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VINE VOICEon September 21, 2007
I can't believe that I haven't found reviews for this product! I got a system so my wife could listen to the TV while watching in bed and not have the sound disturb others. I got this one because -1- it is RF as opposed to infrared so if she goes into another room she can still hear the sound, -2- has "drop-in" inductive charging of the rechargeable batteries as opposed to teeny-tiny contacts, -3- is from a well-known manufacturer as opposed to some off-brand, -4- it had switch-able frequencies to diminish the chance of interference with other 900MHz devices (I had to look at Sony's website for that), -5- the price is reasonable because of the quality reputation of Sony, and -6- it was available from [...] as opposed to some fly-by night company.
I was very pleased to find that it had arrived with the right cable (mini stereo to RCA L&R plugs) AND it works with devices that have RCA jacks OR mini stereo jacks because the transmitter has both types! We are fortunate that the TV has a headphone jack (unusual for the size of the tube) and it cuts off the TV speaker.
The sound in the headphones is amazing - so much better than sound from the speakers in any of the TVs in the house. I may get some of these instead of a surround-sound system for the family room.
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on May 4, 2009
These Sony headphones are my fourth try with wireless headphones, and these Sonys are the best so far. My first wireless headphones were IR based (infrared), which left me totally underwhelmed in terms of sound quality and line-of-sight range. My next phones were Sony's older 900Mhz RF model, which I used regularly for at least three years until last week. These new RF925RK headsets are like awesome compared to the older Sony set. There is little or no background noise (dead quiet), and the ear pads are larger so they completely cover the ears. In fact, the inner ear pads are ergonomically profiled to fit over the ear (asymmetrical - left and right are different). The new Sony uses an induction charging base, which sure beats the heck out of the previous method of lining up those tiny contact pins -- always a hassle. Sound fidelity is not my principal concern, as I am not an audiophile, but clarity and richness is appreciated. These Sony phones sound terrific! Oh, one other thing. I can't stress enough how important it is that Sony wireless Rf phones turn themselves off automatically when you removed them from your head. Also, the Sony rechargable AAA batteries can be replaced with regular Alkaline AAAs in a in case you forget to charge-up these phones.
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on October 27, 2007
Having a hearing loss we had to keep the T V louder than normal. This solved the problem as the family can listen to the T V at normal level, and I can hear with the wireless headphones. And they are glad that I no longer ask, "what did they say?"

The reception quality is good, and walking to different rooms, I did not loose reception.

I hooked the transmitter to the T V using the extra audio jacket on the T V. This way the T V sound stays on. This was not in the hook up information instructions. If you hook the receiver to the phone jack, it disables the T V speakers.

A connecting cord (phone plug, stereo miniplug) comes with it. I bought an extra one. That way I plugged the connecting cord into the headset jack on the radio, and the other one into headset jack on the receiver of the headless phone. This way I can leave the transmitter (which holds the headset also) in one spot. If both the radio and TV are on at the same time, you can just disconnet one, otherwise when listening to only one, you just pick up the headset, and it turns on automatically, and you don't have to do anything.

For the price, it can't be beat.
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on May 31, 2009
My Background: University degreed in electonics

(1) Problems:
Excessive popping sounds. Many reasons and theories on the Internet about popping sounds in wireless headphones. After a great deal of trouble shooting, I found that the power on/off switch in the headband was the culprit. The switch and assembly are as designed and manufactured properly HOWEVER, the switch is 'cheap' and momentary, i.e., when a small plunger in the switch is depressed the power goes on; off when the plunger is released. The switch is activated when the headset is put on causing a small slide to depress the plunger when the headband is set onto the head. Yes I did take it apart. I replaced the switch with an external manual operated on/off switch and the popping is gone. The problem is two-fold the provided switch is 'cheap' and the whole headset mechanism must have been designed and tested by a people with large heads full of hair. I wear hat size 7 1/4 and am bald. When the headset is positioned over my ears, the provided momentaty switch barely closes and any motion on my part causes it to turn off/on and pop. REALLY BAD DESIGN.

(2) A tingling shock whenever I picked up the base unit. Plastic case and pretty much DC so why a tingling shock? Yes I took it apart. I found that the component pigtails of the printed wiring board contacted the outer case and that the grounds associated with the RCA jacks connecting the base unit to the TV set were also touching the case. The plastic case is an insulator but is quite prone to electrostatic build up which in turn acts as a conductor between the TV set and itself. Trimming all of the 'long' pigtails solved the shocking problem. Really BAD MANUFACTURE.

I DEFINITELY DO NOT RECOMMEND BUYING THIS PRODUCT.
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on October 24, 2011
(UPDATE-3/27/14; The SENNHEISER HDR 110 ARE EVEN BETTER! Have BOTH now, BOTH are awesome!! However, the new technology has caused both to be discontinued, & if you prefer to try them, that's the BEST way to go, BASED ON MAJORITY OF MANY REVIEWS-not just a few, so make sure any others were REVIEWED 5 STAR BY MANY!
I will eventually try new tech. Or U can SAVE $$ & find 1 of these {IF they are indeed cheaper than new tech. ONLY! I mean, how can this beat the newest technology, after 3 years?}

The newest MUST be perfect-??? However, These both are ALL WE REALLY NEED/DESIRE IF "close to perfect/price" is sufficient but BEWARE; PRICES MAY JUMP AFTER DISCONTINUED, DUE TO SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE TOO!! I PAID $49.00/$44.00 for them on amazon!)

Now, my ORIGINAL REVIEW from 2011;

After reading some of the negative reviews I easily discovered the problems were from most of the reviewers, not these headphones. The most common, "Crackling & popping". Reading the positive reviews I learned to resolve that. Simply lower the headphones volume & increase the sources' volume#Surround sound receiver,Tv,Ipod etc.# & no hissing,popping-just complete silence when there's no sound production & perfectly balanced, full & crystal clear sound when there is. After returning many wireless headphones through the years, the most recent a Sennheiser 140.00 pair, I decided to try these based on how cool the setup is & the features. The cloth earpads are absolutely perfect & the 1st pair I can wear for hours without my ears getting numb & sweaty. The self adjusting headband is brilliant, just put them on your head & that's it, they're set perfectly. Sounds as good as my 2500.00 surround sound system, which I source out of, of course. But even from my TV they sound awesome. The charger light goes off when fully charged, they turn off automatically when I take them off as long as you don't put any pressure on the headband which has the on/off built in. If I have 1 complaint it would be a bit of lack of bass, but that's common in most inexpensive headphones, under 200.00 You can also use your own aaa batteries if the battery pack dies during use, then charge when not in use. But if you simply place them into the charger after you're done using they'll be fine as they cannot be overcharged. The charger has a built in timer & shuts off when battery pack is full. Worth much more than I paid & all I can add is "FINALLY-Gr8 WIRELESS Headphones"!!!
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on March 7, 2012
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NOTE: THE BASE STATION CAN CHARGE STANDARD AAA Ni-MH RECHARGEABLES. If you open the L side panel, you can see the battery pack that's included. It's fairly low capacity at only 550mAh. All it really is, is a pair of cheapo garbage Sony AAAs in a plastic shell. However, if you try to just put in higher capacity Eneloops, you may have noticed that when placed on the charging station, it won't charge. This is by design to prevent people from accidentally charging alkaline batteries.

If you look carefully in the battery compartment, you can see a small shark tooth shaped lever. The battery pack that is included pushes this lever down when inserted, and completes the charging circuit that allows the headphones to use the base station's charging function. If you take a small dab of super glue and coat the switch and then push it down with a toothpick and hold it there for 30 seconds or so, that's enough to secure it permanently. This will allow you to charge any batteries you want with the base station.
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I bought two of these in 2011 for myself and have used them for about half a year now, so I feel I have enough hours on it to give a useful informative review.

First, the pros:
Comfortable earpads - The ear pads are thicker in the rear and thinner in the front. This ensures the headphones completely cover your ears while not pressing on them. This makes them extremely comfortable to wear even for long sessions. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD201s and those have even padding all around and really hurts my ears after prolonged use.

Easy recharging - Simply drop the earphones on the charge/transmitter station and it charges.
Takes standard batteries - Can use standard rechargeable batteries instead of the "proprietary" Sony 2xAAA battery pack. *SEE NOTE

Frequency lock - Much easier to manage than an analog dial, and eliminates 99% of noise that would result from frequencies that aren't perfectly matched up. Also prevents frequency wandering when the batteries are low.

And now the cons:
Signal loss / popping noises - Because the headphones use a frequency lock design, the signal is either prefect or non-existent. In realistic terms, this means that while standard wireless headphones would become staticy at long ranges, these headphones will continually connect and drop when it starts losing the signal, making them unusable. This also happens when the batteries are low. If you experience issue, charge up or change the batteries first to see if that's the problem. Also, when the headphones lose the signal it will try to reconnect automatically. When it does, you hear an audible pop. While it's not so bad by itself, when it starts to lose signal continuously like in the above situations, the popping becomes extremely annoying.

Automatic on/off - This sounds like a good idea on paper, but is executed poorly. While it might seem like a good idea to attach the on/off switch to a spring in the headband, this assumes that the wearer is always going to be sitting or standing straight up. If you try to lie down, lay back in your sofa, or rest your head on a pillow, it will lift the unit slightly off your head and allow the spring to pull the switch back into the off position. A manual on/off switch would have been much more practical.
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on August 17, 2009
I bought these headphones about two weeks ago. They go back tomorrow.

Pros: They are very comfortable and the sound is wonderful. Stereo really stands out.

Cons:

1. The battery charge function never did work. I left the unit on the charger for 3 days, well past the 16 hours recommended, and the battery pack never did take a charge.

2. I used my own batteries for a while. It worked fine - for a little while. Once the cover of the left earpiece was removed to put in my own batteries, it wouldn't stay on. It would pop off at the most inopportune times. The last time sealed the deal. The piece fell behind my wall unit and I had to unload the entire unit to get it.

3. Finally, the auto on/off feature failed. It would cut in/out every 2 seconds or so. This drove me nuts. Now the earphones are totally useless.

One last thought. This is a very large system. You better have a lot of room.
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on November 19, 2008
This was my second shot at Sony wireless headphones. I have considerable hearing loss and I use them watching while TV so I don't have to have the TV sound up too loud for other people around me.

The first set was one of the earlier models that were replaced once under warranty when they failed completely. The replacement for the first ones stopped working shortly after the warranty expired. In spite of that, I figured I would give Sony another try with the MDR-RF925RK.

They were no better than the previous model that I had --- in fact they were worse. They came up with a scheme of recharging by induction rather that by direct contacts --- and guess what? I doesn't work. The headphones never reached a full charge condition in the week that I had them.

They also suffered from the same problem as the original set I had. The were noisy and made popping and hissing sounds when you moved your head. In short they were completely useless unless you are willing to put up with a LOT of noise. I even went so far as to put an extension on the line feeding them so they were just a few feet away from me -- they were still noisy.

I sent them back and purchased the Sennheiser RS120 to take their place. Although I liked the fit and auto ON/OFF features of the Sonys, the Sennheiser RS120s are much better because of the lack of the extraneous noises that I got with the Sonys.

Sorry Sony - but you blew it on these headphones.
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on November 18, 2011
The operating instructions included for this model is for both the Sony MDR-RF925RK 900 MHz Analog RF Wireless Headphone and the Sony MDRRF970RK 900 MHz Analog RF Wireless Headphone. These are similar units with some differences mentioned below. This review will be for both models because after purchasing the MDR-RF925RK, I decided to order the MDR-RF970RK to see if it was worth the extra money for the noise reduction technology. In the final analysis, I prefer the 925.

Some consumers complain about some hiss or pops. I have experienced this also, but much of this is inherent with all 900 Mhz systems. I do get more "pops" than other systems, probably because of the auto on/off switch mechanism in the headset, but the pops are not real frequent so it is not a big problem for me. My primary use is for listening to television when other family members want it quiet. I do not find the hiss or pops to be a very big problem. Usually hiss goes away by tilting ones head a little or repositioning on the couch. The hiss is more of a problem when the audio is quiet. I have need for three or more headsets and find it too cost prohibitive to purchase higher end headsets that might cost more than $200 each. So for my needs, these headphones are adequate, despite occaisional problems with hiss or pops.

These headphones are very nice looking and fit nicely into their base for charging. The charging system uses a contactless method of charging, Electromagnetic Induction. There are two arrows, one on the headset and one on the base, that are suppose to be aligned for charging. It is hardly necessary to look at them because the headset drops nicely into the base and lines up pretty much automatically. A red light on the base comes on if the headset is placed properly and charging. Nice.

When the headset is fully charged, the red light goes off. When the headset is removed, the light comes on green instead of red to indicate that it has power for transmitting.

The headset comes on automatically when the headset is placed on the head. When the headset is removed, it automatically turns on. A small red light on the headset comes on when the headset is on. I found this mechanism to be fine. I never had problems with the headsets not turning on or off as designed. However, this design combined with another feature wherein the base automatically turns off when audio has been off for more than 10 minutes created a little bit of annoyance. There would be a little delay in the base detecting the audio signal and kicking on. So, when the headset is first placed on my head, it would initially seem like it was not working. After about 5 seconds of just leaving the headset on my head, it would kick on and I would realize it was fine. The first few times, I pulled the headset off to look at it, forgetting that doing so would cause it to turn off. I am kind of use to it now, but at first it was a little annoying.

The base has two different inputs: 1) a stereo RCA input and 2) a 1/8" stereo phone plug input. These connectors are reversed from what one might expect. The RCA inputs are actually low input plugs, and the stereo phone input is meant to receive high signal input. I assume this was done so that Sony could include one cable to connect either situation. The cable included has a 1/8th stereo phone plug at one end, and two RCA connectors at the other end. So, if you are connecting to a headset plug on a computer using the 1/8" stereo phone jack, which is a low output signal, it connects on the other end to the RCA connectors on the base. If connecting from a line out RCA on a receiver or television, which is a high output signal, the cable is reversed, so the 1/8" stereo plug goes into the headphone transmitter base. All this makes one have to think carefully when hooking up several headphone systems together using one's own standard cables. I would have preferred Sony had designed the base unit to use standard connectors.

The volume dial is easy to find and use while wearing the headset because the plastic is molded up around it a bit. I really like this because volume dials on other headsets are often hard to locate or are confused with other switches. About the only thing I ever want to touch while wearing the headset is the volume control, and the design here makes this easy.

The biggest problem I have with both headsets is that they are rather uncomfortable on the ears after long periods. The ear pads do not fit completely over the ear, but press down on part of the ear. I have another headphone from another manufacturer that are more comfortable. Nevertheless, this other set is much uglier. Small people or children may not experience this uncomfortableness. The ear pads are removeable and can be replaced if they get damaged.

Differences between the MDR-RF925RK and MDR-RF970RK.

The 970 has noise reduction technology through the use of audio compression. The base compresses the audio before sending the signal to the headset. The headset uncompresses the audio. The thinking here is that the compressed transmission is less likely to pick up noise during transmission. The 970 does seem a little quieter, but not so much that I when I have both headsets available to me, that I would pick up the 970 before the 925.

The 970 also has three channels that are selectable at the base. The headset is different from the 925 in that instead of a three position switch, it has a push button which auto tunes when it is pressed. I prefer the three button switch just so I can look for myself to see if I have it on the same channel as the base. Sometimes with the 970, I could not get it to work for a bit. I had to keep pushing the tune button, then remove the headset from my head to turn it off, then press the auto tune button, then put back on my head and press the auto tune button. Do I press it when it is on my head or off my head? The instructions were not clear and I still am not sure. Eventually they started working, but this little annoyance makes me prefer the 925 over the 970.

The 970 does not last as long on the battery as the 925. For one hour of charge time, the 925 lasts for 1 hour but the 970 lasts only 40 minutes. A full charge is considered to take 16 hours. The usage time after a full charge for the 925 is 18 hours, but the 970 only lasts 14 hours.

The 970 also comes with a 1/8" phone to 1/4" phone plug adapter, which the 925 does not include.

Alkaline AAA batteries also can be used instead of the included rechargeable battery pack. The charging system, however, does not allow using other Nickel-Metal Hydride rechargeable AAA batteries. You must buy the BP-HP550-11 pack to use rechargeables.

Overall, I really like these headphones and recommend their purchase. I prefer the 925 over the 970 because it costs less and the auto tune button on the 970 is a little annoying, but I am keeping both units and may purchase another 925 unit in the future.
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on July 27, 2012
I purchased two of these because my wife and I have a newborn and we want to watch movies in the same room as our baby girl without disturbing her.
When I got the package I set them to charge overnight. I tested them after charging about 14 hours. When I listened the sound coming out was good except for one seemingly minor problem. I heard a repetitive ticking noise every 2 or 3 seconds. It sounded as if there was a slow (and extremely loud) clock inside the headset. Both headsets had this problem. I unhooked it from the sound to see if it was the input and the ticking noise continued even when unhooked. I tried all three channels and the ticking noise continued. I moved rooms to one without electronics and the tick persisted. I turned off my wireless router and it persisted. In fact there were only 3 ways to remove the ticking noise... have the channel on the headset not match the channel on the base (which means you don't get any sound)... turn the volume to silent (which means you don't get any sound)... or to remove power from the base (which means you don't get any sound).
So basically I only had the option to hear a persistant and annoying tick or to return the headset. I opted to return. I am highly disappointed with Sony because this was the first low-quality yet somewhat pricy item I've purchased from them.
Also, another problem with this headset is its power-saving feature. What looks like an adjustable strap is not. It is in fact the on/off switch. You see, when you put the headphones on it turns them on... when you take them off it turns them off. This seems like a good feature, unless you don't have an overly large head. I always thought I had a large head and have been commented on by others saying such a thing. When I put the headset on I barely activated the on switch and if I moved too much they would turn off. My wife couldn't even activate the on switch because her head is too small... so this product, even without the tick, would not have worked for her.
If you want a simple headset that works properly... don't get this headset. If you don't mind a loud clock ticking in your ear at precise intervals around 2-3 seconds, and you don't mind getting a twist-tie to keep the head-switch pulled all the way up (on)... then maybe this is for you.
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