Sennheiser RS175 review: A wireless listening solution for at-home gamers, streaming users, or anyone else who enjoys the sounds of their shows, the Sennheiser RS175 is a great choice. Although we liked the solid connectivity and comfortable fit, it was a little daunting to pay for such a high-end product.
We like this
Sound spectrum rich
Connectivity at its best
Fairly quiet max volume
A bit pricey
Sennheiser RS175 headphones are bulky and offer good connectivity. They also provide a snug fit. These headphones are almost worth their high price.
The Sennheiser RS175 was purchased by us so that our expert reviewer could fully test it and evaluate it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.
It is not well-known that the Sennheiser RS175 RF Wireless Headphones are able to fill a niche. Bluetooth wireless headphones are well-known, as Bose QuietComforts or Apple AirPods dominate the market. An RF-connecting wireless headset is suited for a different audience. The unit connects only wirelessly to its receiver, so to receive signal from your headphones you will need to connect the receiver to your sound system.
As such, this category of headphones is largely marketed for at-home use—for those who want to use wireless headphones while watching TV shows or playing video games. It is important to have a pair that can connect wirelessly using a different method, as TVs are not often equipped with Bluetooth. Our pair of RS175s lasted us about a week. We watched Netflix and played AAA games. You can read on to find out how it all worked out.
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Although some Sennheiser headphones are modern and have sleek designs, the RS175s don't. However, this is not a lack of effort. The headphones are full of Sennheiser-esque cues. These cups measure approximately 4 inches high and have a slightly upside-down teardrop shape. However, some edges of the cup have been made into a pentagonal shape.
The headphones' other major design feature is the waffled panel in industrial style that can be found on the cup's outside. It is all black, with a small dark gray band around the textured plate. It's otherwise pretty normal.
The headphones' bulky and large size is what really detracts from their design. As we said, each cup measures 4 inches high. However, they are almost 2.5 inches at their thickest point. They look comically big on the head and are therefore more dated than other models. Even at the lower end price point, Bluetooth headphones are largely made up of relatively thin headsets. These headphones are not futuristic in design, but they do offer some interesting options.
The headphones' bulk and size are what really detracts from their design. As we have already mentioned, each cup measures 4 inches high. However, they are almost 2.5 inches at their thickest point.
Last note, the stand is very premium with its two-tone construction. It also features a tiered design. It will complement any entertainment system, with or without headphones.
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These headphones are extremely soft and plush. They are heavy, which is a good thing for comfort. The earcups as well as the headband padding are thick and soft. The faux-leather covering felt more like a rubbery, thin coating. Although we would have liked to see a firmer foam used for the inner pads, once they are on the ear it is easy to lose yourself in the perfect fit and isolation.
The headband's adjustable sections slide easily in and out, which is a small bonus. Premium headphones will force you to use a hard-ratcheting mechanism to get the adjusters in and out. They fit much better and are easier to adjust. While we did experience some discomfort during prolonged gaming sessions, this is to be expected when using bulky headphones. These headphones were an absolute joy to use.
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The RS175 headphones' premium feel is another reason to be a fan. They feel thick in the ears, especially at the earcups. The headband adjustment mechanism was also well built. This quality is evident in every part of the design. Thanks to the cup's waffled plates, all plastic parts feel sturdy and thick. It is worth noting that the connections between each earcup and headband feel a little loose, which makes them seem a bit wobbly.
After long listening sessions, the foam covering feels like it might rip. With a rubber base to hold it in place, the charging stand feels sturdy. The only problem is that the thick earcups don't easily slide onto the charging station. Although it's easy to place them, the packaging would feel a lot nicer if they were a little easier to click in. It's an excellent, premium package.
The headphones are connected via radio frequencies, specifically the 2.4-2.48GHz band according to Sennheiser. We found the connection was not as susceptible to digital dropouts as one using the Bluetooth protocol. We noticed that interference was possible through several walls. This can be a double-edged weapon. While you will probably find no interference in the room you are currently located, it is possible to have problems if there are dropouts down the hallway or other rooms. If your purpose is gaming and general entertainment, this shouldn't pose a problem.
You must consider how the receiver connects with the source of the music. Most headphones of this type use analog connections to connect to TVs, usually a 3.5mm aux-jack.
The RS175s have an optical digital output. It is a useful feature, particularly if you plan to use the surround sound features. This is how high-resolution audio can be sent and received from TVs. You can connect your receiver using the same method as your speaker or soundbar setup with the optical option.
The RS175's pack plenty of richness in their frequency response—a fact we were very pleased to find when using them for video games and immersive movie experiences. The specs look solid on paper. They have a frequency range of 17Hz to 22kHz and offer plenty of buffer zone for both sides of the human hearing spectrum. The headphones have a maximum volume of 114 decibels, less than 0.5% harmonic distortion and are closed-loop, dynamic transducer builds. They transmit sound using radio frequency rather than the digital compression required by Bluetooth. This makes them sound good.
These were used mainly for gaming. Capturing the subtleties of dialogue, sound effects and music is difficult. We are happy to report that all aspects of sound design were beautifully rendered.
What does that actually translate into in real life? The headphones offered a rich frequency response experience that we felt was very satisfying. These headphones were used primarily to play games, which can make it difficult to capture the subtleties of dialogue, sound effects and music. We are happy to say that the entire sound design was beautifully captured. Sennheiser also included a Surround Sound option that can be switched from either the receiver or right earcup. This system is a mostly digital trick and not pure surround sound. We were surprised by its effectiveness.
Surround sound was particularly effective (and downright terrifying) for the horror video game we played while testing these—something we might not recommend when you're home alone. Sennheiser offers a bass booster option but this made the sound too muffled. The volume was a little low, but we would have preferred more headroom for movies that are dynamic. This is a small gripe considering that you will likely use these at home, and not have to contend with excessive noise pollution. However, it is something to be aware of.
This category of wireless devices is the RS175. You don't want your headphones to go dead in middle of a video or game. However, the headphones can be taken on-the-go so make sure you have a charging source. Sennheiser estimates that the battery can last 18 hours on one charge. This is close to the actual battery life, but it's a little optimistic considering our trending battery life.
Since the receiver doubles as a charging stand for headphones, they will theoretically charge even if you don't have them on your head. This system is a great idea. Given the fact that many people keep their headphones in fancy cases by their desks, it's not surprising that more manufacturers of wireless headphones don't sell charging stands.
Because the receiver doubles as a charging stand for headphones, they will theoretically charge even if you don't have them on.
The only times we were close to running out of battery power was when playing long games or when they were left on the table overnight instead of being charged. Sennheiser uses rechargeable triple A batteries instead of the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries found in most headphones. It is possible to quickly charge your headphones with non-rechargeable battery packs.
It is hard to assess the value of a product such as Sennheiser RS175 in terms price. Although it has premium sound quality specs, the product is not as expensive as the Sony WH1000 series. The use case for this model is also very unique. These are listed by Sennheiser at $279.99, however they can be purchased for close to $200 on Amazon.
We believe the cost of the R175 is well worth the investment, even if it is near $200. The R175 headphones have a lot of connectivity options and feel luxurious. They are a great choice if you are looking for a wireless at-home solution.
Sony MDRRF995:You'll get more for your money with Sony's at-home wireless headphones, but not as much quality connectivity.
ARTISTE Television Headphones:A more affordable RF option for ARTISTE is available. It has received a lot of good customer reviews but is not as durable.
Avantree HTML5009: You'll be able to get decent build quality for around $100 but not enough frequency response.
This is a great option for wireless entertainment at home.
The Sennheiser RS175s headphones are ideal for those who need to use their at-home entertainment system with headphones. This is a specific case and most people will prefer standard Bluetooth headphones. This makes it seem quite expensive. These will suit those who like to watch and play at home thanks to their premium build and Sennheiser sound specifications.