I’ve always been curious about what kept Sony from expanding the Playstation brand outside of just consoles. And while you won’t find any PS logos on its new line of headsets and monitors, with Inzone it seems like Sony is finally bringing its wider technology expertise to gaming.
Now the reason we haven’t seen a lot of PlayStation branded peripherals up until now is because Sony is actually composed of many different companies that manufacture various things from medical equipment to sensor parts. In this instance, it’s not a part of the same Sony which manufactures their popular gaming consoles (Sony Interactive Entertainment) but rather one that produces everyday electronics such as televisions and headphones including the amazing WH-1000XM5.
While there are some similarities between the new Inzone device and what we see in PlayStation 5, including the black and white color scheme and slick sci-fi style, it seems that many of its features come from Sony Electronics. After testing out several new products with this company for a few days now, I feel like they have combined two different parts of the company to create something truly outstanding.
Let’s start with Inzone’s headphones which consist of three different models: the entry-level H3 ($99), the mid-range H7 ($229) and the high-end H9 ($299). The lowest priced set are simple and straightforward; unlike their more expensive siblings who do not support wireless audio. They do not work wirelessly but can either use a 3.5mm cord or USB cable for connection to your consoles/PCs. On the upside, the thick padded headband and cloth earcups make these comfortable no matter how long you game for!
Furthermore, thanks to cooperation between two parts of Sony, all Inzone headsets support the PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D Audio Engine just like you would find with its official Pulse 3D Headphones. This means that it supports spatial audio and customizable sound profiles – one being able to hear things such as someone sneaking up from behind. However, at only $99 for these wireless headphones (same as what the H3 offers), I think these are actually the better buy for people who want a cheaper option when it comes down to choosing which pair they want to purchase.
One of the most notable parts about these headphones, is how much they change in terms of connectivity. The H7 and H9 are both capable of being wirelessly connected to Bluetooth or a dedicated 2.4GHz wireless dongle without any compromise on sound quality. They each also come with its own benefits when it comes to battery life – while the H7 lasts 40 hours (as per their claim), the H9 can last up to 32 hours! And on top of all that, they still offer some features from Sony’s 1000X line such as digital noise cancelling; something which many people love about these products because it works so well.
Now let me mention Sony could only ship us the H3 and H9 headsets for testing, so I’ve been comparing them to each other. But the H7 and H9 are quite similar in terms of specifications with the main difference being that while the H7 doesn’t have RGB exterior lighting or digital noise cancelling technology, it does come with cloth ear cups whereas you can find soft leather padding on the inner band of your headset if you choose to go with an H9 which provides nearly identical battery life (about 32 hours) but has a bit less run time (40 hours)
Regardless, my time with the H9s so far has been great, and in a lot of ways, they feel like a pair of WH-1000XM5s that have been tuned for gaming. The noise cancellation works wonders for drowning out background sounds, and the superbly supple leather makes wearing them feel like wrapping yourself up in some fluffy cotton clouds.
Furthermore, the H7 and H9 are the only other headphones beside the Pulse 3Ds that can make use of PS5’s on-screen notifications. In this way, we’ll be able to see things like volume levels, battery status, mic mute and game/chat balance all at a glance! Even though these aren’t officially made for the PS5, it behaves as if they were – but there’s even more features packed in here too! You could just take your phone out to scan or take a picture of your ear in order to tune what suits you best!
For Inzone’s newest monitors, we have the $529 M3 and the $899 M9. While the former isn’t available yet so I’ll focus on my time with the latter (though don’t worry, I’m sure they’re both awesome). The M9 features a 27-inch 4K IPS panel at 144Hz refresh rate – not too big but still faster than many of its competitors that come at a similar price point. It supports VRR and NVIDIA G-Sync, has DisplayHDR 600 certification, and covers more than 95% of DCI-P3 color spectrum. Simply put: if you want an affordable monitor that can handle games well then this would be worth checking out!
One great feature of the M9 is that it comes with a built-in KVM switch for connecting multiple computers to one display. You can also use it for easy monitoring of your computer’s framerate thanks to its FPS Counter function, or set it up in an Auto Genre Picture Mode which changes according to what you’re viewing on your Playstation 5. A final detail worth mentioning are these little grips at the bottom of the stand so that if you’re using this monitor with PC gaming, then users like Dafran can put their keyboard right next to it without having any issues (the feet go out towards the back).
But my favorite part of the panel is that it can be navigated using a mouse, which saves you from fumbling around with its own joystick in order to access anything. You don’t need to worry about sound either because it comes equipped with built-in stereo speakers – something rare these days! It also has two HDMI 2.1 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 slot, and supports video over USB-C (DP Alt mode). Plus it has an integrated USB hub – making this an ideal product for people looking for a seamless connection.
Though the H3 is pretty simple, I was pleasantly surprised by Inzone’s PC and console peripheral line-up. Considering the company’s connection to Sony, it makes sense that they would do well. However, there are parts of their products that make me think they’re planning something special – even Inzone hasn’t shared any future plans just yet. After talking with a few people who work there, I’m confident that these guys are going places over the next few years!