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mdf



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Topic # 198531 12-Jul-2016 21:50
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What tech should I be looking for (and looking to avoid) when shopping for wireless headphones for watching TV? I am not an audiophile and don't really care if I can or cannot hear rich bass undertones or whatnot. I just want to hear what's going on on the screen (a) without distortion/interference/drop outs and (b) to hear it at the same time as the lips move/without lag.

 

In terms of price, it seems to go infrared < RF < 2.4GHz < Kleer/Sennheiser/AKG. Bluetooth is all over the show, and I'm not sure DECT headphones even exist (though I did find some expensive DECT speakers so I assume the technology works for audio).

 

But is price indicative of quality? I was surprised at just how many 2.4GHz audio transmitters/headphones seem to be available when I would have thought the 2.4GHz spectrum is totally oversaturated? Or do these work "compatibly" with WiFi? Why is it more expensive than RF/things around 900MHz?

 

My TV doesn't have bluetooth but there seem to be plenty of external bluetooth transmitters. I also already have a couple of bluetooth headsets so this could be a cheap option. But I worry about lag and interference. I can't always get a reliable connection between pocket and headset, so what would across a room be like - though it would be line of sight I guess? If I do go for bluetooth, I've seen references to APTX - should I be looking for this? I guess both transmitter and headset would need this tech? 

 

I am looking for two people to be able to watch at once, and have seen that there are some bluetooth transmitters supporting multi-point or multi-link or some other trademarked term, but essentially allowing two headphones to pair at once.

 

If it matters, ideally I'd like to connect via a SPDIF/toslink/digital optical cable. The current TV doesn't have an old-style RCA/3.5mm audio out.

 

Price isn't necessarily determinative, but I'm going to need some really good reasons to justify a thousand bucks on two pairs of high end Sennheisers (or mid-range Bose). BTW: why are US Sennheisers so much cheaper than NZ ones?

 

I'm aiming for $400-$500 max for two pairs of headphones.

 

 

 

For those paying attention, yes I have asked similar questions before. It's been a very long process in getting to where I am now. It's also involved wasted money as I have tried many "cheap" options with unsatisfactory results. Should've just done it right the first time.


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mdf



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  Reply # 1592335 14-Jul-2016 09:36
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  Reply # 1592337 14-Jul-2016 09:47
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I'm not an expert but my experience with Bluetooth is that it introduces a slight delay which spoils lip sync.  The 2.4GHz ones don't seem to do this, but variations in quality are enormous.  Some Dick Smith ones I tried in their Xmas sale were completely useless

 

I haven't yet found a solution that works satisfactorily so will be watching the thread with interest


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1592346 14-Jul-2016 10:26
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I can HIGHLY recommend the Sen RS series. I have had 3 pairs, and my RS170's get daily use for mostly watching TV in bed, and playing some music (for which they are SURPRISINGLY good. 

 

The Sony BT10 Bluetooth phones are also very good, I don't use them much, I bought them for the odd time i want portable wireless cans, but I have yet to see a delay or issues with sound quality. 


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  Reply # 1592370 14-Jul-2016 10:43
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networkn:

 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Sen RS series. I have had 3 pairs, and my RS170's get daily use for mostly watching TV in bed, and playing some music (for which they are SURPRISINGLY good. 

 

The Sony BT10 Bluetooth phones are also very good, I don't use them much, I bought them for the odd time i want portable wireless cans, but I have yet to see a delay or issues with sound quality. 

 

 

Thanks, those sennheisers look really good.  RS160 $111 on Amazon seems a good deal


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  Reply # 1592371 14-Jul-2016 10:45
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shk292:

 

networkn:

 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Sen RS series. I have had 3 pairs, and my RS170's get daily use for mostly watching TV in bed, and playing some music (for which they are SURPRISINGLY good. 

 

The Sony BT10 Bluetooth phones are also very good, I don't use them much, I bought them for the odd time i want portable wireless cans, but I have yet to see a delay or issues with sound quality. 

 

 

Thanks, those sennheisers look really good.  RS160 $111 on Amazon seems a good deal

 

 

 

 

Err Sorry I meant the RS 175's and the RS165. Get the 5's because they take an optical input, and this cuts out a lot of the "interference" you get when connecting wireless headphones via the 3.5mm headset connection.


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  Reply # 1592374 14-Jul-2016 11:01
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It's also worth noting that I bought my RS170's from the USA and I had an issue with them (which turned out to be a design flaw) and when I contacted Sen USA, the distributor from NZ contacted me 2 hours later and replaced them no questions asked from local stock.


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  Reply # 1592382 14-Jul-2016 11:10
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I've got the Sennheiser RS 160s and they are great for what I use them for (sitting in front of tv late at night). Picked them up for about $40nz when Dick Smith were doing a clear out a few years back. Sound quality is pretty good but only has an aux input on the transmitter so limits your options somewhat.






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  Reply # 1592385 14-Jul-2016 11:13
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So the issue for the record with the RS160's is that if you have the HEADPHONE volume too high, instead of the SOURCE volume high and the HEADPHONE volume lower, is that you will get a hiss, if it's connected via 3.5mm. It's a known issue, with no fix, other than increasing volume on source. My problem at the time was that the source volume would reset every time the TV was turned off so I ended up using the HP volume. It was very frustrating. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1592427 14-Jul-2016 11:40
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networkn:

 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Sen RS series. I have had 3 pairs, and my RS170's get daily use for mostly watching TV in bed, and playing some music (for which they are SURPRISINGLY good. 

 

The Sony BT10 Bluetooth phones are also very good, I don't use them much, I bought them for the odd time i want portable wireless cans, but I have yet to see a delay or issues with sound quality. 

 

 

When playing videos and stuff on a phone or PC, they will compensate for the audio delay. That is why the pause control becomes quite laggy when using BT headphones compared to the built in speakers/wired. If you are using it on an analog out to BT converter, there is no way for the display to know that it needs to delay it, or even to delay it for most of them.

 

Even some players like the fire tv dont manage to do it properly when direcly connecting the BT phones to the fire TV.

 

For my garage I just bought a FM transmitter and use that with the FM hearing protectors I got since the bluetooth is too unreliable when walking around the garage and the lag between picture and sound drives me crazy. Am driving the transmitter from the 3.5mm out of my HDMI matrix switch, and because the TV's are both cheap warehouse ones with no features, they dont have any delay in the image so they are all in sync still.





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  Reply # 1592545 14-Jul-2016 14:29
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richms:

 

 

 

When playing videos and stuff on a phone or PC, they will compensate for the audio delay. That is why the pause control becomes quite laggy when using BT headphones compared to the built in speakers/wired. If you are using it on an analog out to BT converter, there is no way for the display to know that it needs to delay it, or even to delay it for most of them.

 

 

 

 

Hmm, I didn't know this. I've been testing some BT headphones with my notebook and thought the lag was fine, but didn't realise compensation was built in. I've checked my TV and don't seem to be able to adjust the delay to the optical out socket (teh intarwebs claims "many" TVs are able to do this). I have to say, I bought my current TV on the basis of picture and smarts, without really thinking at all about audio, assuming whatever I plugged in externally would deal with that. Lesson learnt.

 

richms:

 

 

 

For my garage I just bought a FM transmitter and use that with the FM hearing protectors I got since the bluetooth is too unreliable when walking around the garage and the lag between picture and sound drives me crazy. Am driving the transmitter from the 3.5mm out of my HDMI matrix switch, and because the TV's are both cheap warehouse ones with no features, they dont have any delay in the image so they are all in sync still.

 

 

I've tried this too, but couldn't get rid of a background hiss. Is this a consequence of a cræppy transmitter, or something inherent in RF transmissions? Would a better quality RF transmitter fix this?


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  Reply # 1592563 14-Jul-2016 14:36
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networkn:

 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Sen RS series. I have had 3 pairs, and my RS170's get daily use for mostly watching TV in bed, and playing some music (for which they are SURPRISINGLY good. 

 

 

Have just had a look at Amazon (which won't ship to NZ) - USD 220 for RS165s (~300 NZD). But there's a massive difference to NZ retails sites (NZD 450-500). And unfortunately the box seems big enough to make Shipito relatively expensive. Any reason for the enormous markup?


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  Reply # 1592578 14-Jul-2016 14:39
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Yeah there is hiss, but it doesnt really matter when you are listening/watching podcasts while powertooling. Bluetooth was just too crap for me and the DSE 2.4GHz wireless headphones I got in their "OMG we are going broke sale" before xmas have so much interference on them that they are useless unless I decide to not have any wifi, bluetooth or cooking happening anywhere in the house.

 

I do have an analog input digital 2.4GHz audio sender that I got when I was too lazy to run some speaker cables, and it is pretty lag free and interference free, so the technology exists for it to work, just not in those cheap DSE headphones.

 

This is the transmitter I got. The power claims are BS, but it is powerfull enough to cover the whole house. Limited frequancies to choose from so I am slightly stepping on some ethnic LPFM station by 0.1MHz which doesnt help I guess. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5V-Digital-Radio-Station-0-5W-PLL-Stereo-FM-Dual-Transmitter-BH1417F-for-pc-usb-free/2026431858.html

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1592611 14-Jul-2016 15:16
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mdf:

 

networkn:

 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Sen RS series. I have had 3 pairs, and my RS170's get daily use for mostly watching TV in bed, and playing some music (for which they are SURPRISINGLY good. 

 

 

Have just had a look at Amazon (which won't ship to NZ) - USD 220 for RS165s (~300 NZD). But there's a massive difference to NZ retails sites (NZD 450-500). And unfortunately the box seems big enough to make Shipito relatively expensive. Any reason for the enormous markup?

 

 

 

 

Amazon will ship some things to NZ, I brought some Creative speakers, one was a Sound Blaster Roar 2, if not just use NZ post Youshop, done that many times, but its no so easy to work out the shipping costs.

 

 

 

 

 

NZ costs are always high, Ive seen up to 5 times the US $ Price here.

 

 


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  Reply # 1595131 19-Jul-2016 16:35
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Gaah! Why does everything technological in my life manage to present new and seemingly unique difficulties!?

 

I ended up getting a Telme2 TosBlue Y bluetooth adapter. Took into account all the suggestions made but decided it was worth a punt on the possibility of lag to take advantage of the reasonably good bluetooth headsets I already had. Optical out plus apt-x works really well with only the most minute lag when I'm really listening for it (the lag with a non-apt-x headset admittedly was more noticeable). Two headsets work great.

 

Success! I finally had a one-remote TV solution capable of watching (a) TV (b) DVDs (c) network shares and (d) most websites. It even had a nice simple UI! Watching out loud? Turn the TV volume up! Want to use a headset? Just switch on the headset.

 

But wait! What's this? No sound on (e) Netflix!? Even though it worked fine using an external Roku. After extensive mucking around and conversations with both Panasonic and Netflix, it _seems_ that the Panasonic Netflix app only sends audio via optical out using Dolby (even though Netflix's website says you can turn it off, and the Panasonic has an option to turn it off), and therefore anything at the other end of the optical cable also needs to support Dolby. No bluetooth transmitter (and even some wireless headsets) I've found so far with an optical in seem to have this.

 

Surely life shouldn't be this hard!? I can't be the only one that wants to keep the TV quiet while the kids are going to sleep? It seems monumentally difficult and/or expensive to achieve something I think should be relatively simple and not _that_ unique.

 

The conversation with Mr Panasonic was particularly notable. Both Mr Panasonic and I started out frustrated and it basically went downhill from there. Not particularly proud of myself in that conversation. But if anyone from Panasonic does ever read this, pointing the finger at Netflix isn't a "solution". I like to think of myself as at least somewhat informed, and even though I checked the Dolby thing on both the Telme bluetooth adapter and Netflix in advance, I still didn't pick up on the fact it was a particular problem with the Panasonic Netflix app.

 

Google fu shows one or two other people with a similar problem, but at least they were able to resolve it (if not satisfactorily) on different panasonic tv models.

 

Not happy.

 

/rant


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  Reply # 1595204 19-Jul-2016 18:46
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The Panasonic / Netflix issue has been around since 2012.

 

On my Panasonic TV's I have to go into the audio settings and switch the audio out to 'Auto' or similar to get sound. Every time I start a new show I have to repeat this - hence I no longer use the Panasonic's Netflix app (using the MacMini / Apple TV / PS3 and XBox One instead... lot of options).

 

 

 

Dolby Digital Plus compatible bluetooth headphones... hmmm, never seen any sorry.


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