Sennheiser RS 175 RF Headphones Review
Sennheiser is a master of sound and their RF headphones lien-up piqued everybody’s interest. RS 175 is the middle child of that line-up but it’s surprisingly the easiest to listen to. The audio from RS 175 has this lovely spiciness to it which makes TV shows and movies much more enjoyable. Operating in the 2.4-2.8 GHz band these RF headphones have shown appreciable range and high resistance to signal interference. RS 175 gives you noise-free sound coupled with wireless connectivity and multiple listening modes. It weighs almost the same as their predecessor, RS 165 and builds upon the DNA of the same offering a better wireless range and more nuanced audio.
Sennheiser RS 175 wireless headphones can sustain the same sound quality over both digital and analog connection. Most headphones lose some character when they are connected wirelessly. Not RS 175. It is a closed back headphone that cuts out the ambient noise to a large extent. The normal audio is balanced and sounds natural, no frills attached. That’s the trademark Sennheiser behavior. Bass, mids and highs all sound genuine and companionable. This neutral signature is great if you want to catch David Guetta’s TV through an audio playback device. The movie dialogues sound sharp and clear in this mode and explosions and gunfire show a considerable impact. Soundstage is sufficiently wide in ordinary mode but not stunning like open-back headphones.
Apart from the usual audio, RS 175 offers two options: the bass boost mode and the virtual surround sound mode. Bass boost options pumps up the sub-bass and bass regions pretty thick. This mode does an impression of the older Skullcandy earbuds and get muddy at high volumes. However they do add energy to some tracks. This mode is not absolutely necessary unless you want the guilty pleasure of extra rumble at the price of details. The virtual surround sound mode frees up the audio and transports it to larger mental area. It sounds like the soundstage acquired a bigger bachelor pad and threw a house-party with instruments. This mode lacks body in the RS 175 and may come across as a little dull. But you gradually accept it in lieu of the real 7.1 surround sound.
There’s very less sound leakage from the RS 175 headphones. So if you are watching TV in the bedroom your significant other can still sleep in peace. Sennheiser claims a 100m range for RS 175. In an urban home or office environment, this figure is likely to be lower. But the connection does not drop or get disturbed by moving behind a wall or hitting the kitchen for some unhealthy snacks.
Design and features
The Sennheiser RS 175 RF headphones package consists mainly of the closed-back headphone and a transmitter which moonlights as a charging dock and storage rack. The transmitter can connect digitally to the TV and also has a 3.5mm port for the analog cables that are supplied with it. The transmitter can connect to up to two RS 175 sets at once for you to share your audio with a partner. It can connect to portable playback devices through a 3.5mm cable or connect to TV via the RCA cables.
Over-ear earcups of the RS 175 RF headphones are padded with faux-leather and clamp gently over the ears without causing any strain. All the useful controls are situated on the left earcup. It has the bass boost button, the surround sound button and volume navigation buttons. Passive noise isolation is done very well by the earpads. The headband is lined with two cushions which do not distribute the pressure so well. So you might have to take some time off from wearing these headphones in between. This design allows the charging dock to charge the headphones using the gap between the two cushions. The headphones are powered by 2 AAA batteries and last well over 15 hours on moderate volumes.
The charging dock is a fairly lightweight structure that is made of plastic. It does not inspire confidence on its build. It may keel over by the weight of headphones if you don’t hand them properly on the stand.
Accessories: The Sennheiser RS 175 RF headphones come with an assortment of cable meant to connect the transmitter in every which way possible to audio/video devices. Two AAA batteries are also included in the pack.
- Natural sound with tight bass
- Bass boost mode and virtual surround sound modes available
- Can connect to playback devices via wires
- Comes with all the cables required to connect transmitter
- Transmitter can support two RS 175s at a time
- Good range and battery life
- Sounds as good as wired headphones
- Headband gets a little uncomfortable over prolonged hours of wearing
- Charging dock is not built solid
If TV viewing or gaming is a bit of a hobby with you, then RS 175 RF headphones are Sennheiser’s best offer. They sound very rejuvenating and natural. With the bass boost and virtual surround sound modes, you get the option to regulate the character of your audio to suit your needs or the audio type. While they are not necessary, as RS 175 already has a great audio response, they are nice to have. The transmitter-cum-charging cradle is also a well-engineered piece of hardware that does its job well. The movement-room and freedom the RS 175 wireless RF headphones allow makes it a real competitor to the well-established Sony MDRRF985RK.