Do you watch a lot of TV late at night and get nasty texts from those sleeping upstairs that they don’t want to hear the hockey game? Small world. The pandemic turned a lot of people into remote or hybrid workers and those who were lucky enough to maintain that situation often have to work in the dining or living room where other people might be watching television. The Sennheiser RS-120-W Wireless Headphones might be the simple solution to that problem.
Being able to watch television without disturbing your family or roommate.
We can’t fix the playoff woes of the Nashville Predators or Toronto Maple Leafs.
We’re audio reviewers — not miracle workers.
Most of my headphone coverage focuses on models designed for music and gaming; both categories are expected to grow to a combined $27 billion by 2027 and it is easy to understand why consumers have gravitated to both types of products.
But what about headphones designed for television and movie watching?
Sennheiser manufactures some of the best wireless headphones in the world; we recently reviewed the new Momentum True Wireless 3 Earbuds and covered the release of the Momentum 4 Wireless On-Ear Headphones.
Their latest release has a different focus as the Sennheiser RS-120-W Wireless On-ear Headphones are designed to partner with a television. This isn’t a new idea and some will remember the RS-5200 wireless headphones that we reviewed last year.
The RS-5200 has been a bit polarizing with those who like it generally speaking to its sound quality and connectivity, and those who don’t largely complaining about its stethoscope-like design and awkward fit while moving or trying to do anything other than sit and watch TV.
The new RS-120-W looks much more conventional with its styling being a cross between the HD559 and the PCX-550 models but unlike both of those, the RS-120-W is an on-ear design rather than over-ear and it has a more mild clamping force to allow for all-day wear.
Internally, the RS-120-W uses a 30mm dynamic driver with a frequency response of 22Hz-19.5kHz; so it has enough low end response for powerful explosions or earthquake sound effects and enough treble extension to still have some air and sparkle at the top.
The rechargeable batteries offer up to 20 hours of battery life per charge. Once discharged completely, it takes roughly 6 hours to completely recharge them by simply placing them back on their stand/charging station.
The Sennheiser RS-120-W’s base station also provides the connectivity as the headphones use Bluetooth LE Audio to enable up to 60 meters of range between the base and headphones.
Bluetooth LE may not be familiar to all of our readers yet; the “LE” stands for “low energy” and it is a new low latency standard using the LC3 audio codec to deliver both high quality audio and minimal delay for gaming, movies, and other activities where audio/visual synchronization is paramount. To learn more about Bluetooth LE and the LC3 codec, see the overview here.
How Do You Use These?
To get started, simply install the provided AA rechargeable batteries into the base and then plug the base into a wall outlet. Connect the 3.5mm to RCA cable between the base and the TV’s audio output and you are ready to go.
Set the transmitter to broadcast mode if you want to pair more than one set of headphones to any given base for communal listening or leave it in the default mode and listen by yourself. Either way, each headset retains the ability to adjust the volume so each person can adjust to their desired level.
The RS-120-W offers three sound modes so users can customize the headphone to their listening style with options for accentuating speech, a “V” signature tuning for music, or a neutral setting that delivers a more balanced output with no ranges emphasized.
The headphones have a maximum output level of 100dB and while we certainly don’t advise listening at that level, it does leave enough headroom for those moments where you really want to experience shows like Stranger Things or The Mandalorian with more intensity.
The Sennheiser RS-120-W headphones are available for pre-order now and will arrive in stores in early September with a retail of $139 USD.
For more information: sennheiser-hearing.com
Related reading: Best Headphones