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Top5 Best Wireless Headphones for the TV - Buying Guide

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

A great application for wireless headphones is using them for watching TV. Whether it's a matter of not bothering anyone around you or helping someone who has hearing problems, they can be incredibly useful. Our wireless headphones selection provides plenty of options to choose from, let's have a look at five of the best for watching the telly.

Sennheiser RS120-II Wireless Open-Back Headphones



The RS120-II is a supra-aural wireless headphone system that uses FM (frequency modulation) to transmit the audio signal. The unit consists of a FM-transmitter and a receiver - the transmitter also acts as a charger for the headset, which uses two rechargeable NiMH AAA batteries included in the box. This set connects to devices through Analogue inputs, which can either be a headphone socket, SCART or phono RCA - thankfully, these connections can be found on most TV's apart from the most recent.

The RS120-II provides great value for money as the sound quality is surprisingly good for an FM set, spacious and smooth with plenty of bass power. Due to the use of FM, the range is up to 100 metres and the signal can even go through walls. The volume level and other control elements are conveniently located on the side of the headset for easy use. As a plus, the transmitter is also wall-mountable.

TV Ears 2.3 Voice Clarifying Wireless System



The TV Ears 2.3 wireless set uses infrared technology to transmit the signal to the receiver, which in this case is a stethoscope-like headset. The receiver goes into the ear providing the user with good isolation and despite the relatively deep insertion, it is surprisingly comfortable thanks to foam ear tips. Due to the infrared transmission, the sound is clean with no background humming. As with all infrared units, the transmitter and the receiver do have to be in line of sight otherwise the signal can cut out.

As with the Sennheiser RS120, the transmitter also acts a charger for the headsets but in this case it can charge up to two at the same time. The set is highly recommended for the hearing impaired because of built-in "Voice Clarifying Circuitry" that elevates speech above background noise. The TV Ears 2.3 connects to Analogue audio outputs, in case you would like to have the TV speakers turned up whilst using the headset, make sure either the TV SCART or RCA/phono outputs are used. This will allow you to set the volume of the speakers separately from the headset.

Sennheiser RS170 Wireless Headphones



The Sennheiser RS170 is a Kleer Digital Wireless System designed for home listening. This closed back headset provides an audiophile quality music or home cinema experience with the added benefit of not having cabling in the way. As with most Sennheiser wireless systems, the multi-purpose transmitter also functions as an 'easy-charge' storage cradle and can transmit a signal to up to four headsets. The base unit also has an effective range of 80 metres.

The sound is smooth, well-rounded and detailed. Thanks to the switchable listening modes - Dynamic Bass and Surround Sound - it can be fine tuned for the intended purpose, be it music or TV listening. The leatherette ear pads do a fine job in providing a comfortable fit and due to the circumaural design nobody will be bothered by sound leakage. If you are not concerned about the leakage and would prefer a more airy and open sound have a look at the RS180 as this headset has open back construction.

SoundMAGIC WP10 Digital Wireless Headphones



The SoundMAGIC WP10 is a full size digital wireless headphone, supplied with a very small transmitter for use on the move or to transport the unit easily. There is a large selection of accessories including a mains charger, the transmitter unit, a USB cable, a mini jack 3.5mm to RCA cable, a short 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and a long 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable. You can keep these accesories in the excellent rigid carry case, also included. The WP10 is a very clever set of headphones, the transmitter also contains a USB DAC for superior sound from your PC or Mac, connection cables for pocket sized media players and an RCA lead for home Hifi connection. Should you run out of battery power while out and about it is possible to use the included cable to keep on listening! SoundMAGIC have really tried to cover every eventuality.

The headphone itself has the same incredibly comfortable pads as the SoundMAGIC HP100 and HP200 wired Full size headphones, is reasonably lightweight and has a well thought out set of controls on the left ear cup. Sound quality is well above any RF headphone and superior to that of Bluetooth headphones as the WP10 uses a 2.4G 16 bit CD quality connection. The sound signature is generally bright and clean with deep but restrained bottom end.

Sennheiser RS220 Wireless Audiophile Headphone System



Sennheiser RS220 is the wireless headphone we have all been waiting for. Ever since their appearance on the audio market there have always been complaints from audio enthusiasts as the sound of wireless headphones has never compared favourably to their cabled counterparts. The Rolls-Royce of the wireless scene is set to change this perception as it delivers sound performance that matches some of the better wired models. Be it digital (optical or coaxial) or analogue, the RS220 has been designed to merge with any audio setup.

The set uses what Sennheiser call Direct Sequenced Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology to provide the user with uncompressed, CD quality sound. The open back design enables the set to deliver an airy and transparent presentation. The entire system has been crafted using premium quality materials; the luxurious velour earpads deserve a special mention as they provide exceptional wearing comfort for longer listening sessions. Would you like audiophile sound with the benefit of cable free usage? Look no further, the RS220 will satisfy all your listening needs.

 

source: http://blog.hifiheadphones.co.uk/2013/01/22/top5-wireless-for-tv/

post #2 of 8

I think you've helped me make my decision. I was thinking going for the RS220's, but I think I would be happy with the much more inexpensive RS180's. They same like basically the same set of headphones minus a couple features that I don't need anyway. 

post #3 of 8
RS220 is like twice as good as a RS 180 sound wise, may be not literally. But definitely a big jump. Like going from a hd 558 to hd 600.
post #4 of 8

Could you tell me if any TV headphones come with a handheld remote.   I'd like to buy some headphones for my 89 yr. old dad who lives with my sister.  He turned the TV up so high it's making her crazy.  Problem is that he is unable to lift his arms (severe atrophy disease) to adjust the volume.  My sis can put them on his head and take them off but he'd probably like the ability to manage his volume. 

 

Thanks - 

 

Mary

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by marywier View Post
 

Could you tell me if any TV headphones come with a handheld remote.   I'd like to buy some headphones for my 89 yr. old dad who lives with my sister.  He turned the TV up so high it's making her crazy.  Problem is that he is unable to lift his arms (severe atrophy disease) to adjust the volume.  My sis can put them on his head and take them off but he'd probably like the ability to manage his volume. 

 

Thanks - 

 

Mary

 

Roku 3.  

post #6 of 8

OK, make that the Roku 2 or the Roku 3.  (I have the 3.)

 

http://www.roku.com/products/roku-3

 

You are welcome.

post #7 of 8

How much did TV Ears pay you for your recommendation?

 

I paid $129 for a set of TV Ears 5.0 nine months ago. I am not all that much of a TV watcher and only watch about 2-2 1/2 hours of TV in the evening with my wife. The set then rests in it's charging cradle until it's next use. After only nine months the battery which TV Ears claims will last between 1 and 2 years will no longer hold more than 2 hours of charge. Replacement from TV Ears and only from TV Ears is only $25,00. Shortly thereafter the lthin eft arm to the ear bud broke just above the receiving unit. Replacement cost under their guarantee is only $50.00. All costs are plus handling and shipping.

 

Another problem I had from the very first time I tried them, is the extreme lack of tone control. The control is very limited and very much toward the base end of the hearing spectrum while my hearing loss is mostly in the upper frequencies, making it difficult understand human voices even with the TV Ears. From several blogs regarding TV Ears my problems are not unique. These same problems are being reported over and over again, and have been for years These headphones are grossly over priced, obviously poorly engineered and seem to be a money making scheme to boost their bottom line by selling replacement parts. My advice would be to try anything BUT TV Ears

post #8 of 8

I bought the Sennheiser RS 180 Digital Wireless Headphone System and sent it back because of several design flaws.  This was after contacting the manufacture many time.  I finally gave up on the manufacture and wanted to warn everyone about what problems you will have if you buy these headphones:

 
1. Do not buy these headphones if your plan on watching TV because sound lags behind lip movement.
2. Do not buy these headphones if you want your speakers turned on because, you will hear a bad echo.
3. Do not buy these headphones if you only have digital out on your receiver because, they only work with analog outputs. 
4. Do not buy these headphones because customer service will want you to reprogram all of your equipment and buy extra components ($50.00 digital to analog converter) to make their headphones work with your system and their sound delay.
5. Do not buy these headphones because the controls are all but impossible to use when wearing the headphones.

 

The following is just one of the replies sent by Sennheisers Customer Service:

 

From: Tech Support - General <sennheiserusa-24133@happyfox.com>
Date: Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 9:13 AM
To: Soundman2

 

 

 

New reply for the ticket #TS00022172

 
Good Morning Norman Sunderlin,
 
Thank you for contacting Sennheiser Technical Support. The documentation does not specifically state that "The RS 180 headphones were never intended to be used in an environment when speakers were active too but rather were intended to be used in place of external speakers" however it is implied because they are "open aire" which means that any sound in the environment (ie: sound from external speakers) would be heard in the headphones too. 

As I stated it is not that the headphones cannot be used in this manner because they can but the echo effect could occur because you are hearing the same sound twice (ie: through the headphones and from the speakers) at slightly different times. This is a basic audio principle and would occur with any "open aire" headphones. In an environment where both speakers and headphones would be in use we would recommend a closed ear cup model like the RS 160 or RS 170. NOTE: If you were wearing closed headphones and had the speakers up loud enough to penetrate the headphones the echo effect would occur too.

NOTE: The echo effect is different to the sync issue you are experiencing and even if the echo effect was removed the sync issue would still be apparent. If you were able to delay the audio video signal going to the TV to allow the audio signal time to get to the headphones then the sync issue would go away and likely the echo issue would disappear too because you would be hearing the two sounds (ie: headphones and speakers) much closer together and hence the echo would likely not be apparent.

NOTE: Up until now we have been talking about doing a latency delay on the TV however many receivers also have a latency delay feature built into them so that audio to external speakers (or headphones) can be slightly delayed to allow for the TV to receive and process the signal and hence keep everything in sync so it may be a situation where some adjustments can be made on the receiver itself. If the receiver is already delaying the audio signal to the output that means that the signal is even slower getting to the headphone transmitter which would exacerbate the latency issue which would make the echo and sync issues more apparent.

In some situations a specific model of headphones will not be the best solution and a different model may be needed. If this is the case you would need to return the original headphones and select a different model.

NOTE: If a product was not purchased directly from Sennheiser it CANNOT be returned to Sennheiser. If you purchased directly from Sennheiser we offer a thirty (30) day return period and you can contact our Sales Department to initiate a return. If you purchased from a re-seller other than Sennheiser then you would need to return the product to them and adhere to their return policy. 

Have a great day.

Lachlan Brennan
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