Thursday, August 30, 2007

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Wireless Surround Sound Headphones (4/29/06)

From the pre-blog days, another in a series of posts "From the Archives". In this case, a report on wireless surround sound headphones from Apr 29, 2006


Several months ago I asked many of you if you had any experience with wireless surround sound headphones.

After some research, ended up buying a pair of the Pioneer DIR800c (actually, a base station/headphone set, along with a spare set of headphones).

Application is for our upstairs TV, so that we don't disturb the kids after they've gone to bed (and the spouse when she's gone to bed)

the headphones work remarkably well, even for surround sound. The decoder does a very nice job of taking surround sound feeds (for example, from our DVD player) and mapping them to the left and right ears on the headphones.

Sound quality is excellent with good base response. Two sets of headphones have no problem being driven from the same base station. There is independent volume control on each headphone.

Basestation use IR to communicate with the headphones, so no interference issues with phones/wlans/microwaves/etc.

Extremely low noise floor (surprising), and comfortable to wear for a full movie. Pretty decent battery life, and the base station has a convenient battery recharger built in (it comes with rechargeable batteries)

A tad on the pricey side, but several dealers on ebay sell new sets for considerably less than list.

It is difficult to find a set of these headphones without the basestation (ie, a 2nd set). I got mine from:

Ended up coming from Japan(!), but shipping was prompt and inexpensive. They also have some cool Japanese science toys. For instance, the inner geek in me loves this puppy:,+Games_Gadgets/product/Gakken_Cup_Phonograph_Kit_in_Edison-style.html

When the girls are a little older, I may actually let them play with it ;-)

If anyone ends up with 2 basestations and wants to get rid of one, let me know. I'd like a basestation for the downstairs TV for gaming.


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