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Sennheiser RS 170 Digital Wireless Headphones (Discontinued By Manufacturer)
- Closed circumaural digital wireless headphones
- Dynamic headphones with clear and detailed audio reproduction
- Multi-purpose transmitter also functions as an "easy charge" cradle and docking station
- Multi-receiver transmission for up to 4 people to listen from the same source
- Dynamic bass and surrond sound listening modes
- Not compatible with Bluetooth technology
- The product generates stronger permanent magnetic fields that could cause interference with cardiac pacemakers and implanted defibrillators (ICDs).
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Wireless headphones come in many shapes and sizes but few offer better a home theater performance than the Sennheiser RS 170. This wireless headphone system is made up of a pair of wireless headphones (HDR 170) and a multi-purpose transmitter (TX 170) which also functions as an 'easy-charge' cradle and docking station. The RS 170 also features a Dynamic Bass Boost and Surround Sound simulation mode for edge-of-your-seat excitement with your favorite music and movies.
From the Manufacturer
Wireless headphones come in many shapes and sizes but few offer better home theater performance than the Sennheiser RS 170. This wireless headphone system is made up of a pair of wireless headphones (HDR 170) and a multi-purpose transmitter (TX 170) which also functions as an 'easy-charge' cradle and docking station. The RS 170 also features a Dynamic Bass Boost and Surround Sound simulation mode for edge-of-your-seat excitement with your favorite music and movies.
There's no setup needed--simply plug the transmitter's cable into your HDTV or home theater system's output and you're ready to go. The wireless headphones operate on 2 AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries, which are included. The transmitter also acts as a charging stand for the headphones when not in use, and can fully recharge depleted headphone batteries in about 16 hours.
KLEER Wireless Audio
The RS 170 utilizes KLEER's lossless digital wireless audio transmission, offering a range of up to 260 feet for audiophile-grade sound and reception to four optional pairs of Sennheiser KLEER headphones. Never fuss with tuning again thanks to automatic, interference-free pairing between the headphone and transmitter. KLEER technology will not interfere with wireless networks or other 2.4GHz devices. Up to 4 compatible Sennhesier KLEER heaphones can be paired with the same transmitter for private listening for multiple individuals.
Audiophile-level transducer systems with powerful neodymium magnets deliver clear and detailed audio reproduction. An exceptionally detailed, full-bodied sound reproduction is pumped into the listeners ears, filling the sealed, private earcups with liquid smooth audio. Selectable Dynamic Bass Boost delivers deep, slamming bass response on demand, while Selectable Surround Sound simulation provides immersing depth for a state-of-the-art movie theater experience. The headphones' leatherette earpads and headband cushions deliver outstanding comfort while their closed, around-the-ear design prevents sound leakage.
For more than 60 years the name Sennheiser has stood for the highest quality products and customised solutions across all areas of sound recording, transmission and reproduction. As one of the world's leading providers of integrated solutions for electro-acoustic products, systems and services, Sennheiser constantly meets the challenges of developing creative answers which satisfy the requests and requirements of customers.
What's in the Box?
Sennheiser HDR 170 headphone, TR 170 transmitter/charging station, multi-country AC wall adapter, detachable audio cable, 1/8" female to RCA male audio adapter, 1/8" female to 1/4" inch male audio adapter, 2 AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries, operating instructions, warranty.
- Carrier frequency: 2.4 - 2.8 GHz (auto selecting)
- Range: Up to 260 feet
- Operating time: Up to 24 hours per charge
- Audio input: 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo headphone plug (includes 1/4" and RCA adapters)
- Transducer type: Sealed
- Headphone type: Circumaural
- Sound pressure level (SPL): 110 dB
- Total harmonic distortion (THD): <0.5% a 1 kHz
- Signal-to-noise-ratio: 85 dBA (0,5 Vrms, 1 kHz)
- Frequency response (headphones): 18 Hz - 21,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Charging time: 16 hours
- Battery: 2 x AAA size NiMH rechargeable batteries
- Dimensions (transmitter): 4.7" x 4.3" x 9"
- Weight (transmitter): 7.6 oz (216g)
- Weight (headset): 7.6 oz (216g)
Top customer reviews
1) ZERO interference, static, or "hiss", or lag time between sound and screen
2) REASONABLE distance without losing signal (I think 50 ft from your TV is quite reasonable)
3) PERFECT no loss sound and deep bass as I expect from a quality surround sound system while watching a movie
This headset meets all 3 requisite criteria. You can stop reading. Really.
Ok, apparently you need more, due diligence = happiness I suppose. I have purchased 2 wireless RF headsets (as a reminder, this is not an RF headset) in the past from Amazon. With RF, you will ALWAYS have static. It is a fact of life, the end. No matter how much you spend on an RF headset, you will have interference and the constant "hiss". Trust me, I know, THE END. Yes, there will be one guy who responds to this review saying that his magical RF headset has no interference. Ok, buy that one. This review is not for you. Stop reading now. This review is for the guys/gals who research until their eyes bleed to ensure that the product they are purchasing is top quality. I can walk the entirety of my home listening to movies at full blast through the headsets with 100% ZERO interference (yes, I have a wife and child who prefer not to have R rated movies blaring at max volume while they are sleeping, which I why I bought this product). I stream from a Roku and Boxee Box (the greatest invention ever/cannot BELIEVE they no longer make this, I bought three (yes, literally 3) just in case Boxee 1 and 2 died and they are no longer available in the universe) with the base of the headset sitting right next to them and IT DOES NOT impact the wifi strength or streaming quality (Note: I do not have a crappy wifi router, I have a ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router because I am serious about home networking/streaming/NAS. If you have a crappy wifi router, I cannot help you. Likewise, if you prefer to listen to your music/movies with your headphones on with your head in a microwave and complain that there is interference, I cannot help you. This review is not for you. Stop reading now.).
To dispel one of the common cons other reviewers have cited. "The buttons on the headset are SOOOOOOOO confusing. I wish they had a volume wheel instead of buttons for my clumsy fingers!!!!" RIDICULOUS. The reason why they have buttons is because the geniuses at Sennheiser are smarter than you. You bump a volume wheel with your hand/pillow/whatever by accident and you can go deaf, particularly if you let your kids use it (I hate kids shows so I let the little guy use them when he is watching that stuff, sue me). The buttons are perfect. It goes like this: big one = more volume, then power, then smallest button = less volume. I mastered this in less than a few hours of use. You won't use the other two buttons as they will always be on (surround sound and bass boost), so you are literally dealing with big button = loud, tiny button = not loud. I know, this is A LOT to ask.
For the manufacturer (NOT THE READERS), this is a nearly perfect product. One suggestion is to make the headphones expandable/retractable, which is usually a default for high quality headsets. By expandable/retractable, I mean add a slider to each side of the headsets just in case there are people with abnormally large or small heads so they can get the perfect fit. The headset fits me perfectly, but they would not work perfectly for a youth or large headed folk. Just looking out. Expand that target market. Another suggestion for the clumsy fingered people is putting a tactile raised dot on the power button to distinguish it clearly for those who cannot master big button vs. small button.
I hope this helps.
I did a lot of comparison of brands and models before deciding. Ultimately the key deciding points to my choosing the Sennheiser RS170 were (in order of importance to me): 4-1/2 star rating by consumers, digital audio transmission, closed back on earphones, charging/storage stand, reported performance, number of years this model has been sold, well rated high & mid-range sound, frequency response 18Hz - 21,000 Hz, simulated Surround Sound, ability to add on another headphone set if my wife ever needs a set, quality appearance, battery life up to 24 hours.
Quality: The 4-1/2 star rating on the RS170 on Amazon was the highest rating of all the brands and models of headphones that Amazon sold during March 2012.
Price: I paid $279.95 on Amazon mid March 2012. I looked up the price history of RS170 by googling "price history of RS170" then I clicked on the link to "Sennheiser RS 170 Prices (headphones) - CNET Marketplace" then clicked on "Price History" and found if I would be willing to wait until October - December I could probably buy them for considerable less but I wanted to use them during spring / summer of 2012 so I paid "through the nose" .
Brand: I choose Sennheiser because they seemed like the best value and selection for the money. They also make studio-quality headphones so I figured the wireless models might be engineered well. Most reviewers gave the brand high marks for performance, appearance, durability and use.
Features: I compared the RS170 ($279.95) to the RS160 ($199.95) and the RS180 ($329.95) on Amazon plus I looked at the specs on the Sennheiser website at [...] All three models use 2.4 GHz digital 'Kleer' wireless technology which is reportedly superior to the brands and models that use 900 MHz analog RF technology which is more susceptible to hiss, noise, and interference. I preferred the convenience of having a charging /storage stand that comes with the RS170 and RS180 over the plug-in charging on the RS160. I preferred the closed-back earphone design of the RS160 and RS170 over the open-back design of the RS180 because the open-back design would allow an 'echo effect' from the 'lag-time' sound if my wife had the TV speakers turned up. The RS170 was the only model of the three with selectable simulated Surround Sound and Bass Boost. So the $80 up-charge from the RS160 to the RS170 got me the 'easy charge' cradle and docking station with function indicator LEDs, 1/4 inch and RCA adapters in case I would ever need them in lieu of the 3.5mm jack, up to 200 feet more transmitting distance, 4 dB more Sound Pressure Level (perceived loudness), simulated Surround Sound and Bass Boost controlled at the transmitter or at the headset.
Shipping: Yesterday I received my headphones (only took 4 days using Amazon Super Saver Shipping - yeah!). Both the shipping carton and the headphone box inside were in pristine condition. Like a kid with a new toy, I had to try them out right away. Since the rechargeable batteries take up to 16 hours to for initial charge (mine only took 8), I put in 2 AAA Alkaline batteries (one per headphone). Connecting the transmitter up was easy - I have a "line-out" 3.5mm jack on the TV so I just used the jumper that came in the package that had the 3.5mm jack on both ends. The transmitter/charging stand has 4 LEDs - orange shows when headphones are charging, blue to choose surround sound on/off, another blue one to choose Bass Boost on/off, and green to choose transmitter on/off. The headset right earphone has buttons for headphone on/off, volume up/down, bass boost on/off and surround sound on/off. I am sure that with practice that I'll be able to "feel" where these buttons are so I won't have to take the headset off to adjust these controls. The headset is well padded and comfortable although as some others have pointed out I can see where these "earmuffs" might be a little warm with extended wear.
Performance: Now comes the really cool part...the sound quality is amazing. I have never been so impressed with any product I have purchased. The stereo separation is noticeable distinct and really enhances the enjoyment of listening. I can't hear any hiss, background noise or cut-out. The voices are clear and seem to be louder than the background sounds so the words are easy to understand. My acid test for how well these headphones performed was to try a DVD called "The Devil's Own" where Brad Pit plays a character with a heavy Irish brogue. The first time I watched it using the TV speakers I had to strain to understand his dialog but when I watched it again using the headphones he was easy to understand. The engineering that has gone into these headphones is really impressive with the way they handle voices, background sound and separation.
Surround Sound: The simulated surround sound isn't that impressive. It does add a bit more depth to the sound but nothing like having real surround sound. I'm sure it is limited by only having one speaker per earphone. True surround sound would need two sound sources per earphone plus some fancy separation engineering. I'll probably use this feature for some of our 5.1 DTS stereo DVDs and music CDs.
Bass Boost: This works pretty well. It isn't overwhelming but adds richer bass to the sound without taking away from the clarity of the spoken words. I'll probably use this feature for some TV show, 5.1 DTS stereo DVDs and music CDs.