Product Type: Sony headphones
Newest Review: ... I mentioned earlier the headphones provide the high quality of sound that you'd expect from Sony. The quality of sound rivals that mo... more
Unsung hero of the wireless headphone world
Sony MDR RF860RK
Member Name: xiang
Sony MDR RF860RK
Advantages: Extremely easy to setup and use
Disadvantages: Sound quality could be better
I'd been looking around for a new pair of wireless headphones ever since my sennheiser hdr-120 developed a chronic crackling sound. So I set my budget to to around £50 which is what I paid for the sennheiser. Luckliy I found these for under the budget!!! First impressions, though fairly light, they're a little bulky and make you look like a cyberman from doctor who. The plastic feels a little flimsy in places especially at the hinges between the ear cups and head band. The ear cups themselves are soft to the touch but never seem to sit exactly on the ears and are not deep enough to form a proper seal around the ears. Initial impressions aside, when you start to use them, you really appreciate just how innovative they really are. To begin with, the charging cradle maybe a little odd looking, but its design allows them to be charged simply by dropping them into the cradle and everything falls into position. There are no metal contacts to align because the battery is charged using an induction system similar to that used by electric toothbrushes. This is far and away a much superior system than anything that uses metal contacts (are you listening sennheiser?). There's a lot to be said for simplicity and the headphones have just two controls; a volume wheel and a auto tuning button. The cradle has a 3 channel switch and all you have to do is set whichever channel you want and push the auto tuning button and hey presto, a second later, its found the right channel. You may be asking 'but how do you switch it on and off?'. The answer is; you don't have to! When you place the headphones on your head, you push the spring loaded headband upwards which automatically activates them. When you take them off, the headband retracts and they switch off. Thats a definition of cool.
When using analogue radio frequencies for sending and receiving sound, you're always going to get some interference from the numerous wireless devices like, WiFi, Dect phones, etc. And these headphones are no exception. No matter which channel I chose, there was always a quiet background hiss, but this was only really noticeable during quiet parts of a movie or game. Overall sound reproduction is a little disappointing. its relatively flat, with a noticeable lack of bass, and the top end frequencies dont have enough volume. This is definitely not one for the audio purists and video enthusiasts. However, the range is fairly good and the transmitter is strong. In my home the furthest I can go is about 20m away and at this distance the signal had no problem passing through the ceilings and brick walls.
My only other gripe was that I had to initially charge it for 18 hours before I could use them, but thats really a problem with my patience and a single charge should last about 16 hours +.
As a part time gamer, video watcher and general consumer (i.e. someone that likes things to be as user friendly as possible) I strongly recommend these to people who don't have a lot of money to spend but enjoys the little luxuries like something as simple as wirefree entertainment. These are definitely value for money.
Summary: Cool, innovative and good value for money
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