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Sony WH-CH500 review: portable, affordable, and with good sound

Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Sony is one of the old-school names in the technology world, and they have a long history of making high-quality products. One of the areas in which they are especially renowned is the audio market. We had the chance to get one of their latest headsets for testing. It is an on-ear headset called Sony WH-CH500 which connects to your devices through Bluetooth or NFC, can also be used for making phone calls and promises battery life of over 20 hours. Read our review to see if the Sony WH-CH500 is the perfect headset for your needs:

Sony WH-CH500: Who is it good for?

The Sony WH-CH500 Bluetooth wireless headset is a good choice for people who:

  • Want an on-ear headset with good sound quality
  • Want to connect the headset to their smartphones, tablets and other devices, with Bluetooth or NFC
  • Do not want to spend a fortune for a portable wireless headset but want something better than the average you get at an affordable price

Where To Buy

Pros and cons

Here are the positive features of the Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset:

  • The ear cups are covered in soft plush that is comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time
  • The microphone is good at suppressing unwanted noises around you
  • You can use it to command your voice assistant on Android (Google Assistant) and on iOS (Siri)
  • It is lightweight and its ear cups can swivel, so it is easy to carry them around in your bag or rucksack
  • The battery life is excellent
  • It connects wirelessly using Bluetooth version 4.2 and offers support for NFC
  • For less than 80 dollars, the sound you get from the Sony WH-CH500 is better than the average you get at a similar price

Sony WH-CH500 has the following weaknesses:

  • Is so lightweight that it feels fragile and makes you wonder if it is going to last for more than a year
  • The headband has no plush on it, so it can get uncomfortable if you do not have long hair
  • The bass is on the strong side and tends to cover the mids and highs
Product Rated
4/5

Verdict

The Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset offers better sound quality than its competitors in the same price range. It is not the best headset in the world, but considering its size restrictions, and price, it does an excellent job. For about 80 dollars, you get good sound, wireless Bluetooth connections, NFC support and a light headset with ear cups that can swivel. If you are on the lookout for a good on-ear Bluetooth headset, then the Sony WH-CH500 is one of the best affordable choices you could make.

Unboxing the Sony WH-CH500

The Sony WH-CH500 arrives in a lightweight, small matte white box with a square shape. On its front side, you can see an illustration of the headset, its name, and a few of its main features.

On its back side, there are three additional pictures of the headset, plus details about its features, printed in a few different languages.

When you unpack the box, you get to see what is inside: the headset, a quick start guide and a USB to micro USB cable for charging the battery.

The unboxing experience is quick, and there is nothing fancy about it. You get all the basics you would expect from a headset that is under 80 dollars, but nothing more. However, Sony packaged everything carefully, with attention to details.

Hardware specifications

The Sony WH-CH500 is a wireless headset that uses Bluetooth version 4.2 connections to stream music and any other audio from your smartphone, tablet, computer or any other devices you might pair with it. It supports A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP Bluetooth profiles, and has a range of up to 30 feet, or 10 meters.

Speaking of Bluetooth pairing, Sony created this headset to be friendly for those of us who want to use the same headphones with many different devices. The Sony WH-CH500 comes with NFC support, so you can tap your smartphone or tablet to the headset's NFC tag to make them connect.

The headset also has a few media control buttons on it: a Power/Pairing/Play button and a volume rocker that can also act as Forward/Back buttons.

Being wireless means that the headset also has a battery inside. Sony equipped it with a Lithium-ion battery pack that should last for 20 hours of playback time, and which fully charges in about 4 and a half hours, using the micro USB ports found on the right headphone.

The sound comes out of the two compact driver units that are 1.18 inches (30 mm) in diameter. Considering that we are talking about an on-ear headset, the drivers are quite large and should offer better sound quality than other similar headphones.

The Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset also has a microphone, and it supports hands-free calling and voice assistant commands. That means that you can use your voice to command Google Assistant if you are using an Android device, or command Siri if you are using an iPhone or iPad.

The headphones are not large, and Sony built them to swivel, which means that they are relatively easy to carry with you, in a bag or rucksack. Another reason for them being friendly with you when you are traveling is the fact that they are lightweight, weighing only 4.94 ounces, or 140 grams.

Everyone has its favorite colors, so it is good to know that the Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset is available in three different colors: black, blue and gray. The sample that we tested was the gray one.

If you want to check all the specifications and features of this professional gaming headset, visit this web page: Sony WH-CH500 wireless headphones.

The Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset looks like a well-rounded device that is designed to be comfortable to use especially when traveling. It can play audio for a whole day, and it is useful to be able to pair it with different devices almost instantly using the NFC feature or Bluetooth.

Using the Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset

The Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset has circumaural headphones, meaning that they are designed to cover the outer part of your ears when you wear them. However, we would classify them as on-ear headphones. However, although they are not as comfy as "around the ear" headphones, the plush on the driver units is soft and comfortable. You can wear the Sony WH-CH500 headset on your head all day, and your ears are still going to be happy. :)

On the other hand, the headband has no plush, and the plastic on it sits directly on your head. It can get slightly uncomfortable after a while. If you do not have much hair, that moment when it annoys you is probably going to come sooner rather than later. We also noticed that the headband is stiff and tends to squeeze your head, which is not a good thing if yours is bigger than the average. :)

The audio quality is above the average you get from other headsets with a similar price, but if you are an audiophile, this headset is not for you. If you are listening to pop, rock, or hip-hop music, the Sony WH-CH500 does a good job. However, if you are a fan of classical music or if you like listening to live concerts, the headphones show their weakness. The bass and lower tones are a bit too loud compared to the midrange sounds, and then some of the highs sometimes seem to be lost on the way. That is not to say that the audio quality is not good, it just is not the best. However, compared to other headsets that we have used and which you can get at the same price tag, the Sony WH-CH500 sounds significantly better.

NOTE: If you want to test and compare your headphones with others, we recommend that you listen to this playlist on Spotify: Songs To Test Headphones With. The tracks in it are great for checking how sounds are produced on your headphones.

The microphone found on the Sony WH-CH500 is excellent. We made more than a few phone calls using this headset and an iPhone SE, and the audio quality on both our part and on the other end of the conversation was excellent. The microphone does a good job at canceling ambient sounds, so your voice is clear even talking in noisy environments.

On the right ear cup of the headphones, Sony mounted a few media control buttons, which we found to be easy to reach and use. They are useful when listening to music but also when taking a phone call. Because of them, you do not have to reach your smartphone - you can press the right buttons on your headphones to adjust the volume, change the song that is playing or answer a phone call.

We would also like to mention the fact that the headset is very light and that its earcups can swivel. It makes it easier to carry them with you, but it also makes them look and feel somewhat fragile.

Although the Sony WH-CH500 is not a headset designed for gamers, we also used it while playing Assassin's Creed Black Flag, and we were pleased by how good the headphones sound in-game.

Sony WH-CH500 is a good Bluetooth headset for its price, and it is undoubtedly better than others sold at the same price tag. It is especially useful as a portable headset to take on the road with you, as it offers superior audio quality compared to in-ear headphones. However, for some people, the headphones can be uncomfortable to wear for a long time, and they also seem to be a bit fragile.

What is your opinion about the Sony WH-CH500 headset?

You now know what we think about the Sony WH-CH500 wireless headset, what we like and what we do not like about it. After reading our review, what is your overall impression about it? Would you pay 80 dollars for this headset? Although it has some shortcomings, we believe it is worth its price, and it is a good deal for anyone looking this type of headphones. If you want to, share your thoughts in the comments section and tell us what you think.