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I hate wires. It's now 2011, are there any real wireless options?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

So like the title says, I hate wires. They always seem to be the first point of failure with headphones and other devices.

 
My first good pair of headphones were some Grado SR80s, and within a year the cable had developed a problem at the Y split and they were replaced under warranty.
 
A couple of years later and I was having problems with the replacement pair as well—this time it was at one of the ear cups.
 
I then had a pair of GS1000s and part of the reason I eventually sold them was because the headphone cord was not easily replaceable and didn't seem any more reliable than the SR80 cord.
 
For portable use I picked up a pair of cheap Sennheiser CX300-II a while back as a temporary measure, I kept using them longer than intended, and within a year the cable had failed at the point where it connects to the drivers.
 
More recently I've been using some Ultimate Ears UE700s that I won about five months ago and I'm now losing sound from the left channel. (seems to be a connection problem near the 3.5mm jack) Logitech seem great about sending out a replacement, but I'm not sure that I want to use them because it seems like they'll fail pretty quickly again.
 
 
With most headphones I've found that the cables tend to stiffen up after a couple of months, and I'm actually surprised that the point of failure with the UE700s wasn't where they connect to the driver as that seems like a very weak connection as a result of this. If it hadn't failed near the jack I would expect them to have failed here after a few month months of use.
 
 
I've also just recently had a Razer mouse die as the cord gave out after a few years of use as well.
 
So as you can probably tell, I'm getting fed up with cables. It's not that I mistreat things either, I'm very careful to avoid tugging/twisting them, wrapping them up frequently or anything else that might damage them. It's just that everything gets a lot of daily use which puts wear on the cables.
 
I also hate that with headphones, I need to have a long extension cable stretched across the room most of the time.
I keep things nice and tidy here, all other cables are neatly hidden away, and having headphone cables stretched out everywhere looks a mess.
 
 
 
Are there any options for wireless headphones that actually provide high quality sound?
 
Older wireless headphones that I tried years ago were terrible, they either required line of sight (IR) or tuning (FM) were heavy and hissed a lot.
 
I recently tried out the Sennheiser RS170 & RS180 because they seemed like a decent option, but while they were surprisingly light, have a good charging solution (just drop them on a stand without having to plug anything in) and there was no hiss, the audio was very obviously compressed, despite their claims about the Kleer wireless technology being "lossless CD quality." I suppose it's "CD quality" in the way that 128k MP3s are supposedly "CD quality." (i.e. not even close) There was also a distracting delay with the headphones as well—fine for music, not so good for films/gaming.
 
I do realise that with wireless headphones you have to compromise on amplification because it needs to be self-contained and have a decent battery life without the headphones weighing a ton, but it doesn't seem like there's much innovation in this space, and now more and more manufacturers are adopting the Kleer standard.
 
With lithium ion batteries and wireless technology capable of 300mbps small enough to fit inside an SD card, it seems like it should be possible to create a system that truly is lossless, but if such a thing exists, I haven't found it.
 
 
Are there any options for a high-end wireless headphone that I have overlooked, or do I have to be content with finding a good pair of headphones that have an easily replaceable (and readily available) single-entry cable stretched out across the room? (personally I find dual entry more comfortable, but it's another point of failure I'd want to avoid)
post #2 of 31

Sounds like you are too rough. I have never had any type of cable go bad or heard of anyone have as many cable issues as you. On the other hand, some buttons on my Harmony remote stopped working after a year. Wireless is not a solution as it has it's own issues.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

That's just it, I'm not rough with them at all. The SR80s that failed were basically always hooked up to my amplifier at a desk and the only movement was picking them up to put them on, and moving back if I reclined the chair I was in. Because the cups can twist around freely, I made a point of picking them up/putting them down the same way each time to avoid twisting the cables. No strain on the cables, no tugs, no tangling. It's just that they were probably used at least 6 hours a day and worn at least 7-8x in that time. It's not that things were misused/abused, it's just that they had heavy use and the cable is the weakest point. (especially when it starts to stiffen up for whatever reason)

 

A lot of the time whenever I sell anything online, I get comments from the buyer saying how surprised they were at the condition of the item (my criteria for 'as new' is that something is indistinguishable from actually being new aside from any seals being broken) so I don't think it's a case of me being careless with them.

post #4 of 31

Totally understand you OP.

Short answer is no.

 

Long answer, without getting sidetracked, is I also find it retarded that they can't do a wireless solution.

However, only recently did Apple allow for the AVRCP standard, or whatever the hell that is,

to allow for control via headphone.

 

Headphone manufacturers are also waiting because there's an upcoming war between Bluetooth 4.0 and Direct-Fi.

I'm betting manufacturers want to sort of be cautious before spending on R&D.

Next problem is that people that demand hi fidelity are a minority. 

And the people going after that sorta thing, will put up with all sorts of inconvenience to get it. 

Therefore, the convenience of wireless and the audiophile market are sort of antithetical, if that makes sense. 

post #5 of 31

Here is my take, which could be wildly inaccurate.  All wireless communication technologies drop packets.  When two computers communicate wireless, they verify the packets that come in.  Damaged packets get discarded, and fresh copies are requested before rebuilding the data on the receiving end.  An analog signal is much harder, and isn't being recompiled by a computer on the receiving end, it just gets converted and dumped to the analog line.  The result is that sending an analog signal wirelessly results in some packet loss.  

 

The solution I believe, is to do the digital analog conversion AFTER the wireless gap has been passed.  This means you need a DAC in the headphone itself, and a sufficiently powerful computer to rebuild the digital signal accurately.  I believe Senheisser sells some wireless headphones with the DAC in the actual phones.  I suspect those sound as good as any wired headphone going through an expensive tiny DAC.

post #6 of 31

I would love to hear whether or not any wireless models are worthwhile. Every one I have tried has been terrible at delivering decent sound.

post #7 of 31

A simple solution would be headphones with replaceable cable.

post #8 of 31

The new wireless standards are so fast that packet dropping can be solved with error correction.

There are still issues with the current bluetooth, lag being a major one. 

You can't watch a movie with headphones on.  That's really, really stupid.

There are ways to delay the movie, but really, is that necessary? 

 

RF is non laggy, but not acceptable obviously.

 

Therefore, we are waiting.

Even when the war is resolved, maybe within two years, you won't see real audiophile grade phones until afterward.

post #9 of 31

No, I don't think so haven't been really a fan of wireless HP's I dont see how can it be good  without the proper/wires /cables etc,

 

Same goes with Grado's Its always the cables and even overtime it becomes brittle, but recablng is the only option I see when it comes to cable problems, heck even if its not a problems I'm always curious to change the cables just to see the improvement of sound quality, so simply my answer is no.

post #10 of 31

sennheiser has a wireless solution as well as sleek audio, might want to look into those, personally,the system by sleek audio looks purdy interesting

post #11 of 31

There's no way that wireless could ever be better than a headphone that has been rewired with cable costing hundreds of dollars. All this talk is just hogwash.

 

no_teeth_smiley.jpg

post #12 of 31

What? Hundred Dollar Cables?? What kind of cheapo are you? Cables have to cost at least $100000000 to sound good!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmAndHammer View Post

There's no way that wireless could ever be better than a headphone that has been rewired with cable costing hundreds of dollars. All this talk is just hogwash.

 

no_teeth_smiley.jpg

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by darknessproz View Post

What? Hundred Dollar Cables?? What kind of cheapo are you? Cables have to cost at least $100000000 to sound good!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmAndHammer View Post

There's no way that wireless could ever be better than a headphone that has been rewired with cable costing hundreds of dollars. All this talk is just hogwash.

 

no_teeth_smiley.jpg


 


they have to cost at least twice the price of the phones they're hooked up to

post #14 of 31

Come on guys...didn't you see my sarcastic smilie? Get with the program. Of course I know if the cables on your cans cost less than twice the price of the headphones, you might as well be using a lamp cord.

post #15 of 31

Is there some magic formula? Like maybe (total cost*10.3145632532)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalowings View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by darknessproz View Post

What? Hundred Dollar Cables?? What kind of cheapo are you? Cables have to cost at least $100000000 to sound good!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmAndHammer View Post

There's no way that wireless could ever be better than a headphone that has been rewired with cable costing hundreds of dollars. All this talk is just hogwash.

 

no_teeth_smiley.jpg


 


they have to cost at least twice the price of the phones they're hooked up to

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