If you’re looking for a pair of wireless headphones that don’t require you to break your piggy bank, you might want to check out the Sony WH-CH520. The company advertises them as lightweight, comfortable, and easy-to-use headphones with good sound quality and long battery life. I’ve already tested them for a while, and in this review, I’d like to share my experience with them. Here’s what the Sony WH-CH520 have to offer and why I believe they’re one of the best choices you could make if you’re want headphones for everyday use:
The Sony WH-CH520 are a great choice if you want:
- Comfortable on-ear headphones with excellent audio quality
- A device with an unobtrusive and elegant design
- Headphones for everyday use, at an affordable price
The main positive aspects of the Sony WH-CH520 wireless headphones are:
- The audio quality is very good
- Modern looks and elegant design
- Well-made and robust
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Considerable battery life
- A good microphone and excellent sound quality in phone calls
- Attractive price
The downsides for these headphones are these:
- They don’t have a 3.5 mm audio jack
- No support for aptX HD or aptX audio codecs
The Sony WH-CH520 headphones are a great example of what affordable devices should look like and how they should be made. At a very attractive price, you get excellent audio quality, comfort and style, and long battery life. In my opinion, the Sony WH-CH520 headphones are a “best buy,” and I warmly recommend them to all our readers.
Sony’s WH-CH520 wireless headphones are packaged in a relatively small box made of white cardboard. On its top cover, the box features a large picture of the headphones, their name, and a couple of essential features, like their promise to deliver a 360 degrees audio experience, a battery life of up to 50 hours, and support for Multi-Point Bluetooth connections.
The bottom side of the box is filled with details about the headphones’ features and specs, as well as other details, such as the product number, color, or the fact that the packaging is plastic-free.
When you open the box, you find the headphones, a short USB Type-A to Type-C charging cable, and a series of documents that include the user guide and warranty.
The unboxing experience offered by the Sony WH-CH520 is pleasant, and the packaging shows great attention to detail. While you only get the essentials inside the box, that’s to be expected, considering that these are the most affordable on-ear headphones made by Sony.
Just like with all the headphones I’ve tested and owned over time, the first impression I had when I saw the Sony WH-CH520 was that they’re good-looking, elegant, and well-made. Although they appear to be made entirely out of plastic materials, they seem to be quite sturdy and able to handle daily use, both at the desk when working and on the road while traveling.
The Sony WH-CH520 are on-ear headphones with 30 millimeters (about 1.18 inches) driver units, meaning the cups are smaller than those of over-ear models. Although the headband strikes me as being a bit stiff, the cushioning on the cups and headband is generous, soft, and comfortable. This, paired with a weight of only 147 grams (5.18 ounces), should make them comfy to use even for longer periods of time.
The Sony WH-CH520 headphones offer Bluetooth 5.2, and the only port on them is a USB Type-C used for charging their battery. There’s no 3.5 mm audio jack, so you can only use them wirelessly. However, you probably won’t miss that, as the battery life is quite substantial: up to 50 hours of playtime. Sure, this is the maximum value, but how long they’re actually able to run depends on the codecs you use and the volume levels you prefer.
Speaking of sound quality, it’s worth noting that the Sony WH-CH520 supports the SBC and AAC audio formats and can use Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), Hands-Free Profile (HFP), and Headset Profile (HSP) profiles. Moreover, the headphones can enhance audio quality using DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) via the Headphones Connect app for Android and iOS. On the other hand, the headphones don’t support aptX HD or aptX audio formats.
Besides the USB Type-C port, the right cup of the headphones also holds three physical buttons, a built-in microphone, and a small LED. The buttons allow you to turn the headphones on or off, enter Bluetooth pairing mode, turn the volume up or down, and skip to the next or previous track. The left ear cup is void of any buttons or ports.
These are the essential aspects you should know about the Sony WH-CH520 headphones, at least in terms of design and specifications. If you’d like to learn every little technical detail, check Sony’s official website: WH-CH520 Wireless Headphones with Microphone.
I like the design of the Sony WH-CH520 headphones: they look stylish, modern, and robust all at the same time. Moreover, the features and specs are excellent considering the headphones’ attractive price.
I’ve had the Sony WH-CH520 for a couple of weeks now, and my experience with them lets me confidently say that, for their price, these headphones are great. On the one hand, they’re very comfortable for a pair of on-ear headphones. I usually avoid this type of smaller cups because they tend to press on my ears and become uncomfortable quite fast. However, that’s not the case for the WH-CH520, which didn’t bother me even after a whole day of work. The soft plush inside the cups and on the headband is quite cozy and helps minimize the pressure you feel on your ears. Moreover, even if the cups sit directly on the ears, I didn’t get that annoying sense of overheating that I usually do with on-ear headphones.
Although the headphones aren’t foldable, their cups swivel, and because they’re very lightweight, it felt OK letting them hang around my neck. And, if you’re traveling with your laptop, it’s quite easy to slip them next to it inside a backpack or a bag.
In my opinion, at their price point, the Sony WH-CH520 headphones deliver awesome audio quality both when listening to music and when talking over the phone. The soundstage is rich and pretty accurate, with good but not overly powerful bass, round mids, and clear highs. Some may prefer more punchy lower frequencies, but for most people, what you get from the Sony WH-CH520 should be satisfying.
I’m also pleased by the sound quality during phone calls, as in most cases, both I and the people to whom I’ve talked were able to hear one another clearly. The only situation where we had troubles was when I was out on the street in a very noisy environment. However, I can’t really blame that on the headphones, as their microphone seems to do a good job of pinpointing your voice. And, on my end of the line, the passive noise isolation offered by the cups was up to the mark.
Sony also offers a mobile app for these headphones. It’s called Headphones Connect, and it’s the same one I’ve seen for other models like the high-end Sony WH-1000XM5. Depending on the headphones model and their features, the app allows you to control and modify the sound quality and behavior, as well as adjust things like adaptive sound control, sound equalizer, sound quality mode, and DSEE. For the Sony WH-CH520, the number of options and settings you get is quite limited, as these are, after all, affordable headphones. If you’d like to enable DSEE for a higher-quality sound or apply an equalizer preset, then yes, you should install the app on your smartphone. Otherwise, you can simply ignore it: the headphones don’t need the app for you to connect them to any device you want and instantly offer high-quality audio.
The Sony WH-CH520 are great headphones for everyday use, offering excellent audio quality both for playing music and talking over the phone. They’re comfortable to wear, their battery life is considerable, and the price Sony asks for them is attractive.
While I don’t consider myself a fan of on-ear headphones, the Sony WH-CH520 managed to impress me in a positive way. The soft plush on their cups and headband makes them comfy, and the audio quality they deliver is better than you might expect. I believe that for their price, they’re a “best buy” option, and I would definitely get them for a loved one or as a present for a friend.