Sony has just refreshed its Bluetooth headphone lineup for 2020, which stars updated true-wireless earbuds and a pair of cheap, Bose-rivaling cans with active noise cancellation.
The $199 Sony WH-CH710N over-ear headphones are the follow up to the bass-heavy WH-CH700Ns, but unlike their predecessors sport an elevated, curved can design. The 710N should also sound better thanks to new 30-millimeter drivers, a pass-though Ambient Mode and added “Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation” (AINC) tech.
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AINC "constantly analyzes environmental ambient sound components, and automatically selects the most effective noise canceling filter for your surroundings," according to Sony. In other words, the system adjusts active noise cancelling settings on the fly to create the best filter for your listening space.
While a pair of $200 headphones likely won't tune out as much noise as pricier options, like the Sony WH-1000XM3 or $400 Bose 700 (our top pick among the best headphones,) the WH-CH710N should still catch a decent amount of ambient sound thanks to dual microphones feeding forward and backward.
Sony's new approach to ANC could make these headphones better at blocking noise than any other pair in its category, and even give Bose a run for its money with the steep price undercut.
That said, the WH-CH710N appears to be made of a cheaper plastic, so we’d have to see how Sony's approach compares to the lightweight, sturdy and comfortable design of Bose's offerings.
The WH-CH710N also supports quick USB-C charging and packs an estimated 35 hours of battery life. That's a pretty long runtime, though Sony doesn't clarify whether that's achievable with ANC on or off.
Sony unveiled the Sony WF-XB700 true-wireless earbuds as well. The WF-XB700 is similar to the Sony WF-1000XM3 — one of our selections for the best wireless headphones around — but has a more concealed design and costs just $129.
Both the WH-CH710N and WF-XB700 are available for pre-order on Sony's website and will ship later this month.