Sony MDR-DS6000 Wireless TV Headphones Review
The Sony MDR-DS6000 wireless headphones are a strong contender in the high-end headphone market. They transmit at 2.4 GHz, feature virtual 5.1 surround sound, CD sound quality in a 95 feet transmission range, and come with a transmitter cradle that also recharges the headphones.
Before you even turn these Sony wireless TV headphones on, you can feel the quality of the construction and the attention to design detail. They slip on your head like they were meant to be there. They are truly some of the most comfortable headphones you will ever use, despite using a rubber headband (as opposed to the cushions on Sennheiser models), or having bulky earcups (the headphone weighs 10 ounces).
As performance products, these Sony wireless headphones for TV meet and beat the highest test of headphones: audio fidelity. Across the frequency range, these headphones are absolute winners, with clear and powerful sound, helped by the circumaural closed-earcup design.
With the incredible auditory experience of modern cinema, this is exactly what you want for the ultimate movie experience. Even the included virtual Surround Sound approximates actual 5.1 Surround Sound (Cinema or Music sound field modes can be selected), though it doesn’t quite replicate the real experience.
The transmitter is an unobtrusive disc that perfectly cradles the headphones during charging. The included NiMH batteries can operate for 7-10 hours on a full charge, which is significantly less than some competing models, but should meet the needs of most customers.
I have yet to experience headphones that completely live up to their claims as far as signal range goes and these were no exception. After about 60 feet, the signal dropped out frequently or was plagued by distortion and static. This could be a deal breaker for you if you plan on walking around the house or yard while listening.
The big drawback with these headphones is their wireless strength. They’re literally unstoppable. Signal strength from the transmitter is enough to wipe out any other wireless frequencies in the 2.4 GHz range, which is a pretty big deal. Wi-fi or any other wireless signals transmitting from anywhere within the range of this headphone transmitter will be silenced.
So streaming movies or using an Apple TV is out of the question, which seems like a pretty major oversight for Sony. So many people are using streaming services these days that this could be a major obstacle to people enjoying these headphones. Those who truly love the headphones might try a way to work around it, but that misses the point of wireless television headphones.
I also experienced a few issues with distortion from surrounding sources. The microwave was a particularly bad offender. While 2.4 GHz has incredibly bandwidth to deliver excellent sound quality, it’s a fragile and fickle frequency. You might expect that a signal powerful enough to drown out your wi-fi wouldn’t succumb to interference, but it did. This was a little confusing and the auto-tune feature didn’t do anything to work around it.
Incredibly powerful transmission is usually a good thing, but it might be enough of a nuisance to turn some customers off of these wireless television headphones. If that isn’t an issue for you, these might just be the perfect headphones for the discerning audiophile or home theater enthusiast.
Summary: The MDR-DS6000 was designed for sound performance, thanks to the 2.4 GHz channel, Cinema and Music surround sound modes and a wide frequency response. The wireless transmission is so powerful that you can experience issues with other electronic devices though. Battery life is short as well, so the headset will require frequent recharges.