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.
First of all I must thank you for the incredible reviews and posts on this site. It has helped me a ton. I am by no means an audiophile of any sort but have been inspired by this site and the enthusiasts around. Now I have learned that there is no way that you get the quality of a high-end cabled headset in today's wireless world even in the expensive sets. So I realize that I needed a wireless set for convenience but I wanted to get something that supported all the newest sound formats while watching blu-rays such as DTS HD-Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.
In this case though this review is mainly from the opinion of a guy who couldn't find any reviews on this product no matter how many hours I searched for one so I caved and picked-up a set. The Sony MDR-DS7500s are Sony's entry and first-to-market shot at HDMI wireless headphones (I know I have learned from you guys that we usually don't go for Sony for sound when you have dedicated companies like Senn and Hifiman, etc out there). But, all of a sudden with a wife who wants to sleep I find them probably one of the best purchases I have made in a while (to amature ears). Feel free to ask me anything or for vids and pics if you want. The box is a HDMI pass-through box so you can leave it off and still watch your TV, etc like usual. You can also power-up the unit using the headphones as well as switch inputs, etc straight from the headphones. TrueHD and DTS mode is noticeably clearer and sound separation/positioning is quite accurate. The bass and mids felt full and the soundstage, although I am not qualified to comment, felt pretty open especially when you were listening to a TrueHD or DTS HD-MA stream. The earpads seem to be nowhere near the size of, say the Sennheiser HD650s/800s but I found them perfect for my requirements (which was a quiet, closed-ear, comfortable set while sitting beside my sleeping pregnant wife LOL). The battery really does seem to last at least 15 hours between charges and I can blast the volume without distortion, however I think there is a very slight leakage at higher volumes. I think it charges fully in about an hour but sorry I haven't been around to completely verify the time from 0 to full charge. I find I am the type that hates a set if it muffles treble. This keeps the treble clear and crisp and had the feel (please don't kick my butt for being way too off) to an amateur like myself of the Hifiman HE300s. They are 50mm drivers so I found them pretty good overall. The earcups are nowhere near Sennheiser quality/comfort (ie: HD650s) but they are comfortable and the headset is sturdy. The headset turns on only when you have them on your head which saves the battery as well but if you slip them off or lean against a wall this could technically turn off the headset if you aren't careful (in my case this works perfect because that usually means I fell asleep so it might as well turn off haha). Wireless range was at least 50 feet as I walked through a few rooms without noticing any distortion.
My cabled reference points are the Senn HD595s
through a receiver for DTS HD MA/TRUEHD as well as corsair vengeance 1500s
on the pc prior to picking up the forementioned senns and the Sony MDR DS7500s. My wireless reference point are my buddy's Sennheiser RS 220s
. Until the market floods with alternatives I find myself recommending this even though they are absolutely overpriced by at least 200 and definitely don't go into costco or bestbuy and buy an old outdated set for 300 like the RS1xxs. Ideally go with a cabled set through your receiver but if you have to go wireless I would recommend these over any other model up to February of 2012 and honestly it's nice to have all the audio standards supported in a comfortable wireless set. Oh yeah, I forgot to say that I live in Canada and I ordered these from Japan and got them in 9 days in perfect condition. Feel free to ask but I know I paid too much so I bet you can get them for a better deal.
I posted a question below and think I answered it: This is one of the most important parts to me. Hey guys. Does anyone know about the modulation for these headphones (I can't figure out the japanese manual haha). according to the Sennheiser RS220 manual, the RS220 modulation is 16-bit at 48kHz so no matter what source you use you will be limited to 48kHz and everything you listen to will be transmitted in 16/48. It would be nice if the Sonys have modulation at 24/96 or 24/192+? Any thoughts?
Google translate didn't do the best job of this but here is a cut-and-paste: "Also supports high-quality source with more than six times the amount of information about 192kHz, 24bit maximum". I take this as it supports 24bit/192kHz modulation (which sort of makes sense if it is a TrueHD or DTS HD-MA stream. I may have totally misinterpreted this but I think my conclusion (and google translate) is on the right track hah.
GAMING AND POSITIONING AND PROLOGICIIx and z
I tried it with MW3 (dolby digital) and FFXIII and XIII-2(dolby prologicII) and the positioning and surround feeling is really good. Obviously it is not a microphone headset so MW3 online would be useless. I also compared it to plugging my Senn HD595 into a turtle beach DSS dolby digital module (turns 2.0 headphones into positional dolbydigital/prologicIIz) through PS3 optical->turtle beach DSS->HD595 and found the positioning to be very similar. Of course the soft velour earcups of the Sennheisers win hands down and the size of the earcups. Going straight through my receiver to the Senn HD595 on dolby PrologicIIz settings (7.1 processing I believe?) resulted in almost identical sound separation between the Sonys and the Sennheisers, however the soundstage differences in the Senns was very slightly "wider" as you might expect. One more thing I would like to say on this is that I used to own a "true" 5.1 surround headset which means there are actually a bunch of individual wires that run from the headset to your receiver/PC/etc and individual speakers/drivers in each earcup. Those were the Tritton AX PROs in my case.
I thought these Trittons above would give the best sound separation out of any headset because it most closely reproduced the speaker/driver situation of a surround sound system. In this case it actually wasn't very good because in my opinion the drivers were never balanced properly and one drowned out another and my ears couldn't make out a front left from a rear left (mainly because the drivers were so close to eachother). However, a dolby or likewise simulated headset is a mathematically calculated 2.0 headset so the positioning (especially for gaming) is far more accurate for the human ear to understand in my opinion. That's why I guess Tritton and many other companies came out with the AX 720s I guess? The positioning in the sonys are really good and the only thing you might not like once again are the slightly small earcup holes themselves (around 2 inch holes). Here's someone's pic where you can see the holes fairly well:
DOLBY HEADPHONE INFO I have two dolby headphone comparisons that I will add to my review 1) PC Corsair Vengeance 1500 dolby with a blu-ray playing on dolby headphone mode and 2) my senn hd595 and 555s through a turtle beach dss module in dolby mode. Overall the MDR-DS7500s sound great in cinema prologicIIz and x modes and you get quite a clear and wide surround feel when using these modes. I still can't hear the height that prologicIIz claims to provide but I find it great. The DSS module adds almost an identical spatialization to the set-up. Keep in mind that most dolby headphone set-ups are limited to spdif/optical that I have run across while the MDR-DS7500s allow DTS-HD MA and DolbyTrueHD. Please note that there is no confirmation from Sony on what happens to the signal upon transmission to the headset even though it can RECEIVE and decode a lossless signal through the previous two formats or linear PCM (ie: capped at 48? instead of also transmitting the same true lossless signal it received).
From the Dolby Site:
With Dolby® Headphone technology, your customers will experience rich, dramatic surround sound over conventional headphones.
Delivers realistic 5.1-channel sound from any set of headphones
Provides a more comfortable listening experience, reducing listener fatigue
Enables superb surround sound from stereo music and movies when combined with Dolby Pro Logic® II
Dolby Headphone accurately creates the sensation of up to five loudspeakers in a room using powerful digital signal processing (DSP) technology. The result is a richer and more natural listening experience over conventional stereo headphones.
Dolby Headphone is compatible with native 5.1-channel content. When combined with Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Headphone can transform content from a two-channel source into a surround sound listening experience.
When reproducing a source that incorporates Dolby Pro Logic IIz preprocessing, Dolby Headphone provides a 7.1-channel surround sound experience.
Dolby Headphone electronically imparts the sonic signature of a corresponding speaker properly placed in a carefully defined acoustic environment to each audio channel (two on stereo programs, and up to five on surround programs). The subwoofer signal (the “.1” Low-Frequency Effects [LFE] channel) is mixed into the Left and Right channels in equal proportion.
All of this information is combined by the Dolby Headphone processor into two encoded channels that deliver the spatial properties of the original audio, with more natural sounds that actually seem to be “out-of-head.”
With Dolby Headphone technology, your customers will be able to enjoy a private listening experience over conventional headphones that delivers all of the excitement of realistic 5.1 surround sound.
Dolby Headphone is compatible with discrete 5.1-channel sources. When used together with Dolby Pro Logic II, it provides a surround sound listening experience from two-channel sources.
In addition, in conjunction with content preprocessed with Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby Headphone can deliver a convincing 7.1-channel surround experience.
Dolby Headphone technology delivers surround sound through any pair of headphones. It can be included in almost any device that can process stereo or multichannel audio and has a headphone output.
The Dolby Headphone process can be embedded into DSP chips or implemented in software for use in home theater A/V receivers and preamp/processors, in digital TVs, and in PCs. Dolby Headphone also offers application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design for higher performance at less cost than a typical DSP solution.
From the outset Dolby Headphone technology was designed to encompass all possible audio formats. Conventional stereo, Dolby Surround, and 5.1-channel digital content can all be enhanced for headphone reproduction by the Dolby Headphone process. The result is a far more natural sound over any conventional wired or wireless stereo headset on all programs, from 5.1-channel DVDs to stereo MP3s.
Watched Starwars and HP7 for example on Blu-Ray and the positioning is very clear both in dolby digital and DTS HD MA mode. Things sound like they are beside you or around you. Of course I have yet to find a set of headphones that make something properly sound like they are behind you (only when compared to a full speaker 7.1 home theatre system). A light also turns on on the bottom of the box to indicate which decoding is being used.
AUTO OFF / ON FUNCTION
There is a master power switch on the left earcup. There is also the auto on/off feature that is built into the headband. Luckily there is no weighting or angle tilting sensor that turns them on or off or I would be going crazy haha. However, the headband looks like this.
. See how there is a second "strap/lining" on the inside of the headband that your head actually touches as you put on the headset (Quite comfortable by the way). This is actually/usually how the set turns on or off, however there is a master power switch on the earcup which you can turn off the headset and let your tv speaker kick back in. I would like to make sure you notice this as I bet some people will not like this (compared to an on-off switch on the side) or my senns which barely feel like I'm wearing them. So as you put the headset on the strap stretches and it pulls on the trigger in each earcup to turn on the headset. So if your wife needs to tell you something and you have to slide them off you could technically turn off the headset. The good news is that I think this is by design for power-saving purposes because the unit itself (the decoder box sitting across the room) continues to stay on and the stream is immediate the second you put them back on. So let's turn this to the "lying sideways" situation. I think Sony could have done a better job to make sure the headset doesn't turn off if say your shoulder pushes the edge of the earcup while lying sideways, but all in all it is pretty good. And your pillow will not put the pressure to turn off the headset that your shoulder can.
DSSS TECHNOLOGY (Sennheiser RS220s, Sonly MDR-DS7500, etc)
Here is a cut and paste but overall my buddy made sure that I got a headset with DSSS which is probably one of the reasons why this set sounds so good/clear. The Senn RS 220s were my next best choice. DSSS, as described by Sennheiser, "is a frequency spreading process in which the output signal is spread to a width of 22 MHz by means of a specified bit sequence." This means that the audio data is transmitted simultaneously on several different frequencies, so if one frequency experiences interference, the data is still able to get through on one or more others. Here is some more info on DSSS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-sequence_spread_spectrum.
SIGNAL STRENGTH AND DISTANCE TEST - TRYING TO CAREFULLY LISTEN AND WALK OUTSIDE LISTENING FOR MICRO DROPS AND INTERFERENCE
I have now had these for about 3 months as of March 31, 2012 and have used them thouroughly along with short doses of my buddy's RS220s. The signal is absolutely perfect even when I am downstairs and for reference I have 2.4ghz phones in the house, Wireless N internet, and my rear speakers downstairs on my receiver have a wireless transmitter which operates at 2.4 I believe. I tested the signal in detail about two weeks ago when I played a blu-ray on dts hd-ma and went from upstairs where I was watching the movie to downstairs in my basement and the signal was really strong. I was specifically looking for the micro-drops or drops that people on this forum were talking about with the rs220s. I then went to my front yard for a sec and it was still good. I think that was 30-50 feet distance at some points through drywall and wood framing in my house and no micro-drops, no drops at all. This has been a real awesome experience so far with this headset. I still find that I lean towards my Senn HD595 for the absolute best comfort in a wired solution and the HD600 650 700 800 obviously should be similar/better but for wireless I found the Sony's to be so much better than my buddy's RS220s. I may be biased since I think I like them better because they support hdmi and lossless transmission (note there may be some interpretation differences between losslesss input vs dsss output to the headset and I contacted Sony to get an answer if it actually transmits or downgrades to 16/48 when it transmits). If the Senns supported all the features and signal distance/strength of the sony and multiple headsets options of the Sony then I would likely have gone with the Senns due to the comfort and wider earcups and soundstage similar to my HD595.
This headset has a feature called compression which is just the reduction of the dynamic range peaks. I don't use it and prefer the non-compressed audio.
A/V Sync allows you to adjust the synch between the audio and video obviously hah. To access A/V Sync mode, hold the Compression button for 3 seconds or more. Then use the +/- Matrix and Effect buttons to adjust the audio delay. If you want to cancel this just press the input button.
LFE vs Center Channel
There are two buttons on the right earcup which allows you to change whether you hear more of the LFE channel vs more of the center channel. I prefer the default myself.
CHARGING AND BATTERY LIFE
I have charged these exactly 5 times in 3 months and use them for an hour or so at least a few times a week. Seems to last 15-18 hours or so of listening? Looks like the battery used is really holding up. Wish my cellphone would do the same!
Well hope this helps a bit as I think this may be the first detailed english review of this product. Now could someone who reviews a ton of wireless headsets also review these haha.
BOX DIMENSIONS (FOR SHIPPING PURPOSES)
Hi guys. Another head-fi-er asked about the dimensions of the box so they can calculate shipping. The dimensions of the cardboard box are:
Around 5lbs? Sorry no scale around me.
Here is a cut and paste of some further details in case it helps:
Another game changer from electronics giant Sony Japan comes the latest generation of wireless headphone with a newly developed chipset for 3D audio as well as Dolby NR professional Logic II z decoder supporting audio signals up to 7.1Ch. DMI inputs on the processor enables the new DS7500 to decode HD audio such as Dolby TrueHD. Also supports multi-channel linear PCM as well as Bravia HDMI CEC. Three HDMI inputs with 1 line HDMI output allows you to connect to your devices freely. Other improvement also comes with its support for 3D glasses, with a new flexible leather cushion that will not disturb you when watching 3D movies wearing both this Wireless Headphone as well as your mandatory 3D glasses.
Select from Sony's new "New Cinema mode" which is developed in cooperation with Sony Pictures Entertainment by analyzing the measured data for movie production in theaters. By combining with Sony's VPT technology this "New Cinema mode" "reproduces the sound of an ideal movie theater." In addition, a 2ch stereo voices under the "Voice mode" and "Game mode" are also available for optimized vocal and gaming reproduction.
The MDR-DS7500 weight 325g, has an 18h continuous battery life, a 5-25,000Hz reproduction bandwidth and support Dolby NR TrueHD, Dolby Digital plus, Dolby Digital, Dolby NR professional logic II z, Dolby NR professional logic. x, DTS-HD mastering audio, DTS-HD high-resolution audio, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS, Neo:6, MPEG-2 AAC, and linear PCM7.1ch/5.1ch
With up to 18 hours of continuous playback time the new DS7500 is one of the most advanced wireless headphone systems on the market.
Type: Sealed dynamic type
Driver unit: 50mm
Frequency Response: 5-25,000 Hz
Impedance: 24 Ω
Power: Built-in lithium ion battery
Battery life: 18 hours
Mass: About 325g
Processor / Transmitter: Controller DSSS
Effect Mode: OFF / Cinema / Game / Voice (Stereo)
Decoder: Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS, DTS Neo: 6, MPEG-2 AAC, LPCM 2ch/5.1ch/7.1ch, Dolby Pro Logic IIz
Reach: Up to approximately 30m
Audio output: HDMI × 1, × 1 optical
Input terminal: HDMI × 3, × 1 rectangular light, stereo pin jack × 1
Mass: About 480g
Dimensions: (width × height × depth). Approximately 252 × 36 × 159mm
Power: Sony 100-240V AC Adapter
Incredibly Well-translated Great Grammar Google Translate:
By using two sets of DSP has been adopted in the DS7100, two times the arithmetic processing becomes possible, as well as 7.1ch sound field of a horizontal arrangement, we have achieved a sound field in the depth direction and height direction.
The cooperation of the (SPE), analyzes the measured data of film dubbing theater for its quality-proven, reproduce the "ideal sound field of cinema" by Sony's unique combination of VPT and Sony Pictures Entertainment was.
Equipped with a "Game Mode" to play the game a lot of multi-channel surround presence.
To achieve accurate sound field supervision of sound designer of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc..
The easy to catch the voice of the people under 2ch stereo.
Stretch leather ear cushions and a high sense of luxury housing
Both the texture and comfortable feeling of wearing high-quality luxury.
Wraps around the uneven follow-up as low-repulsion even when mounted ear cushions 3D glasses.
Without missing a bass, and then reproduce the sound with more presence.