Sony just launched a new addition to their popular Inzone lineup of over-ear gaming headphones: the Sony Inzone H5. The Inzone H5 is the first to be both wired and wireless and the first to include AI Noise Reduction on its bidirectional boom microphone.
The headphones also feature personalized 360 spatial audio for a highly immersive gaming experience. While designed for gamers, the Inzone H5 makes an excellent choice for remote workers and anyone who cares about microphone and sound quality.
Stick around to discover the full spectrum of the headphone’s capabilities in our Sony Inzone H5 review.
Sony Inzone H5: Design
The Sony Inzone H5s is a large pair of headphones that don’t look so different than what you’d see worn on helicopter pilots—but much more stylish, of course. They’re very Sony, with a matte bright white finish and a touch of texture (they also come in sleek black). The white model has exquisite contrast, with the mic and padding in black and the outer shell in white.
The earcups are smooth all around, while the padded headband is edgier. There’s a swiveling bidirectional boom microphone that swivels up to 12:00 and down to 5:00. Swiveling the microphone up mutes the microphone. The microphone is not removable.
A USB-C port for charging and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack are on the bottom of the headphones. Next to the jacks is a scroll wheel for volume, making it very easy to bump the volume or turn it down quickly. The scroll wheel has no endpoint, so you can also control the volume using the app.
A power button and a game/chat rocker button are on the other side of the headphones. The game/chat buttons help you balance the volume between the game audio and chat audio, but not all games support it.
The Sony Inzone H5 headphones are incredibly comfortable, even for long periods. Their extra-large ear cups have thick memory foam pads that gently envelop your ears, and they also pad the headband for added comfort. The headphones are fairly lightweight and well-balanced, so they won’t strain your neck or shoulders.
Sony Inzone H5 headset: Connectivity
The Sony Inzone H5 headphones support both wireless and wired connectivity. The wireless connection uses a 2.4 GHz USB dongle, which provides a low latency and stable connection with your devices. The receiver dongle is USB-A, compatible with PS4, most desktops, and some laptops. You will need a USB-C adapter to use the receiver if you have a newer laptop or phone with a USB-C port.
One of the best things about the USB dongle is that there is virtually no pairing process. Simply plug the dongle into your device, turn on the headphones, and they will automatically pair; this makes it very easy to switch between devices.
The dongle even works with Android phones and the iPhone 15 without additional setup; this is a great way to make crystal-clear phone calls, listen to music, and play games on your phone.
Sony includes a standard headphone cable and also a USB-A to USB-C cable. The USB cable is only for charging and doesn’t work for a wired connection. The headphone cable is compatible with most devices, including the Xbox. There’s some cord noise when using either cable, so we prefer to stay wireless and charge while we’re not using it.
The Inzone app
The Inzone app is only available on Windows and not Mac or Android/iOS. It offers a few welcomed features, including audio presets and a tuner, control of the “sidetone” feature, and volume controls. The app is straightforward and works well. It also explains some of the more confusing features. You’ll need the app to turn on the spatial sound, and it will direct you to the 360 spatial sound personalizer app to capture your ears before using it.
Sony Inzone H5: Battery
The battery lasts for a very solid 28 hours. It charges with USB-C, and you can charge it while using the headphones. If you’re light on juice, a 10-minute charge will get you 3 hours.
Sony Inzone H5: Sound and microphone
Even though they are gaming headphones, the Sony Inzone H5 headphones sound great for music, movies, podcasts, and everything else. Out of the box, they have a flat and bright sound profile, with less emphasis on bass. It results in very clear, crisp vocals and an airy, open soundstage.
If you have a Windows computer, you can install the Inzone Hub app to use a custom equalizer or one of the few presets. There is a bass booster, music/video mode, flat, and custom mode. The bass booster can add some appreciated oomph on the low end, but the equalizer itself doesn’t seem to make a big difference.
The headphones are not noise-canceling; they seem optimized to hear us talk. When we’re a little stuffy, we can listen to ourselves breathe: this is due to a sidetone feature, which you can turn off or increase in the Inzone Hub app. We generally keep it turned off.
The large 40mm drivers produce big sound, and the 360 spatial sound really gives you an edge during gameplay. In first-person shooter games, you can close your eyes and hear precisely where the action is. It’s an immersive, enjoyable, and helpful experience.
Sony uses their 360 spatial sound personalizer to take photos of your ears and custom-tune the feature for you. Still, it’s hard to say how much of a difference this actually makes.
The microphone and voice quality on the Inzone H5 headphones is excellent, even over wireless. There is little latency, and voices are crystal clear and natural. The microphone does a great job of reducing background noise and is far superior to any microphone on a Bluetooth headset.
Our coworkers commented that we sound like airline pilots, partly because we look like an airline pilot wearing them and because the microphone focuses so well on voice, making it sound closer. The headphones are unlike laptop microphones, which tend to sound further away.
Sony Inzone H5 review: Final thoughts
Sony’s Inzone H5 headphones are excellent for gamers or Zoom workers looking for a wireless upgrade and wired optionality. The USB dongle makes pairing and connectivity a breeze, and the microphone is crystal clear.
The 360 spatial sound is immersive and helpful during gameplay. The downsides are that there is no Inzone app for Mac, no active noise cancellation, and you’ll need an adapter for the dongle if you want to use these wirelessly with your phone or USB-C laptop. The latency and quality of the 2.4 GHz wireless connection are far superior to Bluetooth. That said, priced at $150, the Inzone H5 headphones are reasonably priced for the brand and quality.
Sony sells the Inzone H9 headphones for twice the price, which adds ANC and Bluetooth, but you lose the wired mode and microphone noise reduction.
Overall, the Sony Inzone H5 headphones are a great value if you’re looking for immersive gaming headphones or need a phenomenal noise-canceling microphone for calls and video chats.