It looks like aheadset, but as part of the new InZone gaming accessories family — out of Sony’s entertainment and sound branch of the family tree, rather than the PlayStation clan — the InZone H9 is primarily a PC-intended gaming headset with close ties to the console.
It’s better and more flexible than, but at $300 (£269, AU$449) it’s also a lot more expensive than its kin — the wired $100 hits closer to home — but the H9 works hard for the money against less expensive competitors like the SteelSeries Arctis 7P Plus. It’s really, really comfortable and thoughtfully designed, has effective proprietary spatial sound (with Tempest 3D support), excellent audio quality, solid battery life and simultaneous Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connectivity.
- Great audio
- Really comfortable, even with glasses and noise canceling
- Very warm-sounding mic
- Solid battery life
- Simultaneous Bluetooth and PC connections
- No analog or wired connection
- No mic noise cancellation
- Randomly turned off on Bluetooth
There’s a slightly cheaper model, the $230 InZone H7. It’s the same headset as the H9, with nylon-covered ear cushions like the H3 and without the noise canceling, plus longer battery life. The nylon actually feels a bit cooler, if slipperier than the leatherette, and if you’re indifferent to digital noise canceling they’re probably a better buy. And based on the manufacturer price, I’d expect to see them hit below $200 once the holiday sales roll around.
Given its sound-division roots, it’s not surprising the H9 adapts some technology from Sony’s highly rated, including the DNC and 40mm drivers. The H9 uses “low pressure” DNC, which means it tries to not increase the pressure in your ears as much as typical cancellation does, in order to reduce fatigue and other related discomforts. And it does feel less head-squeezy. But I also find it less isolating; even at its best, I can still hear some ambient noise and voices.