H3, H7, H9 Gaming Headsets, M3 and M9 Monitor Features

PlayStation is no longer Sony’s only gaming brand. The tech giant today announced a new gaming brand called Inzone aiming to expand beyond the console market.

Similar to other gaming brands like Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG), Acer’s Predator, and Lenovo’s Legion, the Inzone brand will largely focus on gear for PC gaming. Some products will have PlayStation compatible features because it would be silly not to incorporate some of that brand’s expertise.

Inzone H3, H7 and H9 Gaming Headset — Sony isn’t new to gaming headsets. For PlayStation, Sony has released a myriad of gaming headsets, including the Pulse 3D for the PlayStation 5.

For Inzone, there’s a new trio of gaming headsets that look right at home with the white and black aesthetic of the PS5; these headsets all work with PC and PS5. At the low end, there’s the Inzone H3, a $99 wired PC headset; the mid-range Inzone H7 is a $229 wireless headset with up to 40 hours of battery life; The Inzone H9 is a $299 wireless headset with up to 32 hours, but has nicer materials like “soft leather” for the ear cups and headband padding.

Sony’s new Inzone gaming brand launches with three headsets from the same family. From left to right: the wireless H9 and H7, and the wired H3.sony

All three headsets should sound roughly the same with increased spatial sound. The H7 and H9 are more convenient with their wireless USB adapter and Bluetooth support. And the H9 has the added benefit of plush comfort and digital noise-canceling technology; it’s clear that the H9 was inspired by Sony’s WH-1000XM5 active noise canceling headphones.

A nice feature on the H7 and H9 is the ability to wirelessly switch between voice chat (i.e. Discord), calls and music. while Game.

For PS5 owners, Inzone headsets support the console’s Tempest 3D audio and include on-screen status indicators for features like connection status, volume, power level, and more. battery, mic mute/unmute, and game and chat balance. Basically, it doesn’t have any of the flaws of third-party headsets like the very good SteelSeries Arctis 7P+.

Inzone M3 and M9 Gaming Monitors — These new Sony monitors aren’t a repeat of the ill-fated PlayStation 3D display (not to be confused with the PlayStation TV, a mini-console that played PS Vita games and streamed digital content). Instead of a fancy 3D display, the Inzone M3 and M9 gaming monitors prioritize significant features gamers want, such as high resolution, color, and refresh rates.

The Inzone M3 and M9 gaming monitors share similarities such as their 27-inch size, 1ms GtG (gray-to-gray) IPS, VRR (variable refresh rate) over HDMI 2.1, and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility. Both monitors also have features specifically designed for automatic PS5 and KVM switching (keyboard, video, mouse) and USB-C (DP alt mode).

The differences are in resolution, brightness and color. The Inzone M3, which will sell for $529 when it launches in “Winter 2022”, has Full HD resolution, but a higher 240Hz refresh rate; it’s capable of reaching 400 nits of peak brightness (DisplayHDR 400) and covers 99% of the sRGB color gamut. The Inzone M9 ($899 and available this summer) has 4K resolution, but a lower refresh rate of 144Hz; it features full local dimming and can reach 600 nits of peak brightness (DisplayHDR 600) and covers 95% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

The M3 and M9 look identical, but one is a 240Hz Full HD panel and the other is a 144Hz 4K monitor. sony

The benefits of high resolution, color and refresh rates really don’t need to be elaborated on. But full local dimming isn’t a display technology that many are familiar with. Essentially, it’s the backlight system inside a display that makes bright areas brighter with increased reflections, dark areas darker with more contrast (but brighter), and colors more vivid. I previewed the Inzone M9 against competing gaming monitors in the same class and the Sony ones definitely looked better.

Inzone gaming monitors come with several features that PC gamers will appreciate, including Inzone Hub software (Windows 10 and 11) for configuring the On-Screen Display (OSD) menu and configuring picture settings and sound for specific games. There are also a bunch of Gaming Assist features, including “FPS game picture mode” which boosts brightness and contrast to make enemies more visible; there’s a “Black Equalizer” mode that brings out details in shadows to make enemy observation easier; on-screen features include a reticle to improve “aiming speed and accuracy”, a timer in the top corner of the screen, and a frame rate counter.

If you have a PS5, Inzone monitors support automatic HDR tone mapping, which allows the console to automatically optimize HDR for increased clarity. There’s also an “auto genre picture” mode that toggles the settings between game and cinema modes depending on whether you’re playing games or watching movies.

If Inzone does not take, it will not damagePlayStation’s reputation.

Careful extension of the PC — You might be wondering why Sony doesn’t just release these headphones and monitors under its existing gaming brand, PlayStation. You know, a brand that’s already established. And the answer is probably very simple: if Inzone doesn’t make itself known, it won’t hurt PlayStation’s reputation. Sony starts with headsets and gaming monitors, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Sony expanded into keyboards, mice, and other devices and accessories. Razer has become a billion-dollar gaming brand; there’s clearly an opportunity here for Sony to do anything and everything gamers might want.

As Sony carries more of its exclusive games like God of the war on PC, it’s only natural that the PlayStation brand wouldn’t fit. Unlike Microsoft’s pivot to rebrand Xbox as a service that works on any device with Game Pass, PlayStation is still synonymous with console gaming.

I tested the H3 and H9 headsets with an M9 monitor, using them on both PC and PS5, and the pairing is perfect, which isn’t surprising considering they’re designed to work together . Sound is terrific on the H9 headphones and the M9 monitor is stunning enough to blow me away from my Apple Studio Display. We’ll have reviews for Inzone headsets and monitors in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Edward N. Arrington