Sennheiser Wireless Headphones
Date Posted:5 September 2015
In March we received the new range of Sennheiser Wireless Headphones. We said back then that we would get a review of them posted shortly. Well, 6 months is a short time in the grand scheme of things.
When unpacking the new range there are a few things that are noticeable straight away. Firstly: they are solid. Some people relate this to being heavy, when compared to the old units they are slightly, the 185’s are about 100 grams heavier, give or take the batteries. However I found this solid feeling to add to the general feeling of a well-built product. This weight and solidity in no way diminishes the comfort of these headphones.
Next up you notice the introduction of a digital (Optic) input on the 175, 185 and 195 Models (note: the 195 model are audiologist only models. This means that you can only purchase these from a hearing specialist). This feature is very handy when you consider the number of TV panels being released with no analogue out or headphone sockets. The downside of this is unlike the RS220 (a personal favourite of mine) there is no pass-through. Meaning that these systems only have input where the RS220’s had an analogue in and out, an optic in and out and a coax in and out. This allowed you to put the headphones inline if you had a situation with limited connections. Another feature that would have been nice to pass on from the RS220 was the ability to switch between these inputs via a button on the headset itself. The input switch for the new models is located on the rear of the Charging/Transmission station.
Aside from these little things the unpacking and set up is much the same as with the older models, plug the cables in, attach power, and put the batteries in the headset (battery compartments still located under the ear pads). Then charge for 24 hours. This charging time is important, and it has been stressed to us by all the members of the Sennheiser team.
When it comes to actually using these headphones is when you will begin to notice some more pleasant changes. The most obvious is the power button has been relocated from its previous (and utterly ridiculous) position of between the volume controls, to the rear of the right hand ear-piece. This is an excellent change as it means those of us with fat fingers will no-longer accidently turn the unit off when try to adjust the volume.
Sennheiser have also changed the power off arrangement. Many users of the older RS models will be used to hearing “that” static noise. Late at night when you get up to get a drink, and you realise you turned off the TV, put the headphones on the cradle to charge, but neglected to power them down, and now they are just sitting there emitting this annoying static sound. Now after a few seconds of being on the charging/transmission tower the headphones will turn themselves off.
Possibly the best change comes for those who wish to pair two sets of headphones to one transmission tower. This feature has always been handy when two people want separate volume levels and the freedom of wireless headphones. However setting this up has always been a struggle and seemed to rely more on luck then actual design or correct operation. The new process removes all the guess work and could not be any simpler. Just place the headphones you wish to pair on to the charging cradle for 5 seconds and they are paired. It is that easy. The only restriction is a maximum of two headsets per transmitter.
There was some concern that these changes would have an adverse effect on the two most important aspects of wireless headphones: Sound quality and range. I am happy to say that these concerns were completely unfounded. Testing all four models (we acquired a pair of the 195’s for a short period of time) here in the shop, using different content from different sources, they all sounded superb with the expected differences between the closed and open back models. All the headphones were capable of covering the entire shop floor, with the signal only starting to break up on the way out to the carpark. This level of coverage is impressive when you consider the large amount of electrical interference a store like ours puts out. Which will always be well and truly above that of a standard household.
So the changes made to the Sennheiser Wireless Headphone range have been numerous and for the most part exactly what was needed. While as stated there were a few bits lacking, these faults were more from a personal point of view and quite possible would never be used in a situation other than mine. For a more detailed review on each of the different models (remembering that each has different features) and a full demonstration come into the shop.