LAST month Sony announced an entirely new range of gaming headsets – Sony InZone – which are set to launch in Australia in August.
A few days ago Sony kindly brought me down to Melbourne for the event at the Fortress Melbourne gaming venue, where I (and other tech/gaming journos) were able to get some insight and ears-on time with the new range ahead of their arrival in stores (and web retailers).
There are three headsets in the launch range, being the H9, H7 and H3. All three have spatial 3D audio and a space-ship aesthetic, while still obviously being designed for gaming.
The H9 is the top of the range, featuring wireless connection and active noise cancelling, while the H7 is more or less identical but does not have ANC. Rounding out the headset offering is the H3, which does not have ANC and is a wired headset.
Despite being from Sony and being gaming peripherals, these are not PlayStation-branded headsets – but they are fully compatible with PlayStation 5.
While the headsets are technically closed back designs, all three feature vents along the top of the earcup which allows for a richer bass sound too.
As part of the press event, I was able to try out all three headsets with a range of games, including Valorant, Fall Guys and Call of Duty on PC, along with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Borderlands 3 on PlayStation 5.
The spatial 3D sound was surprisingly effective, particularly on the H9 and H7 units. I could hear in-game footsteps from different angles and ejected shell casings hitting the floor, identify where explosions where coming from, and locate some gunshot origins.
On PC, there’s spatial audio software available which allows you to customise how you want the headset to sound. There isn’t separate software for the PS5, but the spatial surround still works really well – it seemed better, from what I could tell at the event, than the Pulse 3D headset.
The overall sound quality (and noise cancelling on the H9s) was very good, too and it’s clear the units have at least some DNA (and components) from Sony’s excellent headset range, including the WH-1000X series.
I was particularly impressed with how comfortable all three headsets were – they fit well and stayed put, and felt well-made too.
The H7 and H9, being wireless, also have a dual connection option so can be simultaneouisly connected to one device via Bluetooth and another via 2.4Ghz wireless – the obvious use case here being “having your phone connected to the device as well as whatever gaming system you are using”.
The InZone headsets will be available in Australia in August and at this stage the RRPs are as follows:
INZONE H9: AUD$449.95
INZONE: H7: AUD$349.95
INZONE H3: AUD$149.95
While this isn’t a proper review, I was impressed by what I experienced and am looking forward to putting the units through a full review process when they become available Down Under next month – so stay tuned!