Sony has just announced a whole range of gaming headsets and monitors under a new 'Inzone' name – and we're really quite excited, particularly about the headsets.
Believe it or not, these are actually Sony Electronics' first gaming headsets, as previous PlayStation headsets (such as the excellent Platinum and Pulse models) have been produced by the PlayStation/SIE departments of Sony. And, intriguingly, Sony is promising that it's leveraged its many decades of experience producing hi-fi headphones in the development of the Inzone range, suggesting that at least some of the DNA from the superb WH-1000XM5 headphones should carry across.
That said, the only specific XM5 feature that's present on the Inzone headsets (which are specifically compatible with PC and PS5 but not Xbox) is the synthetic leather earcups, which the top of the range Inzone H9 model sports. This model also boasts active noise-cancellation, further encouraging comparisons with the XM5.
The H9 and its siblings, the H7 and H3, all support Sony's own 360 Spatial Audio when connected to a PC, while PlayStation users will instead hear the console's Tempest Engine-produced 3D Audio. All models have a boom mic thats designed to ensure your voice is clear while background sounds are suppressed, and that can be rotated upwards for muting.
If you're wondering about the differences between the three headsets, primarily they come down to the H9 being wireless and noise-cancelling, the H7 being wireless without noise-cancelling, and the H3 being wired. As it happens, of the two wireless headsets it's the H7 that has the better battery life – 40 hours compared to the H9's 32 hours (with noise-cancellation turned off).
The new headsets are expected to launch in July for the following prices:
Sony Inzone H9 – £269 / $300 / AU$450
Sony Inzone H7 – £199 / $229 / AU$350
Sony Inzone H3 – £89 / $100 / AU$150
On top of the new headsets, the new Inzone brand also includes two new monitors – the M9 and M3. Both are 27-inch models with the same intriguing "trapeze" design, but their core specs differ pretty wildly, with the M9 boasting a 4K/144Hz panel with full array local dimming (FALD), while the M3 is Full HD (1080p)/240Hz and, we believe, has edge backlighting.
The M9 model will launch in July priced at £999 / $899 (around AU$1300), while the M3 is scheduled to come out this winter for £TBC / $529 (around AU$770). Considering that the 42-inch version of LG's C2 OLED TV is now available for similar money, Sony's M9 monitor looks like a slightly tough sell, but perhaps it will prove itself in test conditions.
Check out our review of the excellent PlayStation 5 Pulse headset
Any monitor needs to prove itself against the best gaming TVs
Here's hoping the Inzone H9 has a lot in common with the WH-1000XM5