Sony's new wireless headphones are cheaper alternatives to the WH-1000XM5

Sony's new wireless headphones are a cheaper take on the WH-1000XM5
(Image credit: Sony)

If you want the best headphones around, it'll cost you. But you can get some of the same features for a lot less money, courtesy of Sony's latest over-ear headphones. 

The Sony WH-CH720N feature the same Dual Noise Sensor technology and Integrated Processor V1 that you find in the firm's Award-winning WH-1000XM5, yet they cost a fraction of the price. The V1 eliminates outside sound, while the Dual Noise Sensor tech helps capture ambient sound for more advanced noise-cancelling functionality. 

And that's not their only skill...

With 35 hours of battery life – 50 with the active noise-cancellation (ANC) disabled – they'll last you all day too. And unlike their predecessors, the CH710N, they feature Sony's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE), which aims to fill in the information lost during a music file's compression to create a higher-quality sound. Multipoint is onboard for seamless switching between wireless devices too.

Sony's new wireless headphones are a cheaper take on the WH-1000XM5

(Image credit: Sony)

Like the WH-1000XM5, you can adjust how much ambient sound comes in using the Sony Headphones Connect app. If the ANC is even a patch on the XM5, it will be excellent for the money. The app also lets you adjust the equaliser, choose from presets and save your own settings.

Weighing 192g, they're Sony's lightest ANC over-ear wireless headphones.

Calls should be clearer than ever thanks to beamforming mics with Sony's Precise Voice Pickup technology, while the newly developed Wind Noise Reduction Structure around the microphones reduces background noise, meaning less interference.

Voice controls come as standard, and the cans work with both Swift Pair and Fast Pair technologies to connect to your mobile device quickly and easily. They're available from next month in black, blue, and white and cost £130 (around $150, AU$230). That's a lot less than the XM5's RRP of £380 / $399 / AU$550.

Sony's new wireless headphones are a cheaper take on the WH-1000XM5

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has a new pair of Bluetooth on-ear headphones too. The Sony WH-CH520 (above) have a lot in common with the CH720N – they too boast up to 50 hours of battery life, DSEE and Bluetooth Multipoint for easy switching between devices, but without the active noise-cancelling of their more expensive siblings. They also support voice control and work with the Sony Headphones Connect app.

This model is available in four colours – black, blue, white and beige – and will be available next month for £60 (around $70, AU$100).


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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.