SONY WH-CH500

Design & Construction

The Sony WH-CH500 is the upgraded version to the MDR-ZX220BT. It focuses on providing wireless audio to urbanites who don't want to slurp on a pair of expensive headphones. On the right earcup, you will find the (From Back-Front): Volume and playback control buttons, Multi-function Power button, LED indicator, Mic and Micro-USB port. Single press to play/pause, double press to skip to next track and triple press to go back to previous track. A red LED will light up when it is left to charge. It takes about 4.5 hours to charge from a dead battery. Pairing via both NFC and bluetooth is simple and quick. A Blue LED light up once in 3 seconds during wireless usage. Both sides of the headband bear the Sony logo and the left earcup has the NFC. The headband is very light and will not cause discomfort to those who wear spectacles since it is a supra-aural (On-Ear) headphone, instead the discomfort will be experienced on the ears itself. On the headband, there is also no cushion which will cause pain on the crown of the head eventually after long term wear. The exterior of the headphones gives off this gloss and bright colour scheme but is prone to fingerprints smudges. On the top, the headband holding the structure is made of plastic and the earcups pivot left and right to folds flat for easy storage. The earcups are meant to sit on your ears and would cause wearing fatigue after an hour of continuous wear. Overall, the headphone feels light-weight at 140g but is only suitable for short commutes.

Sound Quality

The 30mm headphone drivers certainly live up to its name. They produce an extremely clear sound signature to provide for a very immersive experience. Based on user experience, the noise isolation is decent. I could still hear my surroundings quite well when there was no music on. Bass comes off as boosted giving a reasonable thump while the mids and highs are full of clarity. The highs do not sound too sharp and tinging. However, the soundstage is rather narrow and has no instrument separation. Call quality was okay as the caller manage to hear me on the other end but the headphones mic unfortunately picks up surrounding noises.

Connectivity & Portability

The headphone operates only wirelessly. In wireless mode, it supports the basic SBC and AAC codecs and Bluetooth Version 4.2 for clear audio transmission. Users cannot charge the headphone and use it at the same time. Listening via the Micro-USB cable is also unavailable. Users can put the headphone in Bluetooth pairing mode by holding down the power button for 7 seconds when its switched off. The battery life peaks at 20 hours. The package comes with a only a micro USB cable for charging. Sony didn't throw in at least a soft carrying pouch like other competitors would at this price point but I guess you would have to get one yourself if you would like to protect your investment.

PROS

  • Clean, Bright Sound Signature

  • Lightweight & Compact

  • Long Battery Life

  • Easy Controls For Music Play & Calls

  • Folds Flat For Stowing

  • A Range of Colours

CONS

  • No Wired Option

  • No Carrying Pouch

The Bottom Line

The Sony WH-CH500 is a definitely a compact headphone housing fitting ear cushions, 30mm drivers, long 20 hours battery life and easy to use controls. It is only recommended for short daily commutes and home use. A range of colours are available to fit users of different gender and personalities; Black, Blue & Grey. 

WE RATE IT!

8.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

AKG Y50BT
AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-S200BT
JBL T450BT
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