Sony launches cheaper ANC headphones that use the brains of the WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-CH720N lifestyle image
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has revealed its new WH-CH720N over-ear headphones, confirming earlier leaks that revealed the new model would share key features with the brand’s WH-1000XM5 flagship wireless cans.

As revealed in the leak, the WH-CH720N’s are a direct successor to the Sony WH-CH710N and bring Bluetooth 5.2 support, alongside Multipoint connectivity, enabling you to pair more than one device simultaneously. The WH-CH720N also feature voice control for playback and volume adjustments.

They'll be available in March 2023 in four somewhat muted colors – black, blue, white and beige – priced at $150 / £130 (around AU$220).

Despite the affordable price tag, the new model boasts the same V1 Integrated Processor from the Sony WH-1000XM5, which picked up a five-star review last year, and the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds, which we rate as the best wireless earbuds around.

The V1 chip is key to the class-leading noise cancelling and DSEE upscaling on the WH-1000XM5, which should ensure the new WH-CH720N punch above the sort of performance we’d expect from a mid-tier set of headphones, though it's not just the processor that determines good active noise cancellation.

Weighing 192g, Sony says the WH-CH720N are its lightest overhead wireless headphones to feature ANC so far.

The WH-CH720N feature two microphones in each earcup which are used in conjunction with Sony’s Dual Noise Sensor algorithms to capture and block out ambient sound, with 20 levels of noise cancelling set to be available to the user via the companion Sony app. There’s also an Adaptive Sound Control feature which is set to allow different ANC settings for different locations or activities.

There’s also a claimed battery life of 35 hours battery life with noise cancelling on, while the four beamforming mics house inside the cans’ Wind Noise Reduction Structure coupled with a filtering algorithm should ensure clear calls when out and about in breezy conditions.

The WH-CH720N have been launched alongside a new entry-level set of over-ear headphones – the Sony WH-CH520 which come without ANC but support Bluetooth 5.2, Multipoint and DSEE upscaling – and we've already tested them. You can read our full Sony WH-CH520 review now.

Sony WH-CH720N product image

The Sony WH-CH720N may not be super-stylish, but they look good, and will be well-built, if the CH520 are anything to go by. (Image credit: Sony)

Analysis: Confirmed upgrades should make the CH720N the mid-tier cans to beat

Last week’s leaks had us hoping that the alleged spec sheet for the CH720N’s would pan out to be accurate, and we’re delighted to see that’s proven to be the case.

We were really keen on last year’s Sony WH-CH710N, but the mediocre noise cancellation made them hard to fully recommend for anyone in the market for ANC over-ears.

The addition of the V1 Integrated Processor will hopefully ensure that issue is addressed and will likely make them the headphones to beat in this price bracket.

With a sub-$150 tag, the question for Sony could now be how many potential customers they'll tempt away from the company's own more affordable Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4.

While you wait for our full review of the WH-CH720N's, you can check our current list of best noise-cancelling headphones.

Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.