Hello readers, I am Abrar Khan. These are the INZONE H9s, the latest wireless gaming headset from Sony. They work with the PlayStation 5 and PC, have Bluetooth capability, active noise cancellation, and up to 32 hours of battery life. But how do they sound and are they any better than the Pulse 3Ds and some of the other gaming headsets out there? Well, I’ll get these unboxed and set up and then we’ll talk about the features, pros and cons and whether they are worth buying. I’ll also do a mic test and compare it to some other headsets.
Also Read: Sony’s NEW PS5 Camouflage Controller Review
Inside the Box
As far as branding and colors go, this is totally different to what we’ve seen from Sony or PlayStation before. I like the all-purple vibe that they’ve gone for, for here it clearly looks like a gaming headset but still looks clean and foreign. In the box it comes with a 1.5 metre USB A to USBC cable, and this is what we’re used to charging and updating it.
Then there’s a little box with all of the manual setup instructions and some stickers, a USB dongle, and we’ll use this later to connect to the PlayStation 5 or the PC to the headset. And then finally we’ve got the headset itself, which is the first thing we’re going to look at.
Although these are marketed and branded as a Sony gaming headset rather than a PlayStation 5 headset, they still have a PS5 style. The black and white design means they’ll easily fit into your PS5 setup as well as any PC setup.
I think the coloring works really well. I mean, normally I would go for an all black headset, but these look nice and white. Pair this headset with a white Dual Sense or the original PS5 console and it looks awesome. I normally have the black plates on the PS5, but for this article I have swapped back to the white ones. I always forget just how good it looks in white, and holding the headset in one hand, it feels really balanced.
I mean, some headsets feel bulky and heavy While others feel just too light and cheap, and that’s down to the hard plastic that’s being used on the clips in the frame rather than metal, the inside of the headband is really soft with this large padded area, but I couldn’t see any information on their website about what the fabric is, but I would say it feels like a synthetic leather.
You’ll notice that the ear cups themselves are more of an oval shape rather than round, and I think they resemble a pilot’s headset, but what I like about these ear cups is the fact that they can actually rotate.
So, unlike the Pulse 3DS, which are fixed, these can be laid flat on your table when not in use or placed around your neck, but the ear cups themselves are soft and provide loads of padding for your ears. Even though the headset does work on PC, Today I’m going to be using this on the PlayStation 5. And to set them up, we just take the USB dongle that it comes with in the box and flick the little switch on the side from PC to PS5.
Now all we need to do is plug that USB into the front or the back of the PlayStation 5 and it will automatically connect to the headset. Once it’s connected, you’ll see the front of the USB as well as the headset will now light up white.
Looking around at the bottoms, they are split between both sides, so on the left side we have the USB C ports for charging and updating. Next to that is an NC and a and b buttons for noise cancelling. This means while gaming you can easily tap and switch between ambient or noise canceling, which is an incredible feature.
Then there’s the volume wheel. Now this does not lock at the top and bottom, it’s just free spinning, but it’s awesome when you’re actually using the volume wheel on the headset.
As it will also show up on the PS5 screen as well, as you adjust the volume, it will show up on your TV. Then we’ve also got the microphone on the side that rotates up and down when you need to use it.
On the right side we have the game and chat buttons, and this lets you control the balance between both options, so whether you want to hear more of your party chat or your in-game sound, it can all be done from the headset.
Then there’s a Bluetooth button that when you press it will allow you to pair this with your phone or your laptop. When it’s in normal wireless mode, the LED on the side will shine white, but when you’re using the Bluetooth option, it turns blue, which is a pretty cool feature. Finally, we’ve got the power button, so you just press and hold this to turn it on or off. It will also beep once it’s connected.
So let’s talk about the microphone on the h9s. As you can see, there’s an external boom mic on the side, and this can be moved up and down, and it’s flexible enough to be positioned pretty much anywhere that you need it.
Now this mic is not removable, so it is permanently attached, but it also acts as your mute button for the mic, so as there’s no physical mute button on the headset, you just move the microphone up until you hear it click and then move it down again to our muter.
Now this is a feature that I’ve seen on the Astro headsets before and it is one that I really like to use. It’s just so easy to flick it down while chatting to your mates and then up again if you need to sneeze or talk to somebody else in your room.
It even shows you the mute icon on the PlayStation 5 when you use it, just so you know it is definitely muted. Unfortunately, you cannot mute the headset from the Dual Sense controller, so this is the same as the pulse 3Ds. It’s strange though, because the mute button does work on other headsets like the ST series range, and you would expect it to work with Sony’s own headsets.
As for the mic quality, well, this isn’t something you often hear yourself but it’s still important to talk about if you’re using it for online gaming. The noise cancel on the mic is decent. It’s not the best that I’ve heard but it’s still great at reducing most noises in the background.
Here are a couple of tests to give you an idea of what the mic quality sounds like. This is a test on the Sony INZONE H9 headphones, and there’s no noise in the room. To give you another idea of how our microphone audio quality sounds, So this is a test on the still series of Arctis Nova Pros to give you an idea of what the microphone audio quality sounds like.
Over the last year I’ve used five or six headsets, ranging from cheap to expensive, and these really do sit right in the middle for the price you would expect them to be good. but they are clearly better than the Pulse 3DS, which is probably one of the most obvious headsets. To compare them to, the sound is fuller, has more bass, and the detail is noticeably better. It just feels like a very well balanced headset.
They also support 360 spatial sound, and while I was playing Warzone, I could pinpoint exactly where the enemies were. Most headsets can do this, but it was clear and not lost within the other sounds in the game. The same goes for explosions or engine noises in Gran Turismo. The bass is there, but it’s not muddy or excessively bassy.
I’d say it’s more focused on the mids and the highs rather than the lows, which isn’t a bad thing for a gaming headset as long as you’re using them. You can control the audio levels through the headset itself and you will see this on screen too, so whether that’s the volume controls or the in-game chat for game balance. You can do that on screen and then you’ve got story-driven games where you really want to feel immersed within the story.
So in games like The Last of Us Part One, now as you’re walking around and you’re listening to the ambient noises, you can really tell just how detailed this headset is.
So the little noise cancelling button lets you toggle between three different modes. You can either have the noise cancelling mode on, which lets you block out the background noise in your room; you’ve then got ambient sound on and that pumps that ambient noise into the headset. Or you can turn both modes off and have it completely normal. This is all controlled by the little noise-canceling microphones on the outside of the headset.
For now, I was genuinely really impressed with just how well the noise cancellation worked. It’s not deafening like I’ve had on the Apple Pro Max headset, but it’s decent. You’ll still be able to hear the background noises in your room.
If you’re not listening to anything through the headset, but as soon as you’re gaming, it does a really good job of reducing those sounds. I could quite easily sit here playing my game and not be able to hear the TV behind me.
So out of the box, the headset does sound great, but unfortunately, when using it with the PlayStation 5, there’s no option to adjust or edit the EQ settings. This is something that we saw with the pulse 3D, so at launch you could not edit the EQ settings, but at a later date they did actually add this and you can now do it on the PlayStation 5.
If you want to use this headset with a PC, you will be able to take advantage of the in-zone Hub software instead. This unlocks the full capability of the headset and gives you full control over the EQ settings and available presets. For now, the software does look awesome, but unfortunately, it is limited to Windows.
So if you’re using a Macbook like myself, you will not be able to install it. So not only do the H9s work with a 2.4 gigahertz wireless dongle. They also have Bluetooth built in, which means they will connect to your phone, laptop, or TV without needing to use the USB receiver.
But not only that, you’re able to listen to the Bluetooth audio from your phone at the same time as the wireless audio, so you could be playing games or chatting with your mates on the PlayStation while listening to music or even taking phone calls via Bluetooth.
When it comes to the comfort of the INZONE H9s, these are some of the cosiest headphones that I’ve used. So the band on the top has this nice padded cushion and it sits on your head. The ear pads are extremely soft, and the ear cups rotate freely. You can easily adjust them to fit just right, snug over your ears. When it comes to adjusting the headset, it is really easy. All you need to do is pull the band up or push it down. It will now hold it in place.
As this is a wireless headset, it will obviously need charging. A full charge will take you a few hours, but once done, you’ll see up to 32 hours of use. If you pick them up one day and realize they are completely flat, a 10 minute charge will give you one hour of use. It comes with a USB charging cable in the box. You plug one end into the front of the PlayStation 5 and the other end into the headset.
You can also still use them while charging, as long as you’ve got another USB port available on your PlayStation 5. You can plug the dongle into that and still charge it at the same time. Looking around the headset, there is no battery indicator on the headset itself, but it does show up on the PlayStation 5 Dash, so you can see when it needs to be charged.
Compared to other headsets
As for comparing it to the other inzone headsets like the H3 and the H7s, well, the main differences between the H7 and the H9s include the noise cancelling feature and the leather ear pads instead of cloth. Those two features are pretty much it. The h3s, on the other hand, are the cheapest ones in the range. These are the wired ones instead of wireless, and they don’t have Bluetooth or noise canceling. They’re also a lot cheaper looking, but they are a nice entry-level headset.
Final Thoughts on INZONE H9
So the final question is, are the h9s worth buying? Well, they are listed at 220 to 250 pounds, or about $298 dollars. Now that is a lot for a gaming headset. But with these features that we’ve covered today, I think it’s just about worth it.
So if you’re after a headset that works with the PlayStation 5 and PC, as well as having Bluetooth capability, wireless, a long battery life, and decent sound, these are a good buy. The only real downside that I can see is that the mute button doesn’t work on the controller. Although the flip up to mute mic is fine for most people, there’s also a lack of EQ settings when using it on the PlayStation 5.
If you’re coming from the pulse 3Ds, these will feel like a huge step up in terms of quality and comfort. But again, that lack of EQ settings could put you off. If you don’t think you need the noise cancelling feature, I would go for the H7 instead. These are the better buys, plus they are 40 to 50 pounds cheaper.
- Noise Cancelling.
- Bluetooth capability, and wireless.
- 32 hours playback long battery life.
- A headset that works with the PlayStation 5 and PC.
- Best gaming headset at $298.00.
- No mute button.
- Not have EQ Settings.