are easily visible, and lighter marks on the ear cups from contact with surfaces can be an issue.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

While the button mechanism could be more refined, with an unpleasant clicking sound when pressing the Game/Chat and power buttons, the volume control knob on the left side stands out positively. This knob allows for precise volume adjustments, moving in steps and intuitively placed for easy access. The left earphone serves as the communication hub, featuring the headphone jack and USB-C port.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

One notable drawback is the absence of replaceable ear pads, a puzzling decision in an era emphasizing environmental consciousness. Despite this, the memory foam used in the ear pads provides comfort without undue pressure on the ears. Regular cleaning is necessary due to dust and hair accumulation. The headband, cushioned with eco-leather, also uses non-replaceable foam or sponge. The adjustment is smooth and lacks abrupt movements, complemented by the Sony logo subtly embossed on the headband.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

The headphones weigh approximately 260 grams, contributing to an ergonomic and comfortable experience. The rotating feature of the ear cups, slightly exceeding 90 degrees, adds to the overall flexibility of the design. Although the lack of replaceable elements may raise durability concerns, the INZONE H5’s subdued aesthetics, combined with ergonomic considerations, make them an appealing choice for those who appreciate minimalist design in gaming peripherals. Despite some minor flaws, the overall look and feel of the Sony INZONE H5 headphones could win over many users seeking a refined and understated gaming accessory.

APP

The Sony INZONE H5 comes accompanied by the INZONE Hub, a companion app designed for personal computers running Windows 10 and 11. The pairing process is straightforward, involving the insertion of the transmitter into the USB connector. Upon the initial launch of the app, users are presented with a range of settings to customize their gaming audio experience.

The application, mirroring the headphones’ design philosophy, maintains Sony’s signature simplicity in its interface. While it might be deemed overly minimalistic, offering only limited information about the battery level and a few predefined graphic equalizer settings, the app compensates with precision in its adjustable settings. Users can create, save, and export profiles, assigning each to specific applications. However, it’s worth noting that exporting profiles involves exporting the entire group, requiring users to manage duplicates for an organized experience.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

The surround sound section introduces the ability to leverage an ear profile created on the user’s Sony account. While this feature lacks transparency in displaying or modifying the profile, it does limit users to Sony’s preferred method, excluding popular alternatives like DTS: Headphones X or Dolby Atmos.

Microphone settings, including volume, local effect (self-monitoring in the headphones), and automatic gain control, are available. However, the practical effectiveness of the automatic gain control feature is questioned, as it didn’t seem noticeable in recordings.

Volume settings, duplicating the capabilities of the physical buttons on the headphones, also allow users to adjust the mix between gameplay and chat. Additionally, device settings offer control over automatic shutdown preferences, allowing users to specify when the headphones should power off.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

Despite the app’s utility, some limitations stand out. Notably, there are no features for key programming, assigning applications to activate the microphone, or application-specific settings. The absence of wizards for personalized sound adjustments, beyond the spatial profile, further contributes to the feeling that, given the headset’s price, more sophisticated features could have been integrated.

Sound and microphone quality

Coming from a company with a rich history in audio equipment design, the Sony INZONE H5 offers a sound experience that, while not a standout gem, holds considerable potential. The headphones are crafted to cater to a broad audience, showcasing both wireless and wired capabilities.

When connected through the 3.5mm mini-jack, the sound quality takes a noticeable hit, prompting a swift return to wireless communication. This disparity could be attributed to the built-in graphics card on the motherboard, and a better cable or connector might yield improved results. In the wireless scenario, using the 2.4 GHz standard, the sound is clearer, revealing nuances and subtleties that are masked in the wired mode. The 2.4 GHz connectivity also extends compatibility to Android devices and Apple computers, although the INZONE Hub application is unavailable in these cases.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

It is cautioned against activating surround sound while listening to music, as the quality diminishes significantly. Trusting the fundamental experience with the Sony INZONE H5 provides a broad soundstage. Vocals maintain clarity, allowing users to extract a lot from the headphones. While guitar riffs might reveal a slight imperfection in reproduction, it’s deemed acceptable, especially considering these headphones are not primarily designed for music. A slight increase in volume capability is suggested, though the existing level is generally satisfactory.

In gaming scenarios, the INZONE H5 performs admirably. While not pinpointing every small step, the headphones deliver a good overall gaming experience. The spatial effect is precise, with its effectiveness varying depending on the game. The game and chat toggle proves useful, ensuring clear audio, and any potential lag over the 2.4 GHz connection is imperceptible in daily use.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

Turning attention to the microphone, the noise reduction feature effectively minimizes keyboard noises and other transient sounds. However, it may struggle with eliminating breaths or sniffles. The recorded sound quality, when connected through 2.4 GHz, is not the loudest, and adjusting the microphone to the most sensitive level in the INZONE Hub offers acceptable but not exceptional results.

Autonomy

Sony, in the design of the INZONE H5, has prioritized a lightweight build, which typically comes with a trade-off in extended battery life. Despite this, the headphones manage to offer sufficient usage on a single charge.

The declared 28 hours of battery life translated into two days of use with a slight compromise. During this time, the headphones were employed for a variety of activities, including music listening, movie watching, gaming, and an hour of microphone use. Regular charging becomes necessary, but for users with moderate usage, five days of use without any issues can be achieved.

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

A notable feature is the support for fast charging, as claimed by official communications – three hours of gameplay in just 10 minutes. In practical terms, the headphones typically require less than two hours to fully recharge. Furthermore, users have the convenience of using the headphones while charging, and there’s minimal noticeable heating during this process. This adds a layer of flexibility for users who may need to top up their battery levels quickly before engaging in a gaming session.

Sony INZONE H5: Conclusion

The Sony INZONE H5 headphones deliver a competent performance without major flaws, but they lack standout features and face challenges in terms of pricing and functionality.

The absence of a replaceable pads or sponge on the headband is a drawback for durability. While the overall construction and build quality are adequate, they don’t reach the level of professional-grade equipment. 

Sony INZONE H5 Review: Wireless Gaming Headset, Pros and Cons

One of the significant drawbacks is the pricing of the INZONE H5. Priced at $148, they face stiff competition, with the H7 model often available for a similar price. The H7 not only offers comparable functionality but also includes Bluetooth connectivity and an extended battery life on a single charge. The absence of Bluetooth in the INZONE H5 might be seen as a missed opportunity to enhance the gaming experience.

Sony INZONE H5 Wireless Gaming Headset, 360 Spatial Sound, Works with PC,...
  • Let sound give you the edge, with 360 Spatial Sound.
  • Game for hours in comfort with lightweight and low-pressure fit.
  • Bidirectional boom microphone and AI Noise Reduction.
  • Up to 28 hours of continuous wireless gameplay
  • 40mm drivers for detailed sound, and immersive gaming.

The question arises: Is the Sony INZONE H5 worth buying? The answer is affirmative if additional functions are not a priority, and if the headphones can be acquired at a significantly lower price. Their lightweight design is an advantage for users seeking comfort during extended gaming sessions. However, for users looking for a more expressive, durable, and feature-rich option, alternatives in the market may offer better value for the money.

You can also check out the best-selling Wireless Gaming Headset on Amazon:

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