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Sony INZONE H9 review: "Looks good, feels great, and sounds terrific"

Sony Inzone H9
(Image: © Sony)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

While the Sony INZONE H9 looks and feels great, its price compared to its performance may not be worth it for everyone.

Pros

  • +

    Sleek and chic design that looks great with PS5

  • +

    Super comfortable for long-term wear, even with glasses

  • +

    Great sound quality

Cons

  • -

    Microphone isn't the best

  • -

    Ear cups are rather big, looks silly on

  • -

    Elevated price

The Sony INZONE H9 wireless gaming headset is coming for the Sony peripheral crown. With wireless connectivity, super-plush earcups, and a sleek design reminiscent of the PS5, this is definitely a contender for both the best gaming headset (opens in new tab) and the best PS5 headset of 2022.

While this won't be getting any awards for budget headsets as it's priced just under $300/£270, if you're looking for Sony-quality sound and a headset that will look snazzy with your PS5 and other INZONE peripherals like the Sony Inzone M9 monitor, this could be your new baby. 

However, with other similarly priced headsets on the market, is this worth shelling out the cash? We put the Sony INZONE H9 through some serious review paces to help you decide if this is the headset for you. 

Design & Features

Sony INZONE H9 headset

(Image credit: Sony)
Essential info

Design: Over-ear, closed back
Type:
Bluetooth and 2.4GHz
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Android, iOS
Drivers: 40mm
Frequency response: 
5 Hz - 20 kHz
Price: $299
Tested on PC and PS5.

The Sony INZONE H9 is a white plastic shell with a matte black 'interior' that features leather on the ear cups and headband. The ear cups are rather large, which may be a deterrent for some people because of how it looks while wearing it. Because of how the earcups are attached to the headband, they easily swivel around for storage and/or comfort like the Razer Barracuda X

On the right ear cup you'll find the power button, a Bluetooth pairing button, and two buttons reading 'game' and 'chat'. Pressing the 'game' button will allow you to adjust the volume balance of your game audio, while the 'chat' button will, you guessed it, let you adjust the volume balance of chat. The left ear cup has a USB-C port for charging the headset, a volume wheel that has no top or bottom limit, and a button that lets you turn noise-canceling/ambient noise on and off. 

Yes, the INZONE H9 has a noise-canceling option, which is a feature that many players wish was included with the PS5 Pulse 3D headset. It also has the ability to connect both to your PC or PS5 via the dongle and to your phone via Bluetooth simultaneously, which is a lovely option you find more frequently in new headsets. 

If using the INZONE H9 on your PC or Mac, you can download the free INZONE hub app. This lets you adjust the noise canceling or ambient sound, and also enables spatial sound, which requires you to download a smartphone app that will scan your right and left ears in order to further personalize the audio. You can tune the dynamic range in the app, as well, and adjust the equalizer. The equalizer settings may not be as involved as other headsets, but you can mess around with presets (music/video, custom, and flat), as well as create your own custom sound profiles.

Performance

Sony INZONE H9

(Image credit: sony)

The Sony INZONE H9 is a breeze to set up on both PC and PS5, connecting via the USB dongle almost immediately after pressing the power button. Because of its lightweight build and super-soft leather-encased earcups, I wear the headset for hours with no complaint from my ears or my temples, the latter of which usually takes the brunt of my glasses arms being pressed upon by other headsets. This is a headset thoroughly approved of by a glasses-wearer, so keep that in mind. 

The noise-canceling option is great considering I sit directly next to a very loud air-conditioner that can sometimes make it difficult for me to hear even my own thoughts. It's also great at blocking out any other noises in my apartment, be they my partner loudly watching Better Call Saul in the living room or my two boy cats playfighting and banging into my bar cart.

While using the INZONE H9, I can clearly hear every instrument and the lyrics while listening to Talking Heads' 'The Big Country' with these bad boys, and a top to bottom listen of Beyonce's new album, Renaissance, provides a satisfying, thumping beat without blowing out my eardrums or otherwise compromising the music. The creepy strings and haunting vocals of Phoebe Bridgers' 'Georgia' almost make me cry with this headset on, I'm not gonna lie.

Sony INZONE H9 headset

(Image credit: Sony)

While playing a round of Call of Duty: Warzone, I feel almost superhuman thanks to how nice the spatial audio is and how clearly I can pick up and pinpoint footsteps. Playing Elden Ring on the PS5 is also very impressive, as I can easily hear the sounds of some horrible undead creature sneaking up on me and feel better prepared to take them out.

I also love the ability to connect both to my PS5/PC via the USB dongle and my phone via Bluetooth, as I am frequently thrown off by the sound of my phone ringing while mid-game. While speaking with my sister on the INZONE H9, however, she did point out that I sounded rather sharp and crackly before descending into an impression of an air traffic controller. I also love being able to play music on my phone while wandering around The Lands Between, however, especially since the Bluetooth button lets you skip or replay songs depending on how you press it. 

In multiplayer games, one or two of my squadmates did say that my voice was a tad low even when I adjusted the microphone to its max setting, which is a bit disappointing. I did occasionally get confused between the 'game' and 'chat' buttons while trying to adjust the audio for either, but after a while, I figured out which was which. 

Sony advertises the Inzone H9 as having 32 hours of battery life, but I found that it hovered closer to 30 when using it daily for the occasional work meeting, listening to music, and gaming. This could have to do with my volume, perhaps, or that I would sometimes forget to turn it off when I walked away for a few minutes.

Overall - should you buy the Sony INZONE H9?

Sony INZONE headset

(Image credit: Sony)

First off, this is an expensive headset, so if you aren't looking to spend $300 on a gaming peripheral, the INZONE H9 is definitely not for you. And that's okay - $300 is a lot of money, and other are tons of other great cheap gaming headset options that are gentler on your wallet.

If you have a healthy budget and are looking to splash out on something premium as your next PS5 wireless headset or PC gaming headset, then let's think a bit more on the INZONE H9. If you want to wear this for streaming and are a little self-conscious, I would not suggest this headset because of the rather large ear cups. I definitely felt rather silly wearing it in work meetings, so keep that in mind. If that doesn't bother you, however, the sound quality is fantastic. 

And if you already own the Sony INZONE M9 monitor and a PS5 and want to have a lovely little matching family of peripherals, then this headset is a no-brainer - it looks good, feels great, and sounds terrific.

However, if you're looking within the $300 range and want a high-quality mic and intense sound detail at certain levels, this may not be the best choice for you. Instead, consider the Astro A50 or the SteelSeries Arctis 9X

How we tested the Sony INZONE H9

The Sony INZONE H9 has been my headset of choice for the last month and a half. I wear it daily, using it for GamesRadar meetings, listening to music, watching Hasan Piker's Twitch streams, and, of course, gaming. I played Elden Ring, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Warzone, Vampire the Masquerade Bloodhunt, and even a little Dark Souls 3 with this headset on, and I frequently picked up phone calls while playing. 

The headset was put through the absolute ringer before this review. It was also knocked off my desk twice by my especially rowdy cat, Radgie, and it's working just fine. You can read more about how we test gaming headsets as well as how we make all our recommendations in the full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy.

Tested on PC with an iBuyPower Y60BG201 gaming PC supplied by iBuyPower and a Sony Inzone M9 monitor supplied by Sony. 

To refine your wireless headset choice by console platform, browse our guides on the best PS5 wireless headsets, and the best Xbox Series X wireless headsets.

More info

Available platformsHardware, PC, PS5, PS4
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Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.