Sony Inzone H7 wireless gaming headset test: virtual surround made in Sony at its most convincing?

Within the new line of headsets game launched by Sony in the summer of 2022, the Inzone H7 functions as a mid-range. Wireless headset for PC and PlayStation 5 gamers, it shares most of its features with the most prestigious of its brothers, the H9, but differs in two aspects: the absence of active noise reduction and ear cups covered not with synthetic leather, but with nylon fabric.

Sony Inzone H9

Introductory price €300

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The H7, on the other hand, retains the flagship feature of the entire Inzone audio range, namely 360 Gaming Audio virtual sound spatialization technology. This technology, which is only available on PC, aims to offer the user a virtual surround treatment specially adapted to his personal hearing characteristics, thanks to an automatic analysis of the morphology of the ears.

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

The Sony Inzone H7, also known as the WH-G700 reference, has been available since July 2022 at a suggested launch price of €230.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Manufacturing

A simple look at the two headsets is enough to realize this: Inzone H7 and H9 are almost carbon copies of each other. And since the mentioned H9 has already been through our test laboratory, we recognize here that we have 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 cushions of the same ear cups – strangely, the headband foam is still covered in synthetic leather.

The nylon pads for the Sony Inzone H7

The nylon in question seems quite robust and also has the advantage that it is very easy to clean. However, it would have been even more if the cushions had been removable, which unfortunately is not the case.

For the rest, we therefore find here the same materials of excellent quality as on the H9, but also an assembly that is not always impeccable, especially with regard to the clearly visible plastic welding lines on the bow.

The plastic weld line is visible on top of the headband of the Sony Inzone H7

The list of included accessories is minimalist: in addition to the headset and its USB transmitter/receiver, you have to make do with a 1.5 m USB-A to USB-C charging cable. No case or storage bag in sight, unfortunately.

Sony Inzone H7 and its accessories

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

plug

Today, the name “wireless headset” is all too often taken literally, meaning “wireless headset”. none wire”. Unfortunately, the H7 is no exception: it offers absolutely no wired connection option. We have to make do with the proprietary radio connection via the USB transmitter/receiver (PC and PS4/5 compatible, but also with a Nintendo Switch in docked mode) , to which Bluetooth connectivity is still added.

Sony Inzone H7 transmitter/receiver connected to the USB port of a laptop

As with the H9, it is possible to use these two wireless connections simultaneously, after which the two audio streams are superimposed on each other. This makes it possible, for example, to receive the sound of your game from a console, while at the same time 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 game console, such as a Switch in nomadic mode or a Steam Deck. Bluetooth-specific streaming latency is 223ms on the H7, far too high for comfortable gaming.

Sony Inzone H7 Bluetooth Latency Measurement

Bluetooth impulse response delay.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Sound

In continuity with everything that came before in this test, the Inzone H7 uses the same transducers as the H9. One could therefore naively expect that it also offers the same sound performance. However, this would be forgetting the fundamental role that the acoustic properties of the pads play in the sound of a helmet. The twins are the perfect demonstration: although we undeniably find some common traits, the difference in the material they each use is not without significant consequences.

Sony Inzone H7 frequency response measurement

Standard frequency response (“flat” EQ profile).

Sony Inzone H7 harmonic distortion measurement

Harmonic distortion is inaudible across the spectrum.

And contrary to our expectation, it is the H7 that benefits from a significantly more controlled recovery. The nylon ear cups guarantee a remarkably homogeneous reproduction of bass and low midrange. The emphasis on low frequencies is remarkable, with a very flattering effect on the perceived sound. But it in no way compromises the coherence of the entire spectrum. The bass effects are percussive, massive, but without any overflow or masking effect on the other frequencies: note the excellent stability of the stationary regimes on the square wave measurement at 50 Hz below.

Measurement of 50 Hz square wave response of Sony Inzone H7

Conversely, as is very often the case with audio equipment dedicated to gaming, the H7 has largely chosen to put the 4 kHz zone back in the upper mids. Since this zone corresponds to the peak of the sensitivity of the human ear, it is assumed that its contraction is intended to make listening as less tiring as possible and therefore facilitate very long use sessions. But it honestly hurts the naturalness and presence of the audio message, especially since here it is both very abundant and concentrated on a very fine band of frequencies. The sound lacks sharpness, while taking on a somewhat piercing turn due to the transfer of auditory attention to the 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 on the 4 kHz band and then removing 2 or 3 dB on the 16 kHz band, we find a sound that is noticeably fuller and more transparent.

Sony Inzone H7 frequency response measurement with custom equalization

Example of frequency response equalization with blue dots.

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

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

However, not everything is perfect in this upper half of the spectrum: we perceive the better than a very small lack of precision and slimness in the upper midrange and treble, which prevents the headphones from achieving excellent quality. It should also be noted that a thousand times unfortunately, the equalization thus shaped is not recorded directly in the headphones, and therefore only remains active when used on Windows with the Inzone Hub application open. Impossible to enjoy it with a PS5 or a Bluetooth source.

Measurement of 500 Hz square wave response of Sony Inzone H7

The response to square waves at 500 Hz lacks stability, as evidenced by the lack of precision of the H7 in the upper part of the spectrum.

Finally, as far as virtual spatialization is concerned, the treatment offered is strictly identical to that of the H9. In summary, it consists of a very effective 7.1 virtualization. The automatic processing adjustment system should significantly improve the distinction between sounds coming from the front and those coming from the back for most users – although we can’t guarantee that this will be the case for absolutely everything in the world. For more explanations, especially on how the headset adapts its treatments thanks to images of its user’s ears, we refer again to the corresponding sections of our H9 test (second half of the audio section).

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

Strong points

  • Ample sound reproduction.

  • Good reactivity of the bass, homogeneity of the low-mid tones.

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

  • Very comfortable, even for big heads (less so for small ones).

  • Dual proprietary radio/Bluetooth connectors with simultaneous broadcast.

  • Intuitive essential controls, enjoyable PC control app.

  • Excellent autonomy.

Weak points

  • Great lack of presence and sharp sound with the standard equalization.

  • Lack of precision in the high mids and highs.

  • No wired connection.

  • Plastic assembly a bit cheap.

Conclusion

we tested, we liked
Global brand

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

The Sony Inzone H7 definitely gives up the active noise reduction that makes the whole H9 singular, but it is basically no 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 still have asked for a slightly more precise sound in the upper mids and highs, and above all a little less reliance on the equalizer to achieve satisfactory transparency.

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