Sony has been a prominent figure when it comes to audio, especially for the masses. Testament to this is their lineup of impressive headphones under the 10k segment. One such headphone is the WH-CH400 which is a Bluetooth, wireless, over-the-head variant. It was launched in April 2018 in India along quite a few other audio products. I got my hands on this particular pair of headphones for a couple of weeks and here is my review of the Sony WH-CH400.
Design of the Sony WH-CH400
Sony seems to have patented a look for their headphones and have stuck to that particular design variation for almost all the over-the-head headphones that it has come out with. And the WH-CH400 is no exception. The headphones have a single over the head band that connects the two ear pieces that are round and have a flat exterior. This portion of the headphone is made of plastic and has a matte texture making it resistant to fingerprint and easy to handle.
The WH-CH400 does not come with earcups, rather have cushions that have perforations for the audio. Now this has a soft padding layer which could have been made slightly more cozy. When I first looked at the headphones I felt that the plastic band holding the two earcups together may not be able to hold them in place firmly. But surprisingly it does, and even some exercising does not seem to be able to move it from its position.
But coming back to the ear pads, the only flaw I found with this particular design is that if the headphones are not positioned perfectly and aligned with the ear cavity, the audio quality seems to vary. This would not have been the case if it had a cup design.
The left earpiece does not have any interactive parts to it and houses only a microphone. The right earpiece on the other hand has the power button which doubles as the play and pause button, the volume rockers act as the next and previous track buttons and the mini-USB port along with a microphone cavity. These buttons are easily accessible and have a very smooth click feel which seems like it’s going to last. The right earpiece also houses the NFC touch panel.
The pairing of the device to your smartphone or laptop is a simple business. And once the headphones are positioned on your ears properly, one has to admit that the quality of the sound is rather impressive.
Frankly, I didn’t think that a pair of headphones that is not using the cup design can deliver such good quality music, but the Sony WH-CH400 clearly surprised me. The audio produced by the headphones was crisp clear and did not soften any of the highlights. It has a very clear balance in the highs, mids and lows which is not something that can be said for most headphones in this price range.
I played different qualities of MP3 as well as FLAC files and though there was no difference in the highest quality MP3 and FLAC audio, the audio it produced was impressive. The volume is high enough to drown the noise of the streets and the quality does hold up in the highest volume. What would have really impressed me is, if Sony could provide its much talked about noise cancellation technology in the WH-CH400. But I suppose that is not possible with this design.
Though I didn’t put a timer on the battery life of the device, I admit that I had to charge the device only twice in the two weeks that I used it. Once before I started using, and another time in between. I used the device extensively while at work and while returning home.
The microphones on the device may not cancel out the noise, but works fine when when not in a noisy environment. The addition of NFC makes it really convenient to quickly pair with any device that I was using.
I usually have a tough time when summing up my feelings and giving the verdict for a device. But the Sony WH-CH400 made things easy for me and I must say that I have been impressed with this device. For its current retailing price of Rs 3,499 this is an excellent audio device with great audio quality and just the right number of features.