Comparison: Wireless Headphones

Wireless Headphone Comparison

Wireless headphones are great. They allow you to listen to films and music, wireless free. Infrared, Digital, Analogue, Auto Tuning, Dolby Headphone, SRS WOW. With so many models avalible it can be confusing finding a pair to suit your needs and budget.

Sennheiser RS120 + RS130



Sound Quality: The sound quality is actually quite good. I would certainly say the RS130 are comparable to a pair of headphones (wired) of about £30. I have the iGrado (which cost £35) and none of the wireless models sound as good as these. The RS130 is the better pair and the bass is quite punchy, although not that deep. The sound is very clear.

Noise/Interference: This is the one thing against this model. The amount of hiss. Some people have advised increasing the source level, which is ok, but when you get silence in a film, you get hiss. On a plus, they do have fantastic battery life.

Sony MDR-DS3000


Sound Quality: If you use the optical input and a good source, with stereo sources the sound is very clear and again quite punchy bass, but its not very deep. This is a problem when watching films as the strong bass appears either weak or non existent. The surround effect is pretty useless to be honest, but for some reason I found DTS the most convincing and especially when using DTS CD’s, which make the headphones sound better, clearer and with more bass.

Noise Interference: These are digital infrared and are not affected by any other infrared device (remote control for example). Hiss is noticeable when you crack the volume though.

Note: I did have a pair of MDR-5100 before and this had interference from my DECT phone like the RS120+RS130 in a pulse like sound. This infrared is not digital. The MDR-DS3000 do have digital infrared and are not affected by this.

Philips SBC-1500

Sound Quality: Best wireless headphones by far using digital RF and PLL. Superb quality and comparable to a wired pair of headphones. Bass and treble are both superb and when watching films, actually produces a convincing 5.1 effect using Dolby Headphone. When used with a stereo source you feel like you are using a wired pair of headphones.

Noise/interference: Nothing. I tried a DECT phone, WIFI (wireless B/G/N), mobile phones, nothing will interfere with this.

Pioneer SE-DIR800II


Sound quality: Better than any of the sony wireless headphones but not as good as the Philips above. Bass is strong but not as deep as the philips and the sound is very clear. Not that amazing when playing stereo sources but in 5.1 via dolby headphone the sound is much better. A convincing surround effect? I would say it is better than every other wireless surround headphones, apart from the philips and other pioneer models. Change the wireless headphones for wired pair and the sound quality is superb, so the headphones are the weak link.

Noise/interference: Nothing. I tried a DECT phone, WIFI (wireless B/G/N), mobile phones, nothing will interfere with this. The sound only stops and becomes distorted if you cover the headphones infrared sensor, but why would you do that anyway? You can move around the room, face the opposite way and the sound is still exactly the same. The hiss is also virtually non existent.



  1. They are the best headphones I have ever used. They got the top reviews in every magazine they were featured in. And for some reason, in the UK, they disappeared of the face of the earth. I purchased a pair about 2004-2005 from for £249 and they are absolutely incredible. Philips updated them with optical and coaxial digital connections but never released them in the UK. This is the model I would recommend, if you can find them. Try AV Forums because I know some people have posted links to websites where they can be purchased online in the past. I wish you look with finding a pair of these great but unobtainable headphones.

  2. Hi Honglong,
    My name is Ravi and I live in Hyderabad, India. I keenly follow your posts in AVforums on Dolby headphones. I also own a Philips SBCHD1500U set (read my post with user name-airportrun) and I completely agree with you- they rock:). I seek your advice on the following:
    1. I am planning to buy a Pioneer SE-DIR800C headphones from the USA (my sister lives there). I have to buy a voltage transformer and I have been researching on the number of watts which the headphones operate one…could not figure out anywhere in the internet. Do you think a 100W transformer will do the job or do I have to go for a 200W transformer?
    2. I did not go for the SE-DRS3000C model as it is not launched outside Japan and any service/ repair related issue will be a challenge- please share your views on the headphones.
    3. Do you suggest any of the Sony models over the Pioneer SE-DIR800C?
    4. I am also not buying the DIR800CII model as I am worried about the service/ repair related challenges, these headphones are also not launched in the USA…do you think that CII model is many times superior than the 800C model?

    Your inputs will greatly help and I loon forward for your reply. Pl reply to my email id-

    Best regards
    +91 98850 46666

    • I would certainly always go for the Pioneer over the Sony’s simply because they use Dolby Headphone as apposed to Sony’s surround implementation.

      But let your ears decide. Try various models out and go with the ones you like the sound of and appeal the most to your ears.

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