Sennheiser's RS 165 is a great wireless TV headphone system made for movie and music lovers that don’t require their headphones to be portable or a fashion statement. The RS 165s offer a comfortable fit, for the most part, and as long as you’re sitting directly in front of your media source, the sound won’t be streaky due to poor connection and the latency will be almost non-existent.
That being said, these headphones are one of the best on the market when it comes home movie theater use. After all, watching movies is what the RS 165s are made for, and they provide a balanced and nuanced sound, as well as comfort – all of which we’ll discuss later on.
Speaking of advanced features, there is one that is obviously lacking: Active Noise Cancelation. On one hand, it’s logical to presume that you’ll already be watching a movie in a silent room, so maybe the brand thought that the ANC mode would be redundant. However, noise cancelation can take the whole movie-watching experience up a notch, creating a great viewing experience- Unfortunately, the Sennheiser headphone system isn't as good at sound isolation as one would hope just by looking at the size of the earcups. This is partly due to the fact that the earcups are too big for a lot of people, causing sound leakage. This not only makes you hear people near you, but other people will be able to hear your playback, which isn’t ideal if your intention is to keep quiet in the house while watching a movie.
First off, The RS 165s are pretty good in the bass department, albeit their performance is somewhat dependent on the earcup fit and your ear shape, size, as well as the fact whether you’re wearing glasses or not. The low-bass range is extended to 10Hz, which is always good. However, the bass sometimes translates to a slightly muddy sound full of thumps, especially if you have the Bass Boost function on. Other than that, the bass is smooth and a lot of people are more than satisfied with its general response.
Going on to the mids – it’s where these headphones excel. The response in the mids is consistent and slightly favors higher frequencies, which often results in bringing the voices in the playback slightly closer to your ear than the rest of the sounds. The only criticism that the performance in this category has received is the fact that this tilt towards the vocals makes the rest of the sounds fall flat sometimes – but it isn’t something that a regular listener would notice.
As far as treble goes, the performance of the RS 165s in the highs is good, and these frequencies are well translated in the headphones. The high frequencies sometimes seem too accentuated, resulting in minor noises like footsteps and crackling sounding exaggerated sometimes.
Additionally, the RS 165 are radio frequency headphones, meaning they don’t use Bluetooth technology in order to connect wirelessly to the transmitter. One of the greatest perks of this type of connection is that no pairing is necessary, but rather, the headphones will automatically and instantly connect to the transmitter. Also, they have the lowest latency, meaning that they will rarely, if ever, experience any sync issues when gaming and/or watching videos. This TV headphone system has a multi-receiver mode that allows two people to listen to the playback on two pairs of headphones simultaneously. The brand states that the wireless range of the Sennheiser RS 165 is up to 98 feet (around 30 meters). However, a lot of users ended up dissatisfied with how the range connectivity performance, due to the range being drastically lower than 30 meters in reality. However, if you’re using the headphones in the room where your media source is, you won’t experience any issues.
There is no mobile or computer app compatible with the Sennheiser RS 165 that would allow you to manage or operate the system from your connected device.
The headphones can be recharged directly on the transmitter, but they take up to 8 hours to get a full charge, meaning that you’ll have to remember to charge them during the night, or while you’re at work. However, keep in mind that the charge time depends on the specific brand, quality, and specifications of the batteries you choose to use with the headphones. Of course, you can opt to use the regular 2x AAA batteries as a quick solution, but needless to say, these batteries are non-rechargeable.
● Charging dock doubles as a radio frequency transmitter
● Bass Boost mode
● No Active Noise Cancelation, sound leakage
● Above-average sound quality
● 3.5mm stereo jack input
● Moderately comfortable, uneven pressure on the lower part of earlobes
● Not very stylish
● Good durability
● 2 x AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries, up to 24h battery life