Sony INZONE Buds vs H9: Gaming Earbuds vs Gaming Headset

By Naila Syifa
Updated December 2023

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9: Gaming Earbuds vs Gaming Headset

Gaming headsets have been around for years, but gaming earbuds have recently been growing in popularity. Sony's first gaming earbuds, the INZONE Buds, are a great option for gamers who want a lightweight and portable option. How does this new release compare with the long-standing favorite, the INZONE H9 gaming headset from Sony?

In this comparison, we will take a closer look at the features, sound quality, design, battery life, and connectivity of these earbuds to help you determine which one is the best fit for your gaming needs.

Key Takeaways

INZONE H9 delivers a more powerful sound with its larger 40mm driver compared to INZONE Buds' 8.4mm driver. It also offers additional Bluetooth connectivity while the Buds only offer a 2.4 GHz wireless connection with the USB-C dongle. However, the Buds are more portable and affordable.

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9: Gaming Earbuds vs Gaming Headset
Sony INZONE Buds

Sony INZONE Buds

Earbuds for Gaming

✓ Personalized 360 Spatial Sound
✓ Noise Cancellation
✓ 30ms Low Latency
✓ 24 hours of battery life

Sony INZONE H9

Sony INZONE H9

Headset for Gaming

✓ Personalized 360 Spatial Sound
✓ Noise Cancellation
✓ Flip-Up Boom Microphone
✓ Dual Device Connectivity

#1 Price

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE Buds

The INZONE Buds are available in the market for around US$199, a moderate and reasonable price for gaming earbuds of this kind. Meanwhile, the INZONE H9 headset is more expensive at US$298, even though you may now find it cheaper at US$248 as the price drops over time. The difference in price point is a crucial consideration factor, but there are other aspects to take into account as well. Read on to learn more!

#2 Design

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE H9

Both the INZONE Buds and INZONE H9 have a similar sporty look and feel, with a sleek black and white two-tone color scheme that matches well with any gaming setup. They are both designed with comfort in mind, featuring soft ear tips for the Buds and soft ear pads for the H9 to provide a secure and snug fit during extended gaming sessions.

The Buds feature a touch sensor for quick access to various functions, such as adjusting volume, controlling music playback, taking phone calls, or changing the setting of the noise canceling function. Instead of touch sensors, the H9 features buttons on the left and right ear cups for easy access to these functions.

The microphone in the Buds is hidden while the H9's microphone is clearly visible in the form of a boom microphone. It is adjustable to ensure optimal voice capture. You can also fold down to talk and flip up to mute it quickly, which is a convenient feature during online gaming sessions. Without the boom microphone, you can't do the exact same thing with the INZONE Buds, but quick muting and unmuting of the microphone can still be done by holding down the touch sensor for a few seconds.

#3 Audio Quality & Features

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE Buds

Despite one being a headset and the other being earbuds, both the INZONE H9 and the INZONE Buds share many common audio features, such as Noise Cancellation that blocks out surrounding noise, and Ambient Sound Mode that keeps you aware of your surroundings while still enjoying your game audio.

Personalized 360 Spatial Sound is also available on both models, allowing you to pinpoint opponents, teammates, and important sound cues with precision. Personalization of sound settings is also possible with the creation of individual hearing profiles that analyze the shape of your ear canals and adapt the audio output accordingly, providing a tailored listening experience. With the INZONE Hub PC software, you can also adjust the EQ and customize the sound to your liking.

However, both models also have some differences that set them apart from one another. The H9 has a larger driver unit of 40 mm compared to the Buds with an 8.4 mm driver, meaning that the H9 delivers a more powerful and detailed sound. The H9 also features Dual Noise Sensor Technology, which makes it more effective than the Buds in canceling out noise for a more focused and immersive gaming experience.

#4 Battery Life

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE H9

INZONE Buds, equipped with the low-power processor L1, can last up to 12 hours on a single charge and can be extended up to 24 hours with the charging case, the longest battery life in the earbuds market. It takes 2 hours to fully charge but quick charging is supported, where a 5-minute charge can give you up to an hour of play time.

Charging the INZONE H9 takes longer at around 3.5 hours for a full charge and quick charging requires at least 10 minutes for an hour of play time. However, the battery life is longer as well, with up to 32 hours of continuous play with the NC off and 20 hours with the NC on. This gives the H9 an advantage if you plan on using it for long hours without worrying about recharging.

In addition, with the long USB cable that comes with the H9, you can use the headset to play while charging. This is not possible with the INZONE Buds due to the charging case.

#5 Connectivity

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE Buds

Both the Buds and H9 headset can connect to a wide range of PCs, consoles, or mobile devices via a 2.4 GHz wireless connection. For the Buds, this connection can be established using a USB-C dongle that comes with the product, while the H9 uses a USB transceiver.

Both ways support low latency audio, providing a smooth and lag-free gaming experience that is crucial for online gaming. While the H9 has no official latency numbers, Sony claims that the INZONE Buds have a latency of less than 30ms, which is quite low and suitable for most competitive games.

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE H9

The INZONE Buds and H9 headset are also natively compatible with PlayStation 5. This integration allows you to enjoy the immersive audio of PlayStation 5's Tempest 3D Audio Tech and also monitor your battery life, volume status, and microphone mute indicator on the screen without leaving the game.

One advantage that the INZONE H9 has over the Buds is that it also offers a Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity option. This allows you to connect the headset to Bluetooth-enabled devices without the USB transceiver. Moreover, the H9 supports simultaneous 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth connection, so you can listen to your game audio with the 2.4 GHz USB transceiver on your PC while also taking a phone call or listening to music on your Bluetooth-enabled phone.

Sony INZONE Buds vs Sony INZONE H9

Final Thoughts

Sony INZONE Buds vs H9

Sony INZONE Buds

Both the INZONE Buds and INZONE H9 are great options for gamers who want high-quality audio and comfortable gear for their gaming sessions. The Buds are a great choice for those who prioritize portability and affordability, while the H9 is a better fit for those who want more powerful sound and flexible connectivity options. Ultimately, the decision between the two will come down to personal preference and what features are most important to you as a gamer.

If you like to read more about Gaming Earbuds/Headsets, check out our other relevant guides here:

Sony INZONE Buds vs PlayStation Pulse Explore

Sony INZONE Buds vs WF-1000XM5

Sony INZONE Buds vs Razer Hammerhead HyperSpeed

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