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Sennheiser RS140 Wireless RF Headset
Only the other day I found myself staring at the Philips TV headset with a cable long enough to span the Great Wall of China. This would ordinarily have pleased me; only I wasn't really in the mood to deal with all the cabling. Then I noticed the Sennheiser wireless headset staring at me, and I found my answer. This is nothing we haven't seen before, but it's a neat wireless solution all the same.
Sennheiser has always made technology seem simple, but only from afar. This premium brand has generally been out of the common man's reach. This one doesn't come light on the pocket either. If you are the impatient sort, just skip right to the end for the price. But if you crave full details, read on.
The design is pretty, and the unit is surprisingly light. Add to that the weight of two AAA batteries needed to run the connection from the headset. Both the earcups can be unscrewed. The one on the right gives you access to the battery compartment. All you need to do is push the cushions slightly towards you and it comes out. I suppose this allows you to easily change the cushions – since these are the first things to wear out.
The transmitter kit comes with a holder to prop the headset in place, and requires you be close to a wall charging socket to be able to work. It can be wall-mounted. Installation is simple: connect the wire with the 3.5mm jack at one end to the source (TV, PC, MP3 player etc). No frills, just the headphones jack! Switch the transmitter on and fix a frequency. It's important to understand at this point how the whole thing works, through FM modulation. In simple words, the transmitter will use the frequency set by you to transmit data to the headphones, just like your home radio FM.
There are three channels you can choose, and all you need to do is press the tune button on the right earcup, which also houses the volume keys. It takes less than a second to tune in. Since it works on radio frequencies, you will hear a lot of static when nothing is playing. It doesn't really affect performance when the music is on though.
Since it makes sense to use the headset during the night to avoid disturbing anyone, you'll find a balance control knob on the headphones. I feel this helps, especially when you are watching TV, for a lot of channels often have the balance all wrong.
The fun thing about this kit is that it supports multiple headphones receiving the RF signal from one transmitter. You can also pick up a stray pair of headphones (HDR140) without having to buy the whole kit. The range of the transmitter is pretty good. I managed to roam around all the rooms in my house without the signal even hinting to drop. I would have appreciated a remote control though – reaching out to the back of your right earcup is a pain. You will have to, for the volume keys and tuning button are housed there.
The kit costs Rs 10,990, and is thus expensive. It's one thing to be able to rid yourself of messy wires, and quite another having to spend your entire month's salary to do so. Obviously, this device will appeal only to those who can afford it – apart from hardcore enthusiasts. Trust me, it's all about perspective.