Is there anyone with the dropout issue, who called Sennheiser Tech Support ?
Did you try pairing the headphones again like it says in the manual, apparently that goes through the available frequencies and tries to find the best? Maybe it's just down to luck, my 220's are in an area where there is three wifi networks spread across the whole channel range and several devices actively using them, several cell phones and mobile broadband modems, bluetooth devices and wireless X360 controllers and and I haven't had any microdrops in two weeks with RS220's or in two years with 180's. One thing to test for others suffering from microdrops would be moving the transmitter to another place, at least it seemed to make the range a bit better.
Four weeks and still no drop outs. Limited range as reported earlier but excellent sound. Perhaps repairing with the transmitter as suggested by others can help mitigate the dropouts that people have experienced. Will keep you posted.
The manual doesn't say or imply that re-pairing the headphones and the transmitter is a solution for dropouts. According to the manual, the "pairing" button on the back of the headphones is used to associate a second, new set of headphones with the base station. In fact, if you look at the troubleshooting chart on page 28 of the manual, the solution to the last item ("Power LED flashes continuously - Headphones haven't found an unused frequency") implies that the headphones will search for unused frequencies without the need for user intervention.
I suppose it wouldn't have hurt to try to re-pair the headphones and base station, and I considered it, but after reading the manual, I concluded that it wouldn't have done any good. I guess I should've tried it but it's too late now. Besides, I figured that Sennheiser's claim that tuning wasn't required could be taken at face value.
I still remain convinced that it's an interference issue that's causing the micro-drops. The farther away from the base station you get the worse the drops become.
For me it's really a moot point anyway. In the end I didn't want to spend $600 on headphones that IMHO sounded worse than my HD 598s, wired or not.
Yeah, now that I actually checked the manual instead of relying on my memory, it doesn't say about the pairing changing anything. It does seem that your problem was because of interference, and since the troubleshooter just proposes to move the transmitter to another location, there probably isn't anything else to do help it.
Not to completely derail this thread, but I just ordered some Beyerdynamic DT 990s (250 ohm version) because I feel my HD 598s, even though considered "bright" by Sennheiser standards, are still a little too laid-back for my tastes. Given that, it's no wonder I didn't really like the RS 220s, the reception issues aside.
I agree that it's an interference issue. It's not for nothing that there's a beta in my name and here's my kludgy, klutzy workaround.
I purchased mine on January 24th and have 30 days to return them to B&H Photo in Manhattan and up until this morning I was down to the wire and on the edge of taking them back for a refund. The dropouts I’ve been experiencing range (no pun) from where’d the music go to “micro” ones that are like a blip or stutter in the sound, barely noticeable unless you’re looking for it, which of course I am compulsively. I tried about five different placements of the transmitter, rearranged my audio/video rack to varying degrees of success. But the problem never complete went away.
I live in an approximately one hundred year old building with some pretty shaky wiring. Like most old NYC buildings one large apartment has been broken up into as many smaller ones as possible, with thin walls in between. My router is a first generation Airport Extreme and my Sony Blu-ray player connects wirelessly to my home network. There’s about eight other local networks that show up as available. Plus there’s some kind of ominous switchbox in the hallway on the other side of the wall where my audio/video equipment sits. So there’s a lot of potential for interference in my setup.
Like halb posted before in this thread, I just want to turn the headphones on and listen to music. After an unfortunate run-in with port mapping I certainly don’t want to delve into the inner workings of my router. But I had the bright idea of switching the router to the 5GHz band from 2.4. It worked! Unfortunately my iPhone 4s no longer had wi-fi capability, as it doesn’t work on that band, and my Blu-ray player home server was knocked out because it too required the 2.4 frequencies. I went back to the router setup and switched back to 2.4 and changed the channel setting from “auto” to a specific channel and that seems to have solved the problem.
I also have a Kleer-based RS160 and the connection has always been rock solid. I can’t recall ever having a single dropout. It seems like there’s a deterioration in transmission quality between the 160-180 series and the 220 that’s equal to the increase in sound quality, which is substantial. I’ve decided that the problem is interference with my Airport Extreme. I can’t fault Apple. I’ve never had a problem with my router before and don’t know if newer incarnations (Apple’s now on generation five) are any better shielded or somehow otherwise less prone to interference. It’s certainly possible that those with newer routers won’t have the issues I did. I think the problem lies with Sennheiser’s design. Though I seemed to have solved the problem, I feel I shouldn’t have to go through the contortions I did just to keep the sound from dropping out.
And the sound itself? My initial impressions haven’t really changed, except that whatever slight harshness to some vocals has disappeared with burn in. I’ve never heard music sound this good. Listening to Leonard Cohen and Jim White’s new albums makes me feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. Even though the sound signature is not really ideally suited to my tastes (I want the treble to sparkle like a Twilight vampire in the sun) and I’d probably be better off with something more treble-forward like a Grado or the Beyerdynamic DT 990s, I feel that the RS220s are very balanced headphones with a rich detailed sound, suitable for anything you throw at them. I wanted audiophile headphones that could be used with my TV, computer, iPhone and iPad and with an optical out from my PC motherboard and an analog connection to my AirPlay enabled and home server capable Pioneer receiver these definitely meet my needs. If the router channel changing fix holds up it wlll have been worth the initial aggrevation.
Hi all. Here's my update -- I received the replacement unit, and it has the same whine/hum issue. These are going back, and no more RS220s for me! I'll keep the RS180. I A/B'd the RS220 and RS180 again, and I just don't hear any whine/hum on the RS180. As betavince just said, the improvements in sound (presumably resulting from the new headphone drivers) seem to be accompanied by a deterioration in signal quality (presumably resulting from the change from Kleer technology to DSSS).
The range was still limited with this unit, pretty much the same as with the previous one. Range wasn't as bad for me as what some other people described having -- transmission was fine within the same room, and within about 20 feet on the same level, even through 2 closed doors and walls -- it was when I headed downstairs that I got cutout. In the end, I would have been able to live with the range, although I would call it an issue because this is well within the advertised 30m range; and because my RS-120s (not RS180) work like champs throughout the house. RS180 range is about the same as RS220, maybe slightly better. Micro-drops had occurred only once or twice for me with the previous set, and I didn't experience any with the replacement, but I only listened for a few minutes. (Once I encountered the fatiguing (to me) whine, I stopped trying the new unit out).
While that is a reasonable perspective, the actual real-world situation is that tech support people know about common problems and how to resolve them.
A few manufacturers list those in a manual, but nowadays people actually find having to read a manual to be offensive, so they almost always call if they have a problem, so that is the default setup.
Then some people just return the item and buy a different brand if it does not work for them.
For example, the HRT Music Streamer II DAC is excellent, but in Windows, you can get audible glitches unless you lower the player's buffer size to the minimum allowed (counter-intuitive). You can get that advice, and other help, by emailing them and they reply promptly.
But, in head-fi, I have seen many cases where instead of emailing, people will return the HRT device for some other, like a Nuforce (which will end up not sounding as good in the end).
In the case of Sennheiser, I called recently with a technical question, and talked instantly to a technician, and have also had prompt replies by email about part numbers and so on.