Sony MDR-RF970RK Wireless TV Headphones Review
These Sony wireless TV headphones sit in a crowded price range that includes many different options. When it comes down to it, the average listener or casual audiophile can really benefit from a pair of headphones around this price. So what makes these Sony wireless TV headphones a good buy?
In addition to wireless technology, Sony equipped these with noise cancelling technology. Using wireless headphones for watching TV, this helps to keep room noise out and make it a private experience.
The headphones have a wireless range of 150 feet, which is far more than the average person needs. These headphones are exactly on par for their price range and very consistent with the quality of Sony headphones. These Sony cordless headphones for TV are really just that. These are intended to be used for watching television, not enjoying the finest music in the world. Audiophiles should look elsewhere.
There are many features to these headphones, but do they really live up to the test?
First off, the sound is great. At around $100, these aren’t the height of audiophilia, but they are a very nice experience. Sounds are clearly separated and high end is just as defined as the low. You can hear everything in television programs, no problem.
Noise cancelling was fairly good, although I would deem it closer to noise reduction. Though the closed-back around-the-ear design contributes to that goal, the reduction mainly comes from the audio signal compression process, which eliminates background noise. However, don’t expect to slip these on and experience a completely silent room. The reduction is enough to help you keep the volume low. As somebody who spends a lot of time with headphones, I appreciate keeping the volume low and avoiding ear fatigue.
The headphone turns on automatically when taken from the charging cradle, and a full charge will last you 14 hours, enough to watch 8 or 9 movies (but still 10 hours less than the higher end Sennheiser and Sony models).
The first thing that detracted from the experience was the headband, a spring-loaded affair that adds a little extra pressure to your head. The headphones are otherwise comfortable, so the pressure isn’t completely troublesome. This is all part of an energy saving feature that stops the headphones from transmitting when you’re head isn’t in them.
What of the transmission distance? As these are primarily intended for TV watchers, you’ll rarely wander far from the set while wearing the headphones. But I tested the range anyway. Up to about 100 feet with a direct line of sight, there were no issues. The same could not be said with interference. Go a few rooms from the transmitter and the signal drops from time to time. Anything over 100 feet, regardless of line of sight, had poorer transmission quality. This isn’t a huge gripe and I wouldn’t count it against these Sony wireless headphones for TV.
If you’re interested in a reasonably priced and fair quality set of wireless headphones, these are solid performers. I appreciate that they did exactly what I expected of them and wouldn’t break the bank. After experiencing my favorite shows with them on, I have a hard time watching without the Sonys.
It’s hard to beat the combination of transmission quality, comfort, sound quality, and noise cancellation at this price. Despite some small drawbacks, these are among the best wireless TV headphones in their class.
- Modulation: FM Stereo
- Carrier frequencies: 915.5 MHz, 916.0 MHz, 916.5 MHz
- Range: approx. 46m in the open area (150 ft)
- Sensitivity: 100 dB
- Frequency response: 10 Hz – 22,000 Hz
- Audio connection: 3.5 mm stereo jack socket, RCA phono plugs
- Type of Use : Home – music/movie/games
- Design: Circumaural (Over-the-ear), Closed-back
- Driver Type: Dynamic
- Earpads: leatherette
- Diaphragm: PET – 1.6 in
- Magnet material: Neodymium
- Manufacturer warranty: 2 years
- Power supply: 1 AAA size NiMH rechargeable battery
- Operating time: approx. 14 hours
- Power supply: 12 V CC
- Dimensions (LxHxD): 21.6 cm x 10.5 cm x 9.6 cm (8.5″ x 4.13″ x 3.78″)
- Weight: 220g (7.77 oz)
- Weight (with batteries): approx. 300g (10.59 oz)
Summary: Affordable wireless TV headphone from Sony, which site in the crowded entry-level range. The design lacks in comfort buy makes up for it with a reliable audio reproduction, including a noise reduction compression technology.