Sony’s a popular name in the audio space, and its headphones portfolio includes many options across different price points. In terms of wireless headphones, the brand has everything from the best in the business, WH-1000XM4, to the affordable, entry-level offering, WH-CH510.

sony wh-ch250 review

However, unlike its other wireless headphones, Sony hasn’t updated the WH-CH510 in years. As a result, it lacks many features from today’s standards, and hence there was a dire need for an update.

Thankfully, Sony’s realized this and launched a successor to the WH-CH510. Called WH-CH520, the headphones feature an improved design and come with support for a companion app, multi-point connection, and a longer battery life, along with a few other changes.

More importantly, they also cost a little more, coming in at Rs 5,990 as opposed to the WH-CH510’s Rs 4,990 price tag. But are these upgrades worth the increased price, and are the Sony WH-CH520 the best affordable wireless headphones on the market? Let’s find out.

Sony WH-CH520: Design, Build, and Comfort

Sony’s WH-CH520 are a pair of on-ear, wireless headphones. They’re made out of plastic, similar to their predecessor, but this time the plastic has a plain finish to it. Sony’s still using a hard plastic here, and it’s adequately flexible, which makes it easy to put them on / take them off your ears.

Like any other headphones, the WH-CH520 also have an expandable headband, should you need it, and there’s decent cushioning underneath, so it doesn’t give you a clamped feel on the head. However, the headband isn’t a foldable one, though Sony compensates for it by offering swiveling earcups, which makes carrying the headphones a little easier.

Both earcups come with cushioned pads. And while the cushioning on these seems sufficient at first, we found that the headphones aren’t very comfortable when worn for even 30-45 minutes despite being quite light.

sony wh-ch520 review: design

Talking about their functionality, the headphone’s right ear cup also houses media controls. This include a multi-function/power button sandwiched between a volume up (or next) and a volume down (or previous) button. The multi-function button here can be used to turn on/off the headphones, put them into pairing mode, and trigger the voice assistant.

All three buttons have good tactility, although their placement on the earcup takes a little while to get used to. But once you do, interacting with them becomes easy. We like that the multi-function button is accented, as it makes it easier to identify the button while you have the headphones on.

Below the buttons is a USB Type-C port for charging, and next to it is a microphone that lets you take calls on the headphone. In addition, there’s also an LED between the buttons and the USB port to indicate the wireless connectivity and battery status.

Our unit is in Blue, but you can also get the Sony WH-CH520 in a White, Beige, or Black color.

Sony WH-CH520: Performance and Features

The Sony WH-CH520 use Bluetooth v5.2 for connectivity. They come with a good range (10 meters) and offer Fast Pair and Swift Pair features, which enable quick and effortless pairing with Android smartphones and Windows computers, respectively.

sony wh-ch520 features

Pairing the headphones with Apple devices involves a manual process, which takes a few extra seconds, but once done, they work just fine. We didn’t experience any connection issues with the headphones during our time with them. Nor did they exhibit any noticeable audio-video delay while watching content on a phone or computer or playing games.

A valuable addition to the Sony WH-CH520 headphones—compared to their predecessor—is support for multi-point connection. With this, you can pair the headphones with more than one device at once, after which the headphones automatically switch between them when they detect a change in the audio input.

Sony lets you set this up via its companion app, Sony | Headphones Connect. Doing this is pretty easy, and the feature works as promised. Besides, the Headphones Connect app also helps you manage your connected devices, personalize the EQ to your liking, and access other features. For instance, you can turn on the DSEE option from the companion app if you’re listening to MP3 files on your device. Similarly, there’s the option to prioritize sound quality or connection as the situation demands, and of course, you can also update the headphone’s firmware when it’s available.

sony wh-ch520 price

Talking about noise isolation, even though the Sony WH-CH520 come with more cushioning than their predecessor, they still can’t isolate environmental noises effectively; we wouldn’t complain much, though, since these are on-ear style headphones but a little more isolation would’ve allowed for an even better experience.

Besides, there’s no support for active noise canceling on the headphones—not much to complain about either, considering their price—so these won’t serve you well during commutes. Similarly, the headphones also miss out on the auto-pause feature. It’s a nifty feature that can significantly improve the usability of the headphones, and we feel Sony should’ve added it to the WH-CH520.

Another feature missing on the headphones is the 3.5mm audio jack. The lack of a jack means you can’t use the headphones when they run out of battery, nor can you connect them to an in-flight entertainment system, for instance.

Sony WH-CH520: Sound

Sony has made a name for itself in the audio space by offering a sound signature that resonates well with the taste of the masses. And it continues to remain that way with the WH-CH520 headphones.

sony wh-ch520 sound

The WH-CH520 feature a 30mm driver that delivers good output considering the headphone’s price. It’s a balanced sound signature that keeps everything contained; the highs are well-pronounced, the bass isn’t overpowering, and the mids generally sound clear.

We say “generally” because the mids feel a little mushy in certain tracks, which is very likely because frequencies in other bands creep into the mid-range and make it overcrowded. And as a result, listening to vocal-heavy tracks on these headphones isn’t the best of experiences.

One odd thing that struck us about the WH-CH520’s sound is that it isn’t adequately loud at low volume levels. So if you listen to a track at ~30-35% volume and then crank it up to ~60%, there’s a noticeable change in the tonality, and you’ll notice it also makes the sound livelier as the volume levels increase.

Fortunately, Sony offers support for its companion app—Sony | Headphones Connect—on the WH-CH520, using which we were able to tweak the EQ to get the sound somewhat close to our liking. While custom EQ-ing is one way to do this, you also have the option to select one of the available presets to change how the headphones sound.

Lastly, the Sony WH-CH520 also come with the DSEE feature. For those unaware, DSEE is an upscaling technology that enhances the quality of compressed audio. Sadly, there’s not much you can extra with it, though, if you primarily stream music off the internet.

Sony WH-CH520: Battery Life

sony wh-ch520 battery life

Sony claims a battery life of up to 50 hours on the WH-CH520, which is 15 hours more than their predecessor. While we can’t corroborate the same or give you a number on how long it lasted for us on a single charge, what we can tell you is that our unit came with a 100% charge out of the box, and it took us around two weeks to exhaust it completely.

When the headphones ran out of charge, a quick 5-minute charge topped up the battery for around two more hours of listening time. The headphones support quick charging and come bundled with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging. Sony says it takes around 3 hours of time to charge the battery from 0 to 100%.

Sony WH-CH520 Review: Verdict

sony wh-ch520 review verdict

At USD 38/ Rs 4990, the Sony WH-CH520 get pretty much everything right. They offer good value for money, and you can’t go wrong with them at their current price.

Sure, these aren’t the most comfortable headphones around—partly due to the on-ear design—and they do miss out on some features, as we mentioned above, but considering the price bracket they belong to and the offerings available in India under it, the WH-CH520 make for a good purchase.

However, if comfort is your top priority—and you don’t want to splurge much—you can check out the JBL Tune 710BT. They’re over-ear style headphones priced at Rs 5499 and come with 50 hours of battery, multi-point connection support, and good sound.

If you’re a WH-CH510 user and you need features like multi-point connection and companion app support, then you can consider upgrading to the WH-CH520. Doing so will also give you a more balanced sound (than WH-CH510’s bass-heavy sound) and even longer battery life.

Buy Sony WH-CH520 (USA) Buy Sony WH-CH520 (India)

  • Lightweight design
  • Decent sound
  • Multi-point pairing
  • Excellent battery life
  • Support for companion app
  • Earcups have the tendency to pinch ears
  • Ear cushioning could've been better
  • Noise isolation could be better
  • No 3.5mm jack
Review Overview
Build & Design
Sound quality
Battery Life

Sony has launched the WH-CH520 as the successor to the WH-CH510 headphones with multipoint connection and improved battery life. But are they worth your money for Rs 5990? Find out in our Sony WH-CH520 review.

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