Since the release of the PlayStation 5, Sony has paraded an army of accessories to pair with the console — headsets, earbuds, charging dock, camera, media remote and more. And then, there’s the line of Inzone gaming headsets that offer a little more versatility. The Inzone H3, H7 and H9 are compatible with both PC and PS5 and bring an escalating suite of features across their price points. Sony’s newly released Inzone H5 wireless gaming headset sits snugly somewhere in the middle of its kin. The Inzone H5 offers spatial audio capabilities for immersive gameplay, it boasts a long battery life and lightweight design for longer and more comfortable gaming sessions, and it brings both wireless and wired connectivity via a 2.4 GHz wireless connection with a USB Type-A transceiver and a 3.5mm audio jack, respectively.
But does the H5 stand out in a glut of gaming headphone options, especially for the PS5? The short answer is yes. The Inzone H5 represents a considerable upgrade over the dedicated Pulse 3D wireless headset for PS5. It sports a less striking but more comfortable design, more intuitive controls and much longer battery life. It is also more expensive than the Pulse 3D headset. The H5, however, brings just enough to the table to justify the higher price. Over the past few weeks, I got a chance to test out Sony’s latest gaming headset in a variety of settings and circumstances. The H5 surprised me with its ultra-comfortable fit and ridiculously good battery life. And while the headset’s big-ticket features delivered, it was the small details that truly stood out.
What’s in the box?
The Sony Inzone H5 packaging includes the over-ear gaming headphones, a 3.5mm audio cable, a USB Type-C cable for charging and a USB Type-A transceiver compatible with both PS5 and PC. The design of the headphones is closer to the cheaper H3 pair of headphones in the Inzone headset family, with a matte black or white plastic body.
The adjustable oval ear cups swivel back completely flat for ease of storage, and the headband extends from within its casing to ensure a snug fit for different head shapes and sizes. The right ear cup features a power button, an LED indicator, and a button to balance games and chat audio while playing online. The left earcup sports the adjustable bidirectional boom microphone, which can be flipped down to activate the mic and up to instantly go mute. The left earcup also features a scrollable volume adjuster, a USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm audio jack for wired connections.
Sony Inzone H5 Wireless Gaming Headset Review: Design and features
Out of the box, the H5 sports an unassuming design and, in fact, looks a bit cheap due to the all-plastic construction. But this design choice allows the headphones to be ultra-light, weighing only 260g. For comparison, that’s less than half the weight of the Pulse 3D wireless headset from Sony, which comes in at a whopping 522g. If you’ve used the Pulse 3D headset with your PS5 and felt the strain on your ears after gaming for an hour or two, the Inzone H5 will feel light as a feather.
I’ve used the H5 for extended gaming sessions, worn them while watching a whole film, and used them extensively while working on my PC, and I never once felt the weight. The oval-shaped ear cups, which sport soft nylon earpads, also make for a comfortable fit, allowing the ear to settle snugly within. The headphones are designed in a way that the earcups exert most of the pressure on the low side of the wearer’s ear, thus avoiding discomfort on the top side. The headband also features a soft cushion strip for comfortable wearing.
The Inzone H5 boasts 3D spatial sound for a more immersive gaming experience with directional audio that gives a sense of in-game 3D space. The headphones feature 40mm drivers for accurate audio reproduction across high and low frequencies. And the ear cup housing also features a row of ducts that help low-frequency performance and boost bass, according to Sony.
The boom mic hangs close to the wearer’s mouth when flipped down and activated and isolates chat audio by filtering out ambient noises. Sony claims that the mic on the H5 utilises AI machine learning algorithms to capture clear voice chat audio. And in what is perhaps one of my favourite features of the Inzone H5, you can instantly mute yourself when you flip up the microphone.
Sony Inzone H5 Wireless Gaming Headset Review: PS5, PC compatibility and specifications
The Inzone H5 has a frequency response range of 5Hz – 20,000Hz and a sensitivity rating of 89dB. As mentioned before, the headphones feature 40mm drivers and support both wireless connections via a 2.4GHz USB dongle and wired connection via a 1.5m-long 3.5mm cord that is included in the box.
The H5 pairs up with a PS5 in a blink, letting you plug and play instantly. The USB Type-A dongle includes a switch to swap between PS5 and PC usage. Simply switch the dongle to PS5 pairing mode, connect it to the PS5’s USB Type-A port when the console is turned on, and power up the headphones by holding down the power button on the right ear cup. You’ll instantly get notified of the pairing and will start receiving audio output via the H5. You can adjust the volume and the balance between game and chat audio directly from the controls on the headphones. You can also opt for a wired connection by plugging in the included audio cord into the 3.55mm jack on the PlayStation DualSense controller.
Additionally, you can head to the settings menu on the PS5, select Sound and adjust 3D audio for headphones to a profile to your liking. 3D audio profiles can be adjusted separately for each ear cup.
On PC, the connection process is pretty much the same. You switch the USB dongle to the PC pairing mode, plug it into a USB Type-A port on your computer, and you’re ready to go. However, here, you also get the option to download the Inzone Hub PC software for additional sound customisation. You can edit or create new sound profiles and set equaliser options to Flat, Bass Boost or Music/Video. You can also adjust the equaliser manually according to your liking. The Inzone Hub also lets you adjust dynamic range, enable spatial sound, and retool microphone, volume, and game/chat audio levels. The range of customisation options available here isn’t wide, but the app covers all the basics.
Sony Inzone H5 Wireless Gaming Headset Review: Performance and battery life
I used the H5 while playing a variety of games on the PS5, including Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, God of War Ragnarok: Valhalla, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. I also tested the headphones while playing Rocket League online to check if the voice isolation on the microphone holds up. The spatial sound feature works as expected on the H5 and is not too dissimilar to the Pulse 3D headset. However, the H5 has a clear advantage in the overall soundscape when compared to the Pulse 3D headphones. It is noticeably crisper than the latter’s slightly muddied and bass-oriented sound. The H5 manages bass decently enough, too, but opts for a more neutral sound that might not be as attractive and punchy, but it makes for a more natural listening experience.
The H5’s utilisation of the PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech truly shined in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The game takes place in the lush forests of the titular alien planet, and the sounds of critters, chittering insects and organisms, and rustling flora came alive on the H5, meaningfully enhancing my experience with the game. Similarly, the Inzone H5 gave a good account of itself in the Norse setting of God of War Ragnarok: Valhalla with more weighty sounds for both the score and the action. In Prince of Persia balances the crunch of the combat with the softer notes of Persian instruments in the music quite decently. The boom microphone on the H5 works quite well, too. My voice almost always filtered through clearly, even with the annoying construction sounds in the background.
Beyond its competent sound performance, the H5 surprises with its battery life. Sony claims up to 28 hours of continuous playing time upon a full charge. It also says the headphones will last you for three hours of playtime with just 10 minutes of charge. In my experience, Sony’s claims aren’t too far wide of the mark. The Inzone H5 lasted days’ worth of intermittent gaming on a single complete charge. I’d pick up the headphones, not having charged them for a week and expecting them to be dead, and still find considerable juice left in the pair. And one of my favourite little features of the H5 was the voice battery indicator, which told me the current battery percentage of the headset with a quick tap of the power button. Every time I did that, I was truly surprised by the number it read out. And despite the H5 not featuring an active noise cancellation feature, the snug fit went a long way in organically blocking out outside noise.
The biggest flaw in the H5 is, of course, the lack of a Bluetooth connectivity option. While the USB transceiver is a handy way to switch between gaming on the PS5 and PC, and the 3.5mm wired connection adds a bit of versatility, there’s no easy way to seamlessly connect with your mobile phone. Sure, you can do a few adapter gymnastics to connect via the USB dongle. The 3.5mm cable will set up a wired connection with your smartphone (with the help of a USB Type-C/ lightning to headphone jack adapter because most phones don’t have a 3.5mm audio jack these days, unfortunately). Still, the convenience of Bluetooth cannot be overstated here. It’s a routine feature that you expect in most wireless headphones, and its absence almost reduces the Inzone H5 to a one-trick pony. Another thing worth noting is that people with big or protruding ears might have a little trouble with H5’s compact ear cups, especially since the cushioning layer of nylon foam is fairly thin, thus leaving little room between the ear and the sound drivers enclosed within.
Sony Inzone H5 Wireless Gaming Headset Review: Verdict
Sony’s latest gaming headset arrives in a highly competitive space of mid-range gaming headsets, going up against the likes of the popular Logitech G733 and a bevvy of options from Steel Series, Corsair, Razer, Turtle Beach and even budget offerings from HyperX. Perhaps its biggest competition comes from Sony itself. Marketed as an ideal pairing for the PS5, the H5 is going up against the tried and tested Pulse 3D wireless headless, which comes in at Rs. 8,590. You can pick up a pair for a discounted price of Rs. 6,390 at Sony’s ShopAtSC portal. And priced at Rs. 15,990, the Inzone H5 does not offer great value — at least not for everyone.
But if you have the extra cash, the H5 is a marked improvement over the Pulse 3D headphones in more ways than one. It’s half the weight and lasts twice as long. It sports a more comfortable design suitable for long gaming sessions and outperforms its sound quality and clarity competition. And you get a more versatile pair of gaming headphones that works just as fine with a PC as it does with the PS5. The absence of Bluetooth could put many buyers off, especially those looking to use their headphones wirelessly with mobile devices and handhelds like the Nintendo Switch. But if you’re looking for the PC-PS5 double bill, the Inzone H5 quietly delivers on all parameters without much fuss.