I’ve been wearing mostly earbuds for the last few years, often relying on my AirPods Pro (Gen 2) whenever I’m at home on work calls or flying, but due to the PS5 not having Bluetooth audio support, I’ve been longing for a great solution in this space, and that’s where the Sony INZONE Buds come in.
These not only feel like a great set of earbuds, but are industry leading in a lot of areas, even when looking at other earbuds on the market.
As far as connectivity goes, you can connect to your PS5 or PC with a little USB-C dongle that’s included in the case and you’ll get a low latency of less than 30 ms when connecting with the dongle. The best part about these being a Sony product is that like other INZONE headsets, these take full advantage of the PS5 UI, so you get to see when you’re muting the headset, can see your game/chat balance and battery life as well.
Bluetooth is also included, but here’s where it gets a little bit weird. The buds only take advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy. This is good and bad depending on what device you have. Whilst some devices that have released on the market support Bluetooth LE, the INZONE Buds support it exclusively meaning that you can only use it with a few high-end Android devices such as the Google Pixel 7/8 and Samsung Galaxy S23/Z Fold 4/Z Flip 4. This means that if you’re an iPhone user, or want to use them with your Switch you simply can’t without using the dongle, which works, but isn’t as good of an experience.
I do applaud Sony for going with the next generation of Bluetooth, as I expect it’ll be picked up in the very near future and it does have its benefits. When it comes to battery life, you can expect a massive 24 hours just in the buds themselves, and an additional 24 hours from the case. This is a massive 48 hours when using Bluetooth. When you’re connected to your PS5 or PC using the dongle, it’s still a massive 12 hours with just the buds themselves and 24 hours with the case as well.
The INZONE Buds also have really great noise cancellation, with you able to switch between noise cancelling off, transparency mode and full active noise cancelling. It also brings over the feature from Sony’s headset line which includes quickly holding over the buds to let in noise for a brief second if you’re in the middle of a conversation. The noise cancelling is really great, and obviously a lot of the noise is already muffled by the fact that you’re using in-ear buds, but it really takes it an extra level.
Sound quality as a whole is really great with a good amount of clarity and base coming through the buds. If you’re playing on PC, you can take advantage of 360 Spatial Audio with the ability to personalise based on a photo of your ear using the app. The microphone is about as good as you’d expect for buds, with AI noise cancelling taking away a lot of the background noise. It’s not going to win any awards, but it’s more than serviceable.
The comfort of the actual buds are great as well, with four tip sizes included and the INZONE hub can also tell you if you’re wearing the right one based on noise leak. The physical controls consist of just one button on each earbud, but you can customise it to up to four presses as well as holding it, and it works much better than expected once you get the hang of it.
The INZONE app is exclusive to PC, which I’m a little bit mixed on. It’s a fantastic app and lets you really customise every single facet of the earbuds down to what the physical controls do, to EQ settings to what mode turns on when you first boot them, but I’d love to see them come to a mobile phone app or even the ability to control them via the PS5.