The top-spec INZONE H9 is the best gaming headset Sony offers. For the uninitiated, the INZONE gaming sub-brand seeks to cater to PC gamers. Although the H9 headset works seamlessly with other consoles, including a Nintendo Switch and even an Xbox Series X, the INZONE sub-brand is still majorly marketed towards PC and PS5 gamers.
A total of three INZONE headsets are available on the market – the entry-level H3, the mid-spec H7, and the flagship H9. Among these, only the H3 is a wired headset, while the H7 and the H9 support 2.4GHz and Bluetooth connectivity. The INZONE H9’s price, at the time of writing, is Rs 19,990, which is Rs 8,000 less than its original price.
I recently reviewed the Sony INZONE H7 and gave it a solid rating. The poor quality, non-detachable mic, along with a bit of flimsy build quality, were some of my problems with that headset. So I will draw a lot of comparisons with that headset in this article.
Sony INZONE H9 build & features
The Sony INZONE H9 features the same black-and-white color theme as the INZONE H7. Basically, the entire INZONE lineup is inspired by the Playstation 5’s black and white theme and, as a result, goes really well with it. If you have a white-colored laptop like an ASUS Zephyrus G15 or an Alienware X15 R2, and even if you own a white-themed desktop PC like DEEPCOOL CH-510 WH or Thermaltake H200 TG, the Sony INZONE H9 will go very well along with all of them.
The main design difference between the INZONE H7 and H9 is the inclusion of LED ring lights around the earcups. The headphones also have an ANC switch, which is not included in the INZONE H7. Other than that, the H9 and the H7 look practically the same.
The H9’s ear cups and headband are also made out of vegan leather. And Sony uses the same material in its WH-1000XM5, which is its flagship wireless headphones. The H9 also carries over the XM5’s active noise cancelation as well.
The non-detachable mic on the INZONE H9 has a smart boom design. Meaning it is positioned close to your mouth, so it can process your voice in an ultra-responsive way. However, the quality of the mic is something that I’ll talk about later in this article.
How does the Sony INZONE H9 look and fit
Not so visually distinct from the INZONE H7, the H9 feels at home on every gaming desk. Doesn’t matter if you’re using it with a PS5, a PC, or any other gaming console. The gaming headset looks very good from all possible angles. I’d love absolutely love to wear the INZONE H9 to the gym, but the non-detachable mic feels a bit awkward to lug around in a casual setting.
In terms of feel and comfort, the INZONE H9 is probably the best. The synthetic (vegan) leather is soft and takes the shape of your ears, allowing you to wear these headphones for a long time. Moreover, they also absorb sweat quite well, as at no point in my testing I felt the need to take the headphones off. They’re so comfortable that after a while, I even forgot I was wearing them. So overall, the H9 scores highly in terms of style and comfort.
How is the Sony INZONE H9 sound quality
A gaming headset is primarily different from one that is meant for music enthusiasts. Primarily, the former focuses a lot on providing ultra-low latency sound and immersive surround sound so that the player can hear everything in their surroundings. The INZONE H9 delivers both of them.
Despite using a wireless connection, there is virtually no time difference between when you see an action on screen vs. when you hear its corresponding audio. Moreover, the Sony INZONE H9 offers spatial audio, adding to the immersion by accurately describing any nearby ambient noises, like enemy footsteps, to the player.
The overall sound quality of the INZONE H9 is also very good. The headphones prioritize bass a little bit more over treble and mids, but nothing feels too overpowered. The sound feels very clear and crisp, so you can clearly make out enemy footsteps even during heavy gunfights and explosions. It is very useful when playing games like MW2, where your teammates are shouting at the same time.
The Active Noise Cancellation works as expected. And any ambient noise that you may usually experience across your room, like the sound of an air conditioner or fan or even your dog barking, comes to an immediate stop. The ANC does improve the overall sound experience of the Sony INZONE H9 but also decreases its battery life quite a bit; here’s how much.
How is the Sony INZONE H9’s battery life
Sony claims a battery life of around 32 hours for the INZONE H9. But with ANC enabled, the battery backup reduces to around 20 to 22 hours. And while gaming, the 20 hours go by very quickly. My one complaint here would be the lack of a warning before the headset turns off. The second major thing I find missing is a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Sony’s flagship, i.e., WH-1000XM5, which shares the same ANC and vegan leather with the INZONE H9, features a headphone jack and a USB slot. Therefore, I see no reason for Sony to skip a headphone jack on its flagship gaming headset.
Even without the ANC, the INZONE H7 beats the H9 in terms of overall battery life. My guess is that those extra LEDs and the ANC system take up more space than would otherwise have been used to fit in a bigger battery.
Is the mic on INZONE H9 better than INZONE H7?
Unfortunately, no. The mic on the INZONE H9 seems to be of the same quality as the H7. Meaning it records audio in very average quality. Your teammates will be able to hear what you’re saying, but you’ll often end up repeating yourself. Mainly because the audio it records sounds blurry and noisy. As I mentioned, the mic is also non-detachable, so you’re unfortunately stuck with it.
Should you buy the INZONE H9?
Sony INZONE H9 Review
In addition to offering superb sound quality while gaming and spatial audio, the INZONE H9 has one of the best active noise cancellation systems. The above-average mic quality and relatively lower battery life are some minor cons of the headset, but overall it is a great choice for PC and PS5 gamers alike. Furthermore, at a price tag of Rs 19,990, the INZONE H9 becomes an overall superior choice in Sony’s overall lineup.