The Sennheiser RS120 headphones have not been designed to be used as your listening method of choice when out and about as you are entertained by your favourite portable music player. Instead this headset is meant to free you from being physically tied to the source of your listening material when in the home. The Sennheiser RS120 achieves this feat through the use of wireless technology to deliver the audio from the source to your ears.
Described as an “open, supra-aural wireless RF headphone”, the Sennheiser RS120 consists of the receiver headphones and a transmitting charging docking station. You also get a mains power lead, two rechargeable AAA batteries and an adapter for converting a 3.5mm jack plug to a 6.3mm jack plug. Documentation is provided in the form of a couple of booklets covering Quick Start and Safety issues.
The over-the-ear style headphone unit has been designed in such a way that they can only fit comfortably on the head when positioned the correct way round. This ensures that, even if you miss the “R” and “L” indicators above each ear piece, the appropriate audio stream is delivered to the correct ear. The head band has three padded sections arranged across the top while the swivel mounted earpieces are well padded for a comfortable fit.
Separate controls are located on each earpiece. On the left you will find the on/off switch while the right earpiece has control wheels to adjust tuning and the volume level. The left earpiece also features a battery compartment for the two AAA batteries that power the headphones. This compartment is revealed by twisting the padded section of the earpiece.
As mentioned earlier, the RS120 kit comes with rechargeable AAA batteries. These batteries are charged by placing the headphones on a metal frame that extrudes from the unit’s black and grey docking station which needs to be connected to a power source. Attaching the supplied power lead for this purpose proved to be a very tight fit ensuring there was no chance of this lead becoming accidently disconnected. Along with being connected to a power source, the transmitting docking station needs to be linked to an audio device via a permanently attached lead.
Positioned at the front of the docking station is a small toggle switch that allows you to select from three available channels. This feature only comes into its own if you have more than one transmitter broadcasting from different audio sources.
When setting up the kit you do need to make sure that the transmitter is connected to a power and audio source. It is possible that the headphones could be able to pick up a signal if the transmitter is only connected to either power or audio source but you can be sure that the quality will be distorted by static and it will not be the audio you might expect. With both power and audio connections established you will probably need to make a minor adjustment to the tuning to get the optimum signal for your listening pleasure. You can also adjust the volume setting. I found it easier to adjust both the tuning and volume level when not wearing the headphones.
Sennheiser has rated the range of the wireless capability of this unit at being up to 100 metres. Presumably the tests that were used to give this figure were based on an open environment or one that contained no walls or obstructions between the source and destination. When in operation in my home, static began to intrude on the signal when I was 24 metres away from the transmitter. The signal had to travel through several walls which reduced the signal strength so causing this problem.
Keeping within the 24 metres produced a good clear signal with excellent audio quality. I was pleased with the performance of the Sennheiser RS120 allowing me to wander around my home listening to my favourite music without the need to be tethered by a trailing lead. I had seen the Sennheiser RS120 priced at £96.
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