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Sennheiser releases RS 220 wireless headphones


September 2, 2011

Sennheiser's new RS 220 wireless headphones are said to offer sound quality similar to that of hard-wired headphones

Sennheiser's new RS 220 wireless headphones are said to offer sound quality similar to that of hard-wired headphones

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How many people out there like headphone cords? Probably not a great number, but audiophiles will tell you that hard-wired headphones offer far superior sound quality than their wireless counterparts. Sennheiser, however, would have us believe otherwise. The company states that thanks to its Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique, its new RS 220 wireless headphones sound like they've got a cord coming out of 'em.

DSSS, as described by Sennheiser, "is a frequency spreading process in which the output signal is spread to a width of 22 MHz by means of a specified bit sequence." This means that the audio data is transmitted simultaneously on several different frequencies, so if one frequency experiences interference, the data is still able to get through on one or more others.

The RS 220 system also doesn't assign an optimum signal volume to its digital data packages. This is a good thing, as it keeps the dynamic range of the music intact - some wireless systems average out the signal, so the quiet sections of a piece end up being louder than intended, and the loud parts quieter.

The headphones themselves incorporate dynamic transducers with neodymium magnets, have a frequency response of 19 to 21,000 hertz, and a maximum sound pressure level of 106 decibels. They are powered by a rechargeable battery pack, which offers eight hours of music playback per charge. Onboard controls allow users to adjust volume and balance, select tracks, and to switch between audio sources, as the transmitter has analogue, coaxial digital and optical digital inputs.

The transmitter puts out an uncompressed 2.4 GHz signal, which can reach the headphones' receiver at a distance of up to 100 meters (328 ft) within a clean line of sight, or 30 meters (98 ft) if not in the same room. It can also serve two sets of the headphones at once.

Sennheiser's RS 220 wireless headphones are due to arrive in stores this month, at an as-yet unknown price.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Well, I clicked the link to Sennheiser and their website was useless.

Do these headphones produce stereo or surround sound? If only the former, then they\'re unnecessary for me - since I\'ve used the Pioneer wireless SE-DIR800C headphones for years - and they\'re Dolby certified for surround sound.

If the Sennheiser\'s are surround - any idea how much they\'ll cost in the States?


i have 2 pairs of RS180\'s. They are brillliant, i use mine when the kids go to sleep, the sound is great, and i dont hear the kids. :)


Hate it already: \"a rechargeable battery pack\" ---another proprietary solution. After you happen to lose your charger you are done: happens to me times and again with all sorts of cameras and other gadgets rendered thereby useless paperweights. Why not regular AA rechargeables?? What is wrong with regular AAs ??! Not posh enough? Ultra high tech ready for the landfill.

(A proprietary trend was given boost with Apples and Kindles with lithium batteries you cannot even take out and replace as a customer. Oh, how I hate Apples and Kindles for the corporate proprietary dictatorship!)


It\'s unusual for Sennheiser to use a proprietary battery pack. They normally use normal rechargeable batteries. If I am right the RS 180s use normal rechargeable. They are definitely surround sound. Nice to see they have optical audio jacks. The only thing I would say was missing on the RS 180s I would imagine they would be around the $350 mark with Amazon


Cemlyn Jones

Nehopsa - You don\'t know what you are talking about! I have replaced the battery in my MacBook and my Ipad myself with ease! Oh yeah, forgot about my Ipod too!

Warren Gang

I like my Sennheiser 555\'s but it would be great to lose the cord.

DanMar Dinsmore

Interesting point on the proprietary battery pack.

I downloaded the specifications for the RS 220 and it specifies: Power supply 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries (BA 200, type HR03). HR03 are just AAA 750mAh rechargeable batteries. Below is a spec from Duracell...


Size: AAA Rechargeable Capacity: 750 mAh Chemistry: Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Voltage: 1.2V Brand: Duracell Equivalent Name: HR03 and DC2400

The only things I am finding for \"BA 200\" are military 5V lantern batteries. I assume BA 200 is an internal part number for Sennheiser .

Leon Montgolf
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