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.