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Sennheiser RS 180

Est. $245
Reviewed
April 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Sennheiser RS 180

Best wireless headphones

Pros
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Comfortable
  • Good wireless range
  • Automatic Level Control
Cons
  • Awkward button placement
  • Some minor sound lag

Bottom line

The Sennheiser RS 180 wireless headphone sounds so good that critics say it can be hard to tell the difference from wired headphones in the same price class. Compared to other wireless headphones, hiss and interference are greatly reduced. The wireless range is excellent too, as long as you don't let too many walls get in the way.

Performance

Wired sound quality without the wires. Many experts are surprised by just how clear the Sennheiser RS 180 sounds, particularly since many similar wireless headphones suffer from hiss and interference. Steve Guttenberg of CNET especially likes the RS 180's ALC (Automatic Level Control) feature, which equalizes the sound volume across scenes when watching movies or TV. Reviewers also appreciate the headphones' wireless range. While most say it can't actually reach the 300-plus feet claimed by Sennheiser without loss of signal, they say the actual range of about 100 feet is still pretty impressive. One quirk that users dislike is the slight lag in audio transmission when watching TV.

Comfort

Easy on the ears, not the fingers. Guttenberg says the Sennheiser RS 180 is "remarkably comfortable to wear," an observation that's echoed by many users on sites like Amazon.com and Crutchfield.com. The open-back design cuts down on overheating during long listening sessions. But because the open-back design lets sound leak out, the RS 180 might not be the best wireless headphones for watching TV unless you are doing so solo. Both experts and owners say accessing the volume and power buttons on the right earcup is a bit of a pain. Because the power and volume buttons are tightly packed together, reviewers say it's easy to hit the wrong button by mistake. However, many owners add that their fingers got used to the setup over time.

Value

Top quality doesn't come cheap. The RS 180's price tag is high compared to some competitors. Still, these Sennheiser wireless headphones offer a lot for the price: comfort, range and top-notch sound performance. Another plus: A single transmitter can feed up to four pairs of headphones, so multiple users can listen simultaneously. It's possible to find wired headphones of similar quality for less, but if you want a truly excellent set of headphones with wireless convenience, you won't find a better choice than the RS 180.

Where To Buy
Sennheiser RS 180 Digital Wireless Headphones

 
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Our Sources

1. CNET

Steve Guttenberg says that the Sennheiser RS 180's audio quality is very close to that of top-notch wired headphones and that they're extremely comfortable. He admits that the tight placement of the volume, power and balance buttons aren't ideal, but he doesn't hesitate to recommend these headphones.

Review: Sennheiser RS 180 Review, Steve Guttenberg, Sept. 21, 2012

2. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org includes Sennheiser RS 180 wireless headphones among the headphones it tests. Editors classify wireless headphones as either portable or home/studio style. Each pair receives an overall rating, as well as individual ratings for sound quality and sensitivity.

Review: Headphones, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

3. Wired

Christopher Jones awards the Sennheiser RS 180 a rating of 7 out of 10, which translates to "very good, but not quite great." He says these headphones offer "superb sound quality," comfort and long battery life, but their controls are a bit tricky to use.

Review: Sennheiser RS 180 Wireless Headphones, Christopher Jones, March 29, 2010

4. Amazon.com

Amazon.com users give the Sennheiser RS 180 4.2 stars out of 5 overall following more than 500 reviews. Users say the headphones are comfortable and provide excellent, hiss-free sound quality, and their wireless range is very good. The main complaint is that the controls are somewhat awkward.

Review: Sennheiser RS 180 Digital Wireless Headphone System, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014

5. Crutchfield.com

We found about 70 reviews here for the Sennheiser RS 180, with ratings averaging 4.5 stars out of 5. The comments we saw here generally echo those at Amazon.com: excellent sound, comfort, and wireless range, but finicky controls.

Review: Sennheiser RS 180 Wireless Headphones with Docking Station, Contributors to Crutchfield.com, As of July 2013

6. What Hi-Fi?

This British magazine gives the Sennheiser RS 180 a perfect 5-star rating, saying they "comfortably justify their price." The write-up is brief, but clearly based on hands-on testing. Editors highlight the headphones' strongest points: comfort and "punchy, detailed sound."

Review: Sennheiser RS 180, Editors of What Hi-Fi? , Not Dated

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