Wireless headphones can be a hit-or-miss affair, thanks to patchy wireless signals and not enough care taken with the actual sonic quality coming out of the cans. Sennheiser believe they’ve got wireless headphones well and truly sussed out though, and invited us to test their new RS 220 wireless set.
And where better to test them than at Abbey Road Studios, home of hallowed recordings by The Beatles, Pink Floyd and even John William’s Star Wars score? Read on for our ears-on first thoughts, straight from musical Valhalla.
Despite their size, the RS 220 headphones are surprisingly light and comfortable. Made of a mix of plastics, a metal headband with leatherette padding, they sit snuggly on your head and offer reasonably good isolation from external noise. They don’t look too bad either, with the metallic trim, black plastics and blue-connectivity LED (placed towards the underside of the left can) having a tastefully understated look.
Powered by a rechargeable AAA battery tucked away discretely in each ear-cup, the RS 220s also ship with the TR 220 transmitter, a lectern-shaped black stand that delivers the audio signal to the headphone and also charges the batteries and allows for switching between the analog, coaxial and optical digital inputs on the back. Together, the two pieces look great; you’ll be happy to have these sitting on a shelf in a living room or office.
Seeing as we were at Abbey Road Studios, it seemed only fitting to try out a handful of tracks from the studio’s most revered luminaries, The Beatles. The results we’re universally impressive.
Nicely balanced and not leaning too harshly towards high frequencies or muddied lows, the RS 220’s managed a clear and detailed sound during our short test. Bass levels were rich, and the fairly challenging low bass slide of “Come Together” was handled superbly. Likewise, when things get a bit mad and synthy at the end of “Here Comes The Sun”, the RS 220s held their own, managing a balanced sound that didn’t become overly sharp when faced with either the acoustic guitar riffs or keyboard whirls.
Though mid-ranges took perhaps too much of a back seat, the reasonably neutral tones offer plenty of room for equaliser tweaking if you’re that way inclined.
Sadly, we didn’t get to test the headphone’s performance with any lossless audio rips, nor varying genres, but on the back of the quality of The Beatles songs, we’d imagine audiophiles will be pleasantly surprised with how great Sennheiser’s wireless headphones sound. The same goes for wireless range, which we also couldn’t adequately test, but we’re going to try to grab a pair for a full review and will give a more complete verdict when we’ve played with the headphones a little longer.
For a full look at the specification sheet of the Sennheiser RS 220 headphones click here. Expect to pay around £349.