All other things being equal, I’d guess most of us would rather have wireless than wired headphones. It is pretty obvious that cords get in the way, cords require you to remove headphones to get up and find an old CD, and cords restrict your dance moves. Of course, cords are so much a part of headphones that we don’t think about the limitations they impose. Sennheiser has, however, thought about it, and they’ve produced a broad range of wireless designs—ten different designs in all, to cater to various budgets and tastes. Are these a valid alternative to their wired brethren?
Consider this wireless headphone if: you crave the freedom of wireless headphone listening and want a balanced, low coloration sound.
Look elsewhere if: you want the last word in clarity and bandwidth, or if you prefer to fine-tune your headphones via amp selection.
RATINGS (relative to comparably priced wireless headphones)
• Treble: 9
• Midrange: 8.5
• Bass: 8
• Soundstaging: 10
• Dynamics: 8
• Value: 10
The Sennheiser RS 180 under review here is the top of Sennheiser’s RS line of wireless headphones, and seems to be the model most oriented to accurate musical reproduction. The RS line uses RF (Radio Frequency) wireless signals to transmit sound from a source (CD player, iPod or PC with DAC and line out) to the headphones. Sennheiser claims that the RS 180s work up to 100 meters from the transmitter (a small vertical box that sits next to your source). In practice, I found the RS 180s worked up to about 75 feet, which is still substantial in the context of normal rooms.