Good news, wireless headphones are sounding better and better thanks to advanced wireless technologies and many headphone manufacturers' product development efforts.If you're looking for wireless headphones to use with your TV, visit our Best Headphones for TV article to learn which headphones are best for you.
Learn About Wireless Headphones and Transmission Types
There are two categories of wireless headphones: those for use at home (most often for watching TV); and those typically used with portable players and smartphones. In both cases the signal can be transmitted through the air a number of ways. Infra-red systems use invisible red light like a TV remote control; they are limited to one room and line-of-sight reception and typically suffer from poor audio signal quality. Systems that use radio frequency (RF) are usually 900 MHz FM analog transmission and can reach throughout a typical home. One of the clearest and best sounding wireless systems employs 900 mHz FM digital transmission. As long as you stay within range the audio remains clear, but when you begin to move out of range the signal can start to waver.
Smartphone, iPhone, iPad and many portable player wireless systems also employ a number of different wireless transmission methods. Bluetooth wireless is very common in Droid and iPhone headsets and is nowadays of fairly good quality and essentially noise-less since it uses digital-based signal transmission. There are also wireless products that use KLEER™ full CD resolution (uncompressed) or DSSS digital schemes and both types can often sound quite good.
Best Wireless Headphone Reviews: For the Home
A wireless favorite employing Kleer digital transmission scheme is the Sennheiser RS180, which utilizes an open-back full-size headphone and numerous features to improve your movie and music listening. The less expensive Sennheiser RS160 is a well-priced wire-free performer with a closed-back headphone design but with fewer operational features. One of the top-sounding wireless headphone systems we've heard is the Sony MDR-DS6500, which also uses digital wireless transmission and has a number of excellent modern TV features like digital optical audio inputs, Dolby Digital and Pro Logic decoding, plus audio compression for better speech & dialogue intelligibility. Easily the best wireless headphone we've ever heard to date at HeadRoom is the Sennheiser RS220 which purports to offer same high-end audiophile sound quality as the 'wired' Sennheiser HD650 model -- and comes pretty darn close!
Best Wireless Headphone Reviews: Smartphones & Active Use
Exceptionally good wireless headphones for portable audio applications are becoming more and more popular with the advent of improved Bluetooth sound performance. In-ear Bluetooth designs provide excellent isolation and good sound. Utah-based JayBird makes two amazing Bluetooth wireless models, the headphone Sportsband and the in-ear Freedom. Ostensibly 'sport oriented' designs, the JayBird headphones deliver about the best 'bang for the buck' Bluetooth sound quality we've heard yet priced under $99. The Phiaton PS20 BT also gives the JayBird a tight run for its money with a comfortable in-ear fit and open clarity of tone and voice; the Phiaton PS210 BTNC model adds 'active' noise-cancelling for extra-quiet ambient noise reduction during your commutes. The best single-earpiece 'mono' wireless smartphone headset we've heard for audio clarity on both sides of a conversation is the Etymotic EtyBLU2, which has a single in-ear earpiece that provides outstanding isolation with a superb mic that almost completely rejects all off-axis sound.
Following is our offering of excellent wireless headphones available at HeadRoom, and please feel free to call us toll-free at (800) 828-8184 for personalized recommendations and in-depth advice.