Sony Singapore is keeping me occupied this month when they sent over 3 wireless headphones for my review. I’ve just completed the WF-SP800N, a true wireless sports earphones with active noise cancelling and ambient sound plus many features. In this post, I will review the WH-CH710N which is retailing at S$249 in Singapore.
I didn’t do an unboxing video because the unit is an open set, so it would not be meaningful to do a video since it’s not in its factory-sealed condition. It comes with just the headphones, very short charging cable, 3.5mm audio cable, instruction guide. The overall build is plasticky, lightweight, and feels like budget headphones. I can hear occasional plastic creaks when I move my head, but the headphones are comfortable to wear, and the clamp force is not too strong even for spectacle wearers.
There is no companion app to customise the headphones, so all the functions – like the noise-cancelling and Ambient Sound levels – are in its default setting. There is a dedicated button on the right headset to switch the modes, and when you press it, the female voice prompt will read out the mode during which you are disrupted for 2-4 seconds from your music, depending on the length of the prompt.
The audio quality is skewed towards the lower frequencies, similar to the WF-SP800N. The treble sounds a little veiled, boxy, albeit sonically comfortable. The bass is less impactful than the SP800N due to the over-ear fit, but still delivers above average bass level.
The audio quality does not feel as engaging as Bose QC35II or as detailed as Beyerdynamic Lagoon ANC. It’s not a pair of headphones I would go to if I am serious about indulging in music. The CH710N also doesn’t fold up, nor comes with a carrying case. But if I just needed something to get me away from noise without burning a hole in my pocket, the CH710N is fine. They don’t sound bad, only just not as gratifying.
The ANC and ambient sound level is average. You can hear a drop in lower frequency noises difference after enabling ANC but it does not reduce as much as the QC 35II especially the upper frequencies, partially due to the less tight ear cups. The ambient sound mode achieves an effect similar to wearing an open-back headphones, hence the ambient sound is still not as clear as if you are not wearing headphones.
The headphones support passive audio, so even if the battery runs out, you can still listen to music directly over 3.5mm audio cable. But it’s unlikely to run out, since the CH710N can last up to 35 hours.
Using the CH710N for calls is good. I am able to switch various ANC modes during calls, but the call will be disrupted by the voice prompt. Despite enabling ambient sound, the environmental sound is still not open enough, and I still cannot hear myself as openly as I would prefer.
The WH-CH710N does not impress me with the overall build quality or sound quality, while the ANC and ambient sound modes are average. For S$249, it is one of the least pricy ANC headphones among the big brands, and considering the WH-1000XM3 costs almost double, the WH-CH710N is a compromise and is still a decent comfortable pair of headphones.