Review | Inzone H9 gaming headset – Sony has developed a new line of hardware. This is called ‘Inzone’ and so far consists of two screens and a pair of gaming headsets. We received the Inzone H9 from these different headsets to thoroughly test them. For the PlayStation 5 (and PlayStation 4), we previously reviewed the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, and we were pretty positive. But in this case we have to make a clear distinction between where Sony has done what. The Sony behind the Pulse Headset is Sony Interactive Entertainment, responsible for the games department. Sony Electronics, as the main company responsible for various other products, in this case comes with Inzone, which has also partially focused on the PS5. Now the question is if the H9 is good enough as a valid option to use for the console and PC.
With Sony you have a fantastic design
Despite the fact that a Sony other than SIE has developed the headset, the H9 headset is also provided with a white color with black accents, known from the PS5. The large earcups are oval in shape and quite large. The headband has a similar design to the Pulse 3D headset, so we’re already seeing a recurring element in that. But there is more to the design. The large round ear cups have a subtle connection with the headband at the top, with the Sony logo on it. When the headset is on, you’ll also see LED rings glowing white. It gives a cool futuristic look to the headset, which we are very excited about. It is precisely because it is so subtle that it can be called a successful addition to the design.
A microphone is attached to the left earcup, which you can flip up and down (mute and unmute). You also have a black colored volume wheel, below that a button to turn ANC on and off, with a USB-C input at the bottom to charge the headset. A full headset is good for about 30 hours of use, depending on ANC. Included in the package is a USB-C cable for charging, as well as a USB dongle for connecting to a PlayStation console or PC. On the right earcup, you’ll also find a couple of buttons: a game/voice chat button that’s ideal for adjusting your audio on the go, a Bluetooth button, and finally the self-explanatory power button.
Good quality hardware, bad software
The headset is quite large to look at, but once it’s on your head, it’s very comfortable. This is because the large ear cups rest nicely around your ears, which also makes it remarkable how relatively light the headset is. The cushions on the headband and ear cups are made of imitation leather, which is really nice. With the headband retracted, the headset fits well on an average-sized head, so gamers with slightly smaller heads should take this into account. Finally, the earcups move smoothly at the headband hinges. Overall, the headset feels very premium because it’s all very well put together.
The software, on the other hand, is something we’re much less excited about. If you use the headset on a PC and you want to use the software, it will prevent you from getting any options. You will then just see a solid gray area in the software with nothing to do with options. Only after restarting your PC with the dongle and headset connected are all options in the software available. These are again quite limited: you’ll find a shallow EQ as well as limited ANC options and volume settings. You can also find slightly more energy options, but they don’t add much. The only thing worth paying attention to is the possibility of being able to turn the spatial sound on and off, which we will get into in more detail later.
The headset has two faces, a PC and console face. So on the PC you have the advantage of being able to adjust the headset sonically via the Inzone software and the option of using the spatial sound. The headset naturally has a deep bass, but it is not very clean. The mids can be called quite muddy and are a little too high, with the higher notes falling a little to the background. Calling sound in a Call of Duty game is especially nice and wandering around Night City (Cyberpunk 2077) is also nice with this headset. Here, the spatial sound option helps a lot, because your spaciousness is increased in a really good way. It works and sounds great, so you have a great experience while gaming (on PC) with the Inzone H9.
On console, however, it’s a different story. None of the settings you make on PC can be saved to the headset, so the default settings on the H9 are what you have to do with it. These are simply not very special, which is outrageous for a gaming headset of no less than €299.99. The headset doesn’t sound bad, but a price of €120 to €180 would have been more appropriate. What also goes beyond our heads is that Sony (which of the two Sonys) does not have an app or similar for the PS5 to be able to set this headset via the console. No native EQ settings or other kinds of adjustments are possible, while the competitor (Xbox) offers this with all their supporting hardware via their consoles. That you have to pay €299.99 for a headset that cannot be used to its full potential on a console developed by the same company is truly absurd.
At first glance, the Inzone H9 is a winner. We can’t help but praise the comfort. The large ear cups are really nice, the soft cushions are delicious and because it rests quite easily on your head, you can use them for hours. The design is also very successful because it looks nice and modern thanks, among other things, to the LED rings on top of the ear cups. However, the headset is not that special in terms of sound. That’s fine, but it’s simply not enough when the price tag is €299.99. On the PC, it might still be able to get away with it, with some support, albeit lousy software. But the fact that you can’t fully use the headset on the PlayStation 5 is bizarre. Having volume and voice/game chat adjustable at the system level via the headset is great, but being stuck with ‘okay’ sound that can’t be adjusted on the console is unacceptable at this price.
- Very cool design
- Good to use
- Absurd price
- Middle tones not nice
- Software is substandard