Sony Surround Sound Headphones w/HDMI

A Review On: Sony MDR-DS7500 HDMI (including passthrough) DTS HD-MA Dolby TrueHD Wireless headphones (finally)

Sony MDR-DS7500 HDMI (including passthrough) DTS HD-MA Dolby TrueHD Wireless headphones (finally)

Rated # 5 in Wireless
See all 2 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Wireless Range
MisterMoJo
Posted · 6665 Views · 13 Comments

Pros: wireless, uses HDMI and supports DTS-HDMA and Dolby True HD, Good Sound, Plenty of Bass.

Cons: Wireless is on 2.4 Ghz band, frequent dropouts, not enough HDMI inputs, very expensive, can only get from Japan.

Hi there, I have had these headphones for a while now and feel like I know them well enough to review them now.  These are good headphones.  The sound quality is very good.  Not audiophile good, but good.  If you want these for watching movies and maybe not so much for music, then I highly recommend them for that function.  The quality of the technology which produces the "surround" in surround sound is good enough.  You will notice this effect mostly with movies, and then only sparsely.  You can tell there are separate channels there, but not much separation from front to back.  These headphones use a proprietary technology invented by Sony and not Dolby Headphone.  Dolby headphone is superior.

    It is awesome that these headphones have HDMI inputs and support the best and latest sound formats.  Very impressive.  It needs about two more HDMI inputs, though.  It also has optical and RCA jacks.  These are very useful.  You can use them to hook up a DVD player or your other sources, such as a record player.  I have listened to records over the RCA jack and the sound is clean and dynamic.  I haven't used the optical yet.

   There are sound modes you can use, Cinema and Game and Voice.  Voice is for Stereo sources.  There is also the option to use no effect.  Cinema sounds best for movies and I use it for DVD Audio and Blu Ray music also.  I am using an Oppo BDP-95 hooked up straight from HDMI 1 into the base unit.  Game really does work well for games and there is more bass in that setting for explosions.  I use an XBox and a PS3 hooked straight into the other two HDMI ports on the base.  The out goes right to my TV.  I don't use a receiver with this configuration for those sources.  I have a TV which goes to my receiver first for technical reasons I won't bore you with here, then goes straight to the TV from there via HDMI.  I can listen to the TV over these headphones using the ARC.  ARC stands for Audio Return Channel.  The way it works is, the sound can pass back from the TV (HDMI port 2 on my TV) through the cable which connects the base unit to the TV (HDMI port 1 on my TV).  It passes the sound downstream and you can listen to the sound from the set top box that way.  The sound is good that way.  By the way, I am not being very descriptive about the sound quality on purpose, because I am not trained to tell what is "good" and "bad" in sound quality.  I am being vague and general on purpose.  The Voice setting works well for this, as my TV can only pass 2 channels through the ARC.  There isn't much difference between the Voice setting and the option to use no effect in that case.

    This unit can also create "fake" surround sound using Dolby Pro Logic II and a couple of variations on Pro Logic II.  It can take a two channel  source and make it sound like there are more channels.  This works OK in theory, but is not as exciting as it sounds.  You can tell the effect is there, but what exactly is going on in terms of speaker placement is kind of hard to discern.  It also has a compression effect which I won't use on principle.  It assumes you can use this for games, to hear everything going on.  I have not used it.

     These headphones also support HDMI CEC which can be useful.  This allows one component using HDMI to control another.  So with this enabled on your TV, Blu Ray player, and this unit, you can turn on just the Blu Ray player, and the headphone unit will switch to the correct HDMI port, and then turn on your TV for you.  This is known as "Bravia Link" for Sony products and "Aquos Link" for Sharp products and so on.  Like they thought of it themselves.

     These are a hard to find item.  I got them from a Japanese seller on Amazon.com, and paid a hefty price.  It was like five hundred or close to it, plus about fifty for shipping.  I bought these not really knowing what to expect.  I had read the other review from Curiousgeorgieo here, and communicated with him about them.  He was extremely friendly and helpful.  Would I buy these again knowing what I know now?  I am not sure.  There are a lot of audio dropouts.  I live in a condo in a building with other condos in it, like an apartment building.  There is a bunch of traffic on the 2.4 Ghz band.  There are several wifi networks, including mine which operate on that frequency.  About ten of them which I can see with the windows networking tools.  There are also phones.  And microwaves.  My microwave causes such problems that I just pause the music while cooking.  There is also my wireless mouse and various blue tooth devices lurking about. All going on that same 2.4 Ghz band.  This has caused a lot of dropouts for me.  One of the great things touted about these headphones are the DSS wireless technology.  It broadcasts over a range of channels, all  in the 2.4 Ghz band, simultaneously.  If the band it is using gets interference, it switches to another channel.  I can hear it switching.  It sounds like a little tiny skip.  There are bigger dropouts which are caused by interference.  All in all, this can be a little annoying at times.  However, when they are working properly, the effect if wonderful.  I am able to listen to just about any source I have, and not feel tied down by the cable on regular headphones.  I can get up and move around if I want and it is great.  Having said that, I have best results when not doing anything.  Such as sitting on the couch and watching a movie.  I am not producing any interference with my wifi network, and am ten feet from the base unit, and am facing it.  When I do this, I have never noticed a single problem while watching something.  On the other hand, my computer is about twenty feet from the base unit and I face the monitor at a ninety degree angle to the base.  Not ideal.  Then I have some dropouts.  And I notice the dropouts with all my sources, such as the record player and the Oppo Blu Ray player and the TV.  So do I recommend this as a purchase for everybody?  No, I cannot.  That is, unless you only plan to sit in one spot and watch movies with them.  The wireless technology is OK, but still needs work.  I am surprised they didn't use the 5 Ghz band for this unit.  There might have been less interference.

     OK, thanks for reading my review.  If you made it this far, I probably owe you a beer.  I haven't reviewed anything before, and didn't really know it was going to be this long.  And not very organized.  I just wanted to get some stuff out there to try and help anyone thinking of buying these headphones.

 

Jason

13 Comments:

Instead of constantly revising my review I will post updates here in the comments section. Two more cons: No remote for certain functions and there is no English manual though Curiousgeorgieo has done an excellent job at translating some stuff in his review. As far as I can tell, it helps to turn on the tv, then the base unit, then your source (ie, Blu Ray) in that order. That seems to help with the dropouts. That may indicate it is an HDMI issue not an issue with the headphones... although I get occasional dropouts even with other sources such as my record player.
one word: paragraphs.
Hello. I just wonder if you can use these headphones with a computer? If the graphics card has an HDMI output, there shouldn't be any problems?
If I connect a HDMI cable from my graphics card to one of the input HDMI on the passthrough, and then a cable from the HDMI output on the passthrough to my monitor which has an HDMI input, will that work?
Thanks, ProShifu
You will need to go inside your computer and connect a cable from the soundcard to the videocard or else you won't have any sound.
But the graphics card supports 7.1 high defenition surround and my monitor have speakers buildt in. I get sound when I use my speakers in my monitor. I mean, since HDMI supports both video and sound, wouldn't that give sound?
You have to have that cable to get sound. If you are already getting sound over HDMI then you probably have the cable already. What kind of computer do you have?
I have buildt my own computer, but my specs are: GTX 570 Graphics card, AMD Athlon X4 3.00 GHz, 12 GB RAM, 6TB harddrive space, a Benq 24 LED HD Monitor and a ASUS M4A88TDV-EVO motherboard. Right now I'm using a pair of Logitech's G35 headphones, but I really want a pair of these since I love to watch Blu-ray movies with TrueHD or DTS-HD Ma sound on my computer.
If your monitor has HDMI and speakers, go ahead and try hooking up the HDMI from your computer to the monitor. If you get sound as well as picture, then it should work with the headphones, too. If no sound comes out, I think you need to add that cable.
I do get sound, so thank you for the help!
Btw, have you tried using the headphones with a computer?
No, I haven't but I'm pretty sure it will work. what soundcard do you have?
Well, right now I'm using the integrated soundcard on my motherboard, and my Logitech G35 has integrated as well. But if I'm going to buy these headphones, I'm going to use them with my graphics card, since it has a HDMI which supports both video and sound in HD.
Just make sure your system can do either bitstream or LPCM out through HDMI and you should be all set.