Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone – The Disappointing RS180 Headphones

I originally looked at a bose unit that stands under the tv, but it looked huge under a 32′ set. Since only i, in our house, can appreciate the sonorous sounds of good speakers a headset was the best alternative. Again i looked at bose but which rated the sennheiser rs180 as best buy and i was not disappointed. I thought at first that having a quite expensive headset with no frequency controls was a bit of a gamble. But was pleasantly surprised as the sennheiser performs as well with a movie or music both rock and classical. I deliberately chose the ‘open back’ type because they are very comfortable to wear for a few hours and don’t get too hot. They are easy to ‘pair’ base to headset with the option of bringing up voices over sound which makes a huge difference, if like me, your ears have lost some of their high frequency range. As others have said, the few volume and balance controls on the right speaker, although aesthetically pleasing, take a bit of getting used to because they are extremely close together. Don’t let this put you off because once you get the knack you will be well pleased – and i speak as someone with poor dexterity. Additionally to the digital plug there are also rf leads – however i have used an optical toslink through a converter and am very pleased with the result.

Sennheiser rs180 (hdr180 headphones and tr180 transmitter)pros. The quality of sound is greatly improved from the older models. 2 rca sockets are provided for a further sound output. Attenuator switch for 0db or -8db is provided. Measured with uncompressed pads the gap between the headphones is only 56mm when unused so that adults may find the phones uncomfortably tight on the ears due to the strength of the headband. Range much reduced to the old model. When one set of phones leaves the room they fail before two walls away, but far worse, so does the other rs180 headphones that stay in the room with the transmitter as the phones are now linked. (max of 4 sets of headphones to 1 transmitter). Pairing both sets of headphones and the transmitter again only slightly improved the range, but the old hdr140`s were set up without any complications and the range was impressive (making a cuppa involved 4 rooms away, thats 4 brick walls between headphones and transmitter and still perfect tv sound). Printed instructions contains only basic safety and quick set-up, with comprehensive details only on cd. Harder to find and access the push buttons on the headphones when worn. Multi users set up far more complicated than old modelon off switch is now multi-task. Slowly revolving 360 degrees in one room away from the transmitter can fade out and bring back the sound, so the headphones are very directional. I love the sound of these new headphones, the speech is much clearer and has an impressive bass that does not colour the speech, but i am forever moving them to ease outer ear pain. (worn for about 3 hours a night for late night tv) and they are only slightly better than buying infra-red phones for range. Finally, don’t try to open the headband too far, that’s how i ended up dumping my hdr140’s and buying these.

I’m struggling with how to write this review. Words like superb, fantastic. Come to mind but they seem cliched. Well starting with the sound, i didn’t expect it to be this good. I’m surprised at the clarity, i can hear everything, every instrument. Listening to music again is new, i hear what was there but unheard by me before. It’s not just clarity but body as well, solid is a word that comes to mind, each instrument is solidly reproduced, it’s not a case of more volume but more content – if that makes sense. I used to want to turn up my old rs170’s, you don’t need high volume on these to get more. Connected to a tv – absolute clarity of voice and well of everything, voices are so distinct and clear that it transforms enjoyment of films and tv. Here are the specifications for the Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone:

  • Make sure this fits
    by entering your model number.
  • Automatic level control for optimum audio level
  • Multi purpose transmitter-also functions as an easy charge cradle and docking station
  • Dynamic headphones with clear and detailed audio reproduction

After doing quite a lot research i decided on these headphones. They are virtually plug and play and haven’t seen any sign of problems with router interference as some have reported. I find the signal stronger than my previous sennheisers (12 years old now) but like all digital signals will drop to zero when you venture too far. The sound quality is very good and battery life excellent (means i can listen all day to music, radio, and tv without a drop in quality or battery change) and i’ve found them comfortable to wear too. I agree that the volume/on/off switches are poorly placed, but once set rarely need to be touched, but still a niggle. I wonder if anyone can help with a question i have. The manual say’s first battery charge should be a minimum of 16 hours?. But the charge cuts out around 4 or five hours making a 16 hour charge impossibleany ideas on this?.

Disclaimer: this review reflects my needs from a wireless headphone. I am a big fan of sennheiser but i use wireless headphones exclusively attached to the tv due to poor hearing rather than to have a special experience listening to music from a stereo. Also, often move around the house doing bits and pieces while listening to the tv (who needs to actually see the faces of gary lineker, alan henson and mr shearer animatedly debating referee’s decisions on motd or paul merton and ian hislop having cheap shots at each other?). Therefore i am not looking for the perfect sound experience but a wireless headphone that will be comfortable, with good range, good battery life and reasonable good sound quality. Had a previous model (tr-140) that i loved but started having problems with some kind of faulty connection (the sound would go suddenly very low volume and i had to bang around the docking station to get it back up. Although the battery life is still excellent. (sometimes i listen/watch tv for some 8h and the headphone is still going), since it was some 5y old i thought it started to give up its ghost so decided to get a new one. I did not go to the rs 220 weary of reviews with issues around low battery life and more limited range for the very spiced price, so i settled for the rs180. The rs180 headphone is lighter and more comfortable that the tr-140. Also, being an open headphone gives a very good quality sound that is stereo.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • Starting with the sound, i didn’t expect it to be this good.

  • These changed my life.

  • High Definition sound to match HDTV

This was purchased, together with a second headphone set, primarily to enhance television listening. My wife and i both find tv speech sound muffled and overwhelmed by the ‘background’ music that seems so prevalent in today’s films. The headphones certainly help in that respect and have proved an asset. However, there are some issues and these are the main reason for the mediocre score. The main gripe is that it seems impossible to adjust the volume of the headphones on one set without simultaneously adjusting the other. This means of course that both listeners, regardless of personal preference, have to listen at the same volume. I can find nothing in the manual that addresses this problem. Another issue, though not of particular concern for our purpose, is the loss of signal when you move away from the transmitter. I have found that just moving a few yards away, the signal becomes fragmented. This would be a big issue if you purchased these intending perhaps to wear them around the house and garden.

Firstly let me say these headphones are the best i have ever used. I am no audiophile but to me these are a lifesaver. A few years back at 17 i was being given iv antibiotics to help get rid of a very nasty chest infection i ended up going into renal failure and as a result i also had ototoxicity because of the antibiotics. The antibiotics built up to an unsafe level in my blood and they then attacked my hearing. Over the course of a week my perfect hearing had been permanently damaged and i was now classed as severely hearing impaired. My whole world changed and life was very difficult to get used to. I was given hearing aids but they only help so much and aren’t a cure for hearing loss. I felt very closed off and lonely as i was struggling a lot to connect with the world. Watching tv could only be done with subtitles on and my regular earphones and headphones were useless. Before the hearing loss i loved having a little bit of bass in my headphones but afterwards bass only made things worse and more mumbled.

Absolutely delighted with these headphones. They are relatively expensive so i read most of the reviews before buying. Strangely i agree with most of the comments good and not so good. For me although over 80 i find no problems at all. The controls are small but once set they rarely need adjusting and the charging process always seems to work first time. I only use them in the same room as the transmitter so can not usefully comment on their range. The quality of sound is fantastic both fromtv and ipod. For classical music i certainly recommend the open rather than closed choice of headphone and these are not very obtrusive in average circumstances. October 2012have now purchased a second set of these ‘phones. A transmitter for bedroom and one downstairs near television.

Love these, upgraded from sennheiser rs120s that i had used for a really long time. These are way more comfortable than i expected, and the sound is great. I can wear them all day without them getting uncomfortable. Had them for close to a year and the only small complaint i have is that they go onto a sort of stand-by mode when no audio plays for a while. When a sound plays again they wake up, but it takes a split second so the first part of the sound is cut off. This does save the battery life though so it’s not all bad. Only bothers me if i’m editing video/audio, and these aren’t exactly designed for that.

These solve several problems for me: i like to have the door open as much as possible to let large dogs decide when they are in and out but don’t want to disturb the neighbours; my old dog gets upset by sinister music like shostakovich’s leningrad symphony; i don’t want to spend on a multi-room system when i hope to move to open plan but want to have good sound as i move about. So wireless headphones are a great idea in principle. In practice these sound great, there is no interference, they hardly ever drop out and then only for a split second if i move too quickly when i’m a long way from the transmitter. But as others have said, the small flush control buttons on the headphones, with on/off between volume up and volume down are a real pain. Even though i have small fingers i still often turn off when i am trying to turn down. The other problem is that you have to take off the earpads to replace the rechargeable batteries in the phones. You won’t have to do this often if you use good rechargeables unless you forget to charge the phones in the cradle. But when you do, the plastic tabs that clip the pads to the phones are too flimsy and easily broken. One of mine was a very stiff fit, so a tab has been broken in the struggle to get it off, superglue has failed and i have had to get a new set. I would take off rather more than one star for all this if there had been a decent alternative.

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One Response to Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone – The Disappointing RS180 Headphones

  1. 1.0 out of 5 stars Will fall apard after a shprt while says:
    The trouble is that these headphones are pathetically weakly made and they fall apart in moments. The only good place for these is in the bin, total waste of money as sennheiser couldn’t care less.
  2. Verified Purchase says:

    This review is from : Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

    The trouble is that these headphones are pathetically weakly made and they fall apart in moments. The only good place for these is in the bin, total waste of money as sennheiser couldn’t care less.
    • 5.0 out of 5 stars Best sound of music ever says:
      I love to listen the music all the time, so my wife made a gift for me in the form of this head phones. After one year of using them i have to say that i love them. The quality of sound is incredably good. Lack of cable is another great advantage of this product. Finally, the good product quality let me still use it without problems.
      • Verified Purchase says:
        I love to listen the music all the time, so my wife made a gift for me in the form of this head phones. After one year of using them i have to say that i love them. The quality of sound is incredably good. Lack of cable is another great advantage of this product. Finally, the good product quality let me still use it without problems.
  3. 5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic quality, very comfortable & the surround sound is ... says:

    This review is from : Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

    I bought this product ages ago but forgot to post a review. These are still working perfectly, fantastic quality, very comfortable & the surround sound is top notch. Was watching band of brothers pretty late last night & didn’t want to wake the wife with all the gunfire & these were just the trick. All in all i have to give 5 stars because i can’t find any faults.
  4. Verified Purchase says:

    This review is from : Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

    I bought this product ages ago but forgot to post a review. These are still working perfectly, fantastic quality, very comfortable & the surround sound is top notch. Was watching band of brothers pretty late last night & didn’t want to wake the wife with all the gunfire & these were just the trick. All in all i have to give 5 stars because i can’t find any faults.
    • 3.0 out of 5 stars Its more plastic than i thought, it does what ... says:
      Its more plastic than i thought, it does what it says on the tin, but the quality isn’t worth the price tag.
  5. Verified Purchase says:

    This review is from : Sennheiser RS 180 Open Digital Wireless Over-Ear Headphone (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

    Its more plastic than i thought, it does what it says on the tin, but the quality isn’t worth the price tag.
    • 1.0 out of 5 stars Awful headphones... says:
      Constantly drops out and there is a lot of background noise. Worst of all its not well made, the earpieces fell off. I hardly use it and looked after it so this is the final straw, straight to the bin what a waste of money. It’s annoying as sennheiser is usually a decent brand.
      • Verified Purchase says:
        Constantly drops out and there is a lot of background noise. Worst of all its not well made, the earpieces fell off. I hardly use it and looked after it so this is the final straw, straight to the bin what a waste of money. It’s annoying as sennheiser is usually a decent brand.
  6. 3.0 out of 5 stars Ran their course... says:
    Had them since july of 2015 and yesterday they broke on me. They had been buzzing for a couple months but it was manageable until yesterday when the buzzing was louder than the video i was trying to watch. It’s a shame because they’re genuinely a good pair of wireless headphones but i guess they’ve run their course.
    • Anonymous says:
      Had them since july of 2015 and yesterday they broke on me. They had been buzzing for a couple months but it was manageable until yesterday when the buzzing was louder than the video i was trying to watch. It’s a shame because they’re genuinely a good pair of wireless headphones but i guess they’ve run their course.

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