Sennheiser RS 180 Wireless Headphone (Playback 33)

Sennheiser RS 180

The RS 180 wireless headphone system utilizes Kleer's uncompressed digital wireless audio transmission technology, operating at 2.4 GHz. The transmitter can serve up to four pairs of headphones, so you can listen to movies or music with friends. The transmitter module also serves as both a headphone stand and charger. The input to the transmitter is analog, via a supplied cable terminated with RCA male connectors. The connector on the transmitter is a 3.5mm stereo mini jack, so you could also connect the line out of an iPod with the appropriate cable or docking station.

The RS 180 headphones themselves have controls for mute/power, volume and balance, so that you don’t have to return to base for these adjustments. The controls are on the right earcup, and seem to have been designed without reference to actual human bodies. The buttons are on the bottom of the earcup, which pretty much forces thumb operation (or contortionist use of the right hand fingers). But even my smallish thumb was much larger than the buttons, making accurate operation a bit difficult. Not only that, but the combination mute/power button is between volume up and volume down, which invites scenarios where you accidentally silence and/or turn off the RS 180s, when in fact you wanted to raise or lower volume. Recognizing that the power button also doubles as a mute button makes it position seem more logical, but even so I’d rather have it in a different place. After some use you get more adept at running the controls, but they require more thought than is ergonomically ideal.

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