Sony WH-CH510 wireless on-ear headphones deals
Sony has done very well in making a name for itself in the personal audio industry. WH-1000XM4 in-ear headphones and WF-1000XM4 in-ear headphones are the best in its class when it comes to noise reduction and sound quality, but How heavy are Titanic brand budget audio products?
Looking at the Sony WH-CH510, it's frankly insane that wireless headphones can cost so little, let alone a pair that has decent sound, a USB-C port, and 35 hours of battery life. Therefore, when reading this review, make sure to keep its price in mind (as we should) when you notice any shortcomings or glitches.
Price and release date
No matter what region you are in, the WH-CH510s are an affordable setup. These wireless in-ear headphones will only set you back €59 in the US, €50 in the UK and €89AU in Australia and are available for purchase right now.
The first thing to note: These are over-the-ear headphones rather than in-ears, which means their covers won't go around your ears, but rest against them. This makes them considerably more compact, but possibly a bit less comfortable (this also affects audio quality, but we'll get to that later).
Aesthetically, there's not much to say about these Sony cans, but their plain, unassuming appearance does wonders for broadening their appeal given that accessibility is the goal here. They are available in a stylish black, white or blue color and its shape profile is as close as possible to a "straight line with a circle at each end." Aside from the Sony logo on both mugs, the only other decorative element is a simple diamond grille texture that covers most of its exterior.
Perhaps the most obvious and surprising reflection of the WH-CH510's price is its structural integrity. The plastic headband, swivel joints and the shell of the helmets do not seem very strong and we would be remiss in recommending "throwing" them in your bag or treating them badly.
The headband does seem to have some flex, so maybe it's more forgiving than we thought, but we really didn't want to push this theory too far. No more bending or collapsing to create a more compact package (although the cups rotate 90° and flatten).
It should be noted that while this particular reviewer has an unusually large head and often pushes headphone bands to the limit, the WH-CH510 only extended halfway before it sat comfortably on both ears. We think this will be good news for the ringleaders among us, as well as those who like to wear hats and cans at the same time.
Of course, the upshot of all this is that they are incredibly light which, added to their small size, makes them ultra-portable. Fortunately, the padding on the headphones appears to be of a higher standard than the rest of the unit, so they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time given their in-ear form factor.
(Image credit: Avenir)
For a control interface, these boxes have a spartan set of three large buttons that are easy to locate, differentiate, and interact with. They are responsible for the usual play / pause range, volume up / down, and skip forward / back, but also allow you to activate your device's voice assistant.
There is a built-in microphone next to these buttons for this purpose and for taking calls, and while it can certainly be used, it's not the clearest option out there.
Along with the controls and the microphone is the only USB-C charging port (Audio over USB is not supported in what we tested.) We are disproportionately excited to see a budget product adopt this scalable port via micro USB.
These cans of Sony offer 35 hours of playback, which really impresses us, and if you're in a hurry, you can top up 90 minutes of juice with just 10 minutes of flat charging.
The lack of a 3,5mm headphone port and the lack of audio over USB means you'll be out of luck if you run out of batteries on the go, but the impressive battery life and affordability this enables probably make up for that. .
It may seem counterintuitive, but the WH-CH510's lack of features is one of its strengths. By focusing on more important attributes, including battery life and audio quality, they cut costs on features that their target audience could do without (including active noise cancellation).
As we mentioned earlier, the fact that these headphones are in-ear form factor means that you won't get the audio quality that competitors offer in-ear. This is largely due to the fact that the smaller cups do not create as strong a seal and have less of a sense of space.
That said, it's remarkable how good these Sonys manage to sound despite their low price and limited form factor. We found that bass is clear and present, but certainly not dominant. The higher frequencies were a bit more dominant than we'd like, and the mids a little too suppressed, but the profile was pleasant overall.
Although they lack the excellent clarity, balance and sense of space boasted by its WH-1000XM3 siblings, the sound produced by these headphones definitely belies their size and price. You'll find that most genres work well here, though tracks that already have bloated low-mids and bloated highs can be uncomfortably overdone.
In our tests, the Bluetooth 5.0 connection never failed and we found no interference or dropout issues. There is no app companion we can find, but we couldn't think of a need, given the unit's innate simplicity.
(Image credit: Avenir)
If you're looking for headphones at this price, you're probably already willing to make some sacrifices. Fortunately, most of the compromises Sony made to the WH-CH510 weren't overly critical: the lack of analog input reflects the loss of the 3,5mm port on most modern smartphones, while the plastic build Lightweight improves portability and comfort.
For those looking for something much sturdier or with a 3,5mm port, they are unlikely to find a similarly priced alternative that is also wireless, let alone solid battery life and sound.
Price - Sony WH-CH510 Wireless On-Ear Headphones: ▼