The Sony Inzone H7 is a versatile headset offering impressive audio and useful features at a more affordable price than its H9 stablemate
- Dual wireless and Bluetooth connectivity
- Mic monitoring
- Easy-to-use controls
- Mic quality could be better
- PS5 compatibility limitations
- High “mid-range” price
The Sony Inzone H7 is the mid-range option in a headset lineup Sony hopes will help it crack the PC gaming market, and is aimed at gamers that don’t require the noise cancelling and ambient modes found on the flagship Inzone H9.
In keeping with the current design philosophy of the Japanese console giant, the H7 adopts the black and white visage of the PS5 and Inzone M9 monitor it was engineered to be used with. It’s a great all-rounder for PC and PS5 that’s capable of maintaining simultaneous Bluetooth and wireless connections, which is still relatively rare for a headset of its price. Despite some bizarre compatibility issues with the PS5 and average mic quality, it’s a gaming headset well worth considering.
Sony Inzone H7 review: What do you get for the money?
The Inzone H7 will set you back £199, and fits snugly in the middle of Sony’s new 2022 gaming headset range. The premium H9 will cost you £269 and offers a more luxurious build plus noise cancellation and ambient modes along with LED rings where the headband joins the earcups. Meanwhile, the H3, which is wired, will cost you £89 and is a more basic, bare-bones gaming headset.
Outside of Sony’s other headsets, the H7 competes with solid mid-range options such as the Roccat Syn Pro Air (£130) and the Corsair HS80 RGB (£140). The Razer Kaira Pro (£200) and Kraken V3 Pro (£200) occupy the same market space too, and you can read more about their particular strengths in our best wireless gaming headset and best gaming headset roundups.
Like the H3 and H9, the H7 uses 40mm drivers and supports Sony’s 360 Spatial Audio. Where the H9 has synthetic leather earpads, the H7 swaps in a smooth nylon. It has a quoted battery life of 40 hours, though I only managed around 35 hours before it needed charging. That’s still superior to the H9’s battery life, however, which clocks in at 32 hours if you’re not using its noise-cancelling mode.
The headset comes with a USB-A dongle that allows you to connect wirelessly to your PS5 or PC, and also supports Bluetooth connectivity. You’re able to connect to both simultaneously, allowing you to take phone calls or listen to content on a second device while gaming on your platform of choice.
A selection of buttons and dials located across both earcups provide your primary method of controlling the Inzone H7. A volume dial and flip-down crane mic sit on the left ear, and while there’s no mute button, all you need to do is flip up the mic to ensure no-one can hear you ranting about your squad’s in-game performance. On the right earcup, you have power and Bluetooth buttons, accompanied by a pair of keys for adjusting your game-party chat mix.
You can also use Sony’s Inzone Hub software to control the H7. This is free to download and lets you customise your audio experience when playing on PC. It’s only available on Windows, however, and settings don’t apply when you’re gaming on PlayStation 5.
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Sony Inzone H7 review: What does it do well?
The Inzone H7 has a solid audio mix out of the box and benefits from Sony’s 360 Spatial Audio for Gaming if you’re playing on PC. This uses sound virtualisation technology to create the impression that sound is coming from all around you, and can be tailored to your head and ear shape using Sony’s 360 Spatial Audio Personaliser.
The tech doesn’t work if you’re on PS5, but you still get convincing 3D audio effects courtesy of the console’s Tempest sound engine. Those effects are aided by the H7’s ability to deliver powerful sound that feels like it’s being created by larger drivers than the 40mm ones housed inside its earcups. Trebles are highlighted cleanly, bass is clear without being distorted, and the sound profile feels well balanced regardless of volume level.
There were a few times playing HUNT: Showdown when I felt the H7 would benefit from a bit of bass boosting, however. While the myriad of wild-west weaponry sounded great, I occasionally felt like shotguns didn’t have the same impact as they did when using cheaper headsets with larger drivers. Admittedly, those headsets didn’t have the sort of balance that the H7 does, and a quick bass boost through the Inzone Hub software was all that was necessary to provide more low-end oomph.
While playing Rollerdrome, there was great clarity between the high-pitched rattles of the dual-wield pistols and the more subtle sounds of Kara’s roller skates gliding across arena floors. Additionally, the ambient in-game music sounded great, and the H7 ensured it was easily enjoyed without overshadowing more subtle gameplay elements.
Sound quality is certainly a strength of the Inzone H7, but its biggest asset is its support for simultaneous Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Being able to connect to your phone and console/PC at the same time is incredibly practical, and meant that I was able to watch videos on YouTube and listen to a playlist while suffering the ridiculous wait times between matches during Overwatch 2’s opening weekend.
Handier still is the ability to take phone calls while gaming, so you can bid farewell to having to pause your game, pull off your headset and scramble for your smartphone. My ringtone came straight through the headset, I answered the call, and the person at the other end, PlayStation party chat and game audio were all clearly communicated through the H7.
Another big plus is how easy the H7’s on-headset controls are to navigate and use. The volume dial is textured and protrudes out slightly, so you can easily find it when you need to scroll up and down. The power button is a different shape from the Bluetooth button and, when gaming on PS5, an onscreen dial shows you if you’re pressing the game or chat button. After a few uses, you know exactly which button you have your finger on, and over the course of numerous hours of testing, I never once pressed the wrong button.
Though there’s no active noise cancellation, the fit of the nylon cushions over my ears did a great job blocking out sounds in my environment, including my own voice at times. Fortunately, the Inzone H7 can feed your mic audio back into the headset and allow you to control how loudly you hear yourself via the Sidetone option in the Inzone Hub. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s an underappreciated feature and proved advantageous when playing games such as Deep Rock Galactic, where the game audio can get a little busy and you still need to communicate clearly with teammates.
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Sony Inzone H7 review: What could it do better?
The flipside of the mic monitoring feature is that overall microphone quality could be better. It isn’t bad by any means; friends and online teammates never complained about the clarity of what I was saying, but my voice was accompanied by a fair amount of static.
The mic is also pretty loud – even after adjusting the level down in the PS5 software, a few friends had to dial me back a couple of notches. This may be due to the power of the mic, but may also be down to the headset’s design: the arm that flips the mic up and down is fairly rigid, and can’t be moved that far away from your face.
It’s worth noting that, since I tested the H7, Sony has released new firmware it says improves the mic quality on the headset. While I can’t comment on how effective the update is, it’s encouraging that Sony is aware of some of the shortcomings of the headset.
The H7 also suffers from incompatibility issues when used with PlayStation 5. For whatever reason, the mute button on the DualSense – one of my favourite features of the PS5’s controller – doesn’t work when the H7 is connected. This means the only way of muting yourself is to take one hand off the controller and flip your microphone back up to your ear. It’s a minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but I’d have liked the headset to be able to take advantage of one of the PS5 controller’s best features.
Similarly, while you can adjust your game/party chat mix with the onboard controls, you can’t adjust it through the PS5 UI, as you can with other third-party headsets. Again, it’s not a massive deal, but it serves to illustrate that the H7 was designed primarily with PC use in mind.
This is further hammered home by the fact that changes made in the Inzone Hub software are only applied when playing on PC. The ability to customise different sound profiles for different games, as well as adjust the microphone level and Sidetone volume, is invaluable, and it’s a real shame those options aren’t available when you’re playing on PS5 or connected via Bluetooth.
Lastly, the Sony Inzone H7 is quite pricey for what it offers. Dual Bluetooth and wireless connectivity along with the customisation options found within the Inzone Hub help to set it apart from the competition, but I can’t help thinking it would cost closer to £150 without Sony’s name attached to it.
Sony Inzone H7 review: Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a wireless gaming headset that works well with both PC and PS5, the Sony Inzone H7 should definitely be on your radar. It combines impressive audio quality with extremely useful simultaneous Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, and there are plenty of ways to customise your experience if you’re playing on PC.
Besides the high price of entry, which is par for the course for Sony gaming peripherals, my gripes with the H7 are small ones that ultimately don’t prevent me recommending it as a high-quality gaming headset. It offers almost all of the benefits the H9 does but at a lower price, meaning it’s the smart Sony choice if you can live without noise cancellation and ambient sound modes.