Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Great, but not perfect
on 5 February 2012
I had a next day delivery from In2Ddigital. Opening the box I found it came with a European 2 pin plug moulded onto the psu, so obviously not intended for the UK market. No problem at all for me, but most UK residents will need to convert it to the UK 3 pin plug. You get a stylish base unit, and cool headphones, plus instructions in 15 languages! Also Sony supply a 1.5 metre optical cable, it's thin but it works perfectly. Connectivity is simple, just connect the optical cable to the unit, and the other end to any device with an optical output. Connect an analogue audio cable to listen to an FM tuner etc. You select the source on the base unit. I have connected mine to the optical & analogue outputs on my Sony AV amp, so I can switch between sources without unplugging the cable.
The headphones are extremely comfortable. They don't sit very tightly on your head though, and could be dislodged by rapid head movement up & down. Gamers may possibly have a problem with keeping them on, or maybe my head is just too small! (I am over 6ft tall though) The on/off switch and volume are well placed on the right earphone, the volume is easy to operate when wearing the headphones. So, how do they sound? Well, superb audio quality from deep bass up to the highest treble, they are crystal clear with no distortion, even if you turn the volume up high, and believe me, these play LOUD . They block out quite a lot of external noise, and there is not much sound "leakage" so other people nearby are unlikely to be disturbed.
The virtual surround sound works really well. I tested them by playing BBC HD's test pattern which is broadcast in Dolby Digital and in turn fires up 5 speakers + LFE. You really can hear the different sound from front and rear speakers replicated in the headphones. The rear channels info is less well defined than when listening to physical speakers via my AV amp, but I doubt if any virtual surround headphones could possibly do better.
Surround sound is available when the base unit is set to Cinema or Game, and here is one of my niggles, because in cinema mode a sound "field" is applied which replicates how the audio would sound in a movie theatre, and you cannot turn it off! If you are a fan of the "hall" effect then you will love how this sounds, but to me the spoken dialogue sounds unnatural. In Game mode the effect is less noticeable, although the audio is less crisp with the top end sounding a little more subdued. When watching TV with mainly spoken dialogue, i.e,no surround info anyway, I prefer to switch to the stereo mode, or "off".
The transmission range is, in theory, up to 100m. Well, I live in a 2 bedroom bungalow with plasterboard interior walls. The base unit sits on a wooden table at the front of the house, and there is no dropout in any other rooms, but as soon as it needs to pass through the brick wall at the rear of the house, the signal drops out, so I can't use it in my back yard unless I keep my head in line with a window. The distance from transmitter to outside the rear wall of the house is approx 20 metres. Moving the transmitter slightly makes no difference, so that rules out wearing the headphones while gardening! The signal does pass through the front & side brick walls, less distance of course.
I would have given this 5 stars except for the range issue & the lack of user control over the audio effects but overall I am very pleased with my purchase. There are less expensive devices available but I am not sure if anything else can match this product for quality & features.