Sony recently announced a dedicated push to expand the PlayStation brand to PC, and a new line of gaming products shows that the emphasis on PC gaming won’t be limited to games. Meet Sony Inzone, a new brand of products that is debuting with gaming headsets and gaming monitors for both PC and PS5. While largely focused on PC gamers, the Inzone brand was also developed with PS5 users in mind, as it takes advantage of some of the console’s audio and visual features. Inzone is a Sony brand, not PlayStation, and it represents the first Sony Electronics-made series of gaming-focused products in a long time.
Inzone gaming headsets
Sony’s Inzone gaming headsets come in three models: H3 ($ 99), H7 ($ 229), and H9 ($ 299). They have a white-and-black design that makes them match the PS5, which is a nice for those who pick them up for console gaming.
The Inzone H9 rivals other high-end wireless headsets in terms of performance and comfort. It features noise-canceling tech as well as 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth connections. The H9 earcups feature Sony’s soft-fit leatherette, which is borrowed from the audio giant’s flagship WH-1000X headphones. I tested the H9 and can confirm that the headset is as comfortable to wear as the recently released (and stellar) WH-1000XM5.
Meanwhile, the H7 does not support digital noise canceling and uses a fabric material on the earcups rather than the soft-fit leatherette. Though I didn’t test the H7, I did try the wired H3 edition that has the same materials. There’s a big difference in comfort and overall feel between the soft-fit leather and the fabric. I was far more aware that I was wearing a headset when using the H3. The H3 is still pretty comfortable for the price, but those interested in a wireless model should probably opt for the H9 over the H7. When you’re already spending $ 229 on a gaming headset, it likely makes sense to just shell out the extra $ 70 for the added comfort and noise canceling. All three models have similar form factors, though the wired H3 is slightly smaller and has a different design where the headband and earcups connect.
For PS5 users, the Inzone headphones support the console’s Tempest 3D audio. PC users get a far more customizable listening experience, though. Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound mobile app helps you measure your ears to create a unique sound profile tailored to you. It’s one of the cooler features I’ve seen in the rapidly advancing gaming headset market. The spatial sound profile can then be used with the Inzone’s “phantom speakers,” and it really does make a difference for immersion. And it can also help with competitive games – which is the focus of any high-end gaming headset these days – by pinpointing sounds that you usually can’t distinguish. In practice, it felt somewhat similar to SteelSeries’ new Arctic Nova Pro, though the Nova Pro has more customization than the Inzone series.
All three models of the Inzone gaming headphones have an adjustable boom microphone. It worked well during my testing, though it is slightly disappointing that it cannot be removed or stealthily stored – which is always a great feature for using gaming headsets as traditional headphones for music or single-player games. On the plus side, the wireless Inzone headsets support simultaneous connections with your console / PC and your smartphone, so you can answer calls without switching connections.
Overall, the Inzone line of headphones is impressive. The H9 is certainly a premium headset that offers great performance. However, if you’re just looking for a PS5 headset, you can get similar performance and features with cheaper wireless PlayStation headsets, including the Pulse 3D, which is a third of the price of the H9.
Inzone gaming monitors
Sony’s jump into the gaming monitor business is starting with two models: The M9 is a 27-inch 4K monitor for $ 899, while the M3 is a 27-inch 1080p monitor. Though they have similar designs with a tripod stand, slim bezels, and a sleek PlayStation-esque appearance thanks to a white back panel, they have some notable differences.
The M9’s 4K display boasts full-array local dimming, which optimizes lighting and enhances contrast. The aim here is to create a brighter, more vibrant picture that allows you to clearly distinguish objects and other players in dark corners of the map. I didn’t have a chance to test the M9, so I can’t comment on how the dimming features compare to other high-end monitors, but it is the standout feature (outside of resolution) compared to the much cheaper M3. The M9 also has HDR 600, while the M3 is limited to HDR 400. This makes sense considering HDR 600 provides better brightness and contrast.
Both monitors support HDMI 2.1 and offer variable refresh rates. This makes them ideal for PS5 or even Xbox Series X. Like select Sony TVs, the Inzone monitors recognize your PS5 and automatically offer optimized HDR settings and display modes for games and streaming / watching Blu-rays.
The M9, as a 4K monitor, maxes out at a 144Hz refresh rate, but the M3 goes up to 240Hz. Both monitors have 1ms response times and are G-Sync compatible.
But just like the Inzone headsets, the monitors are more aimed at PC players than console users. The Inzone hub app, which is exclusive to PC, gives you full control over your picture and sound and allows you to make visual / audio profiles for specific games. The monitors also have features focused on first-person shooter games, including a designed picture mode, a black equalizer, frame rate counter, various on-screen crosshairs options, and a match-time tracker.
Since I didn’t test either the M9 or M3, I can’t say how they compare to other gaming monitors with steep price tags. Gaming monitors vary widely in terms of both performance and price, and you don’t always have to spend a lot to get a good one that works for you. If you’re a competitive gamer, though, the Inzone monitors – particularly the 4K model – may be a good choice. Once again, the Inzone monitors are better suited for PC players. If you’re a PS5 or Xbox Series X user, you can get a nice 4K TV – including options from Sony itself – for around the same price.
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