Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trusted Reviews investigates the Sennheiser RS 170 wireless headphones

Good thorough review of the Sennheiser RS 170 Kleer-based wireless headphones from March 2010 on the Trusted Reviews website. Does an excellent job of reviewing the RS 170s, and as he's used other wireless audio technology headphones (infrared, FM radio), he has a pretty good idea of what wireless cans should sound like, and not sound like. 

Favorite quote: "It’s no coincidence that several people I know who have become dads in the last few years now swear by their wireless cans. It’s the only way they get to watch the movies they want to watch at the volumes they like to watch them without waking up the kids (or getting an earful from their worn-out other halves)."

I can believe it, especially as the RS 170 wireless headphones are designed for watching the television as the latency is low enough that there is no lip-synch problems. Still, for those who want to use these to play guitar, you will notice the latency. Still, these weren't designed for musicians, but for audiophiles and couch potatoes (especially dads with wee ones) who want to watch their favorite movies or tv shows without the wires. 

Another excellent excerpt: "The closed-back design does a great job of shutting out the outside world, though a small amount of sound leaks out, and also ensures a decent bass response, which you can always beef up with the bass boost. I’ve heard more articulate and well-defined low-ends before, but the RS 170s handled poppy electronic tracks from Royskopp and small group jazz from The Bill Evans trio equally well, and there was no shortage of raunch when I switched to rockier material from Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam. The mid-range sounds ever so slightly boxed-in, but there’s plenty of detail there and in the high-end."

So, yeah, higher end, more expensive headphones, you will get full range. But you do have to pay much more for those headphones. And as far as I know, all of those are wired. 

And his closing line: "There’s an awful lot to love about the RS 170s, and very little to dislike. In fact, my one complaint would be that the volume controls are hard to locate by touch alone, and that you have to remove the headphones to change it. This, I think, is pretty small beer, and when set against the excellent sound quality and wireless performance, not worth worrying about. Sure, the RS 170s are three times as expensive as some budget wireless headphones, but to my mind the premium price is just about worth it. Think of them as a long-term investment, giving you your music and movies as you like them, and the rest of your household a spot of peace."

Heard the complaint about the small buttons from other people, but I've also read that you get pretty used to them, so at first it's a hassle, but then becomes a bit of a no-brainer. 

Looks too like they've come down in price. 

And as these wireless headphones use Kleer wireless audio technology and not Bluetooth, you hear uncompressed, lossless, CD-quality digital stereo audio. You can pair these Kleer-based wireless headphones with other Kleer-based transmitters from other manufacturers as well. And up to four people can listen to one transmitter at the same time.

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