Sennheiser RS 180 Review
Sennheiser, the German audio engineering and manufacturing company are long renowned in the audio industry as providing the highest quality components and peripherals. The RS 180’s, a set of premium wireless headphones, are no exception to the rule, and we test them under a variety of conditions to see how they perform.
I’ll describe a scenario which I imagine is pretty familiar to most of you. You’re sitting at home ready to kick back and enjoy the latest action blockbuster or Belgian arthouse flick (whatever your fancy) on your ludicrously sized TV, when your significant other bursts into the room with a look of disgust on his/her face. Defeated as always, you are forced to turn down the volume to the point where you are straining to hear the dialogue, and start to question whether you are in fact going deaf. Needless to say, the enjoyment of the film is largely ruined.
This is the type of scenario for which the RS 180’s were made for.
The Sennheiser RS 180 package first appears on our doorstop, and we unravel it. We’re amazed at just how German the RS 180’s look, sporting an steel-grey, sophisticated appearance. They just look efficient and professional. They come with a similarly themed sturdy looking metal stand to rest them on, which is very cool, and the velour-covered ear cups are big enough to fully encapsulate your ear and ensure outside sound is completely blocked out – but not too big as to be bulky or uncomfortable in any way.
We first test the RS 180 on our home theatre setup, connecting them to a Samsung Series 8 LED 55 inch with Transformers 3 on the Blu-Ray player. Immediately, our fascination is aroused by just how far you can take these things from the transmitter without any loss of audio quality or signal at all. It actually feels quite surreal as you walk outside – we even walked as far as the letterbox and our street- with crisp, clean and high quality explosions, music and dialogue coming through as if we were two feet in front of the TV.
This, in a nutshell, is the main reason why we recommend the Sennheiser RS180’s over other brands of wireless headphones. They employ Sennheiser’s patented KLEER technology, which allows it to transmit and receive high quality digital audio over long distances – far longer than devices using standard Bluetooth.
In fact, compare the maximum range of most Bluetooth devices – 30 feet – to the maximum range on KLEER devices, about 300 feet on most models – and you can see why opting for a KLEER enabled device is the obvious choice.
In addition, KLEER devices such as the Sennheiser RS 180 do not require pairing, a painstaking and annoying process in which you have to get the transmitter unit and the headphone to sync with each other (which can be lost or interrupted at random times). KLEER devices are truly plug and play – simply switch on the transmitter unit and you’re good to go. A much desired and welcome improvement for wireless headphone users.
KLEER links are also very low latency, so you won’t notice any lag time at all when watching movies or television (older wireless headphone units often had a problem where there was an ever so slight lag between lip movement and the corresponding speech).
As far as sound quality goes, the Sennheiser RS 180’s are basically faultless. The speakers manage to reproduce a wide frequency range at exacting precision, from the deep growling bass of thundering explosions to the delicate and subtle sounds of a full symphony orchestra. Vocal quality in particular is superb, making the RS 180’s highly recommended for watching movies and playing games.
Dedicated audiophiles who will be listening primarily to music will probably want a wired pair to ensure deeper bass and more refined audio, but those consumers are not likely to be in the market for wireless headphones anyway. In the world of wireless headphones, the Sennheiser RS 180’s are pretty much unsurpassed – providing crisp, clear sound with hardly any of the drawbacks traditionally associated with wireless headphones.
Key Technical Features
- Over-the-ear Headphone
- Over-the-head Design
- Neodymium Magnet
- 18 Hz – 21000 Hz Headphone Frequency Response
- 32 ohm Headphone Impedance
- 110 dB/mW Headphone Sensitivity at 1 kHz
- Dynamic Transducer Systems
- 5 V DC, 500 mA power supply
- Automatic Level Control