Sony wh ch700n - My Bluetooth Journey

So I wanted to add something of potential value to the forum instead of just taking from it.

Little backstory. My first set of “decent” headphones were the original V-Moda Crossfade Wireless. At least I believed them to be as they cost $300. Fast forward 5 years and I’ve moved on from Vmoda. My original obsession started with trying to find the perfect BT headphone. After much discovery and trial and error… and returns I discovered there really weren’t any that fit the expectations I had. I’ve owned the following

Sony WH-1000XM3 - returned
Sennheiser Momentume V2 - Still own but don’t use. Bought twice. Once new and returned. Found a used pair.
Sony WH CH700N - Use with caveats
Vmoda CF V1 - still own and don’t use
Vmoda CF2 Codec - Returned
Audiotechnica ATH M50xBT - Still own but will start modding

So down the rabbit hole I went learning about bluetooth codecs and the different resolution that each one was capable of. I was amazed that most bluetooth codecs are almost buried in the specifications and hard to find. I also found out that the only way that you get the higher res codecs to work is if both source and headphone contain the same codec. I was searching for a great sounding BT headphone. Noise cancellation wasn’t a requirement but seems to be included in just about every higher end offering.

Sony WH-1000XM3 - Hated the sound out of the box. Sounded to me like a VModa M100 with the bass completely covering up the mids. Fine, there was an app with an EQ. EQ’d and got it where I liked. Noise cancellation was adjustable but I almost always turned it off because if affected the sound.
The more aggressively I turned up the noise cancelling the more it put pressure on my ear. Ultimately returned. Codecs supported: All

Sennheiser Momentum 2 - Love the build and weight. Love the usage as a work tool. Didn’t care for the sound. Even when I EQ’d I felt like I was missing something. Frequency range is more limiting on these than some of the others. Supported AAC and Aptx and SBC I believe. Ultimately I put them back in the box and up on Facebook marketplace. Still haven’t sold.

Vmoda CF V1 - Loved them until I heard something else. They’re in their case on the shelf. Codec: SBC

Vmoda CF2 Codec - Sounded much better than the V1 but super expensive for what they are. Returned. Codecs: Aptx and AAC

Audiotechnica ATH M50xBT - Sounded great initially then much too bright for extended use. Mids feel recessed and veiled. Still have. Will try to mod. Codecs AptX and AAC

Sony WH-CH700N - Hated them initally. Super bright with zero bass. Even turning the “clear bass” all the way up on their app resulted in a barely listenable experience. Don’t get me started on the “clear bass” either. I purchased 2 pairs of these that were either open box or b stock for $60/piece so I couldn’t return one. I gave one to my daughter and tweaked the EQ as far as I could and she loves them. So I just hung them up and didn’t use them. After researching pad replacements for the AT’s I saw that aftermarket pads for the AT’s would work on the Sony’s. So after some research on how different pad materials can affect the sound, I purchased some thick protein leather oval pads. And my goodness this changed everything. Bass was fuller and deeper. I could finally back it off from the max setting and it quelled the treble just enough to still have detail and presence but not sound like finger nails on a chalk board. They’re super light and calls on them are great. And the noise cancelling is just right. Knocks out a bit of external noise and with a push of the button it “samples” ambient noise and then adjusts the NC. Can use them mowing. These also include all codecs accept for LDAC but for my use case scenario it’s unnecessary. These are the ones I grab to go grocery shopping or get on a web meeting. The pads are now comfortable and have changed the sound enough that I truly enjoy them. I also much preferred the controls to the 1000xm3. The former includes tactile buttons and no swiping. I found that the 1000xm3 didn’t really work all that well when I tried. Could be my dry cracked fingers though.

The other route I went was purchasing an Earstudio M100 Mk 2. This gives me a to! n of functionality (usb dac, headphone amp, even preamp and BT addition to existing amps) and a better codec. But when I just want to grab something I grab the Sony’s so I don’t have to worry about cords.

It was a long journey and it ended with a set I thought wouldn’t even be in contention. Just some food for thought if you want a non critical BT headphone that can be used for work and is comfortable as heck (after the pad change).

They can be had new for less than $130 now and much less used or open box.

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I just bought the Sony [WH-1000XM3 cans last week. Yesterday I was ready to return them. I thought the same as you. The bass was boomy and overpowered everything else. I was running them on Bluetooth off my Samsung S9+. So I go into developer mode and check out the Bluetooth codec. It was on aptx (no aptxHD) 16/41. I switched it to LDAC and 24/96 and rebooted to be sure and WOW!!. It was night and day. The bass was powerful but tight and the mid and highs were all there. They just became my favourite OE headphones, over the Bose and Nuraphones. LDAC bluetooth supports 24/96.

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So glad you liked them. I probably could have learned to enjoy them but I had to do so much fiddling with the app and at the price I paid I took them back. They’re almost universally regarded as one of the best sounding BT can available. When they go on sale under $200 or if I see a used pair I may get them again