High-End Sennheiser RS 220 Wireless Headphones

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Wireless headphones haven’t been known to satisfy the golden ears of demanding audiophiles. That could change with the release of the RS 220 Digital Wireless Headphones from Sennheiser.

Named a CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree, the RS 220 transmits uncompressed digital signals via a stable 2.4 GHz radio frequency using Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology, which spreads the output signal, limiting interference and maintaining sound quality.

The RS 220 connects to analog stereo, coaxial digital and optical digital outputs, enabling users to attach the transmitter to up to three audio sources. Signal loop-through is supported, allowing the transmitter to be integrated into an existing connection between an audio source and another device. Buttons on the headphones let you select the audio source and control volume and balance.

To retain such effects as the transition from quiet to loud music over a wireless signal, the RS 220 dispenses an automatic level control function. The data from the digital sources are transmitted unchanged, and the user can manually adjust the reference volume for the analog inputs.

The headphones operate for up to 8 hours (6-8 typical) on the included rechargeable AAA batteries. You can recharge the headphones by simply docking them on the transmitter, which also functions as a charging base.

B&H expects to have the headphones in stock beginning in March. The transmitter supports a second set of wireless headphones for two-party private listening.

The RS 220 headphones join other wireless headphones from Sennheiser, including the RS 160 model, expected in February. If wireless connectivity isn’t important, newly-arrived wired headphones from Sennheiser available now include: the HD 219 On-Ear Stereo Headphones, HD 229 On-Ear Stereo Headphones in black or white, HD 239 On-Ear Stereo Headphones, HD 429 Around-Ear Stereo Headphones, HD 439 Around-Ear Stereo Headphones and HD 449 Around-Ear Stereo Headphones.

Transmission DSSS
Operating Frequency 2.4 GHz
Wireless Range Up to 300' (91 m) line-of-sight, 100' (30 m) indoors
Frequency Response 16 Hz - 22 kHz
Transmitter Connections Stereo analog RCA, digital S/PDIF coaxial and Toslink optical
Headphone Batteries 2 NiMH rechargeable AAA, removable
Operating Time 6 - 8 hrs
Headphone Weight 11.1 oz (329 g) (including batteries)
Transmitter Weight 1.1 lb (484 g)