The WH-CH510 Wireless Headphones are a totally no-frills offering from Sony coming in just under $60. The main selling points are the 35 hour maximum battery life and super-fast charging via the USB-C cable.
These headphones come in a slim box with nothing other than the USB cable and the manual. The way they look reminds me of those headsets you can get on an airplane. Nothing but the essentials. The earpieces rotate so you can lie them flat in a backpack or bag, but they don’t fold up.
There are three buttons on the right earpiece where all the controls are derived. Again, simplicity. Volume up/down, previous/next track, and power/pause. You can also answer calls via the power button, as is standard on most Bluetooth headphones.
I wish the buttons were spread apart from each other, or utilized the left earpiece instead of just the right. When you put your hand to the buttons, it can take a moment to figure out which one you are about to press, as they are all very close and feel the same. Also the previous/next track button makes an odd little chime when pressed that I found distracting. Both very minor complaints.
The USB-C cable can give the headphones a 90-minute charge in just 10 minutes. Charging to the full 35 hour capacity takes 4.5 hours. Definitely good news for someone who, say, sleeps during layovers at the airport, or is on the lamb and can’t stick around too long. Nomads need their music too!
And while you could stay up listening to music for about a day and a half on the full battery charge, my earlobes started getting sore around hour 3. So good luck.
The sound of these headphones is nothing too write home about, but it’s enough to write a blog about. Neither amazing, nor terribly disappointing.
The lows in these headphones are soft and polite. Nothing too aggressive… no kick-down-the-doors-guns-blazing low end assault here. You can hear the most detail in the higher end of the low range… like the “clicky” sound of the kick drum pedal or the squeak on the bass strings.
The midrange holds its own pretty well, and is aided by a surprisingly good stereo spread. Guitars, vocals and any layers that are spaced out with panning play off each other in a way that satisfies. Older music that makes use of the whole ‘one instrument for each side’ philosophy comes across well too, like Coltrane or the Beatles.
The high end goes back to sounding what I’d call reserved, on some songs more than others. The ultra-highs come through clearly (and no, not harshly), but certain vocals end up sounding thinned out and robbed of their power. Other vocals (on pop songs especially) come through loud and clear. I feel like there’s a cut somewhere in the upper midrange that is favorable to some vocals styles over others. However, the headphones represent the frequencies above this range clearly.
The Sony WH-CH510s are very straightforward. If your priorities include grab-and-go functionality and a long battery life, these certainly deliver. The sound quality gets the job done, and the minimalism of the design insures that nothing unnecessary will get in your way.
See how they stack up against the original WH-CH500s in this comparison review.
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Sony WH-CH510 Wireless Headphone Review.
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