Wireless Headphones

  • 24 September 2011
  • 12 replies

Userlevel 5
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Hi....have been looking at wireless headphones to listen to Sonos. My Sonos network uses wireless...so I don't want/able to ethernet my Sonos.

So, with that information, does anyone of you successfully use wireless 'over the ear' headphones with Sonos. I'm particularly interested in ones tha use 'Kleer Technology' as it appears that it offers CD quality. Was looking at the Sennheisrr RS 180, but it seems that conflicts with Sonos, which is disappointing.

It would be good if Sonos could have an approved list of wireless headphones that work well with Sonos as they do for routers. Or maybe, they could do a partnership with Dr Dre Beats when they go wireless. Alternatively, they release their own branded pair......which ever route, I just want to buy a pair that works with Sonos at high quality.

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12 replies

Userlevel 3
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And preferably Noise Cancelling too!
I use Audio-Technica ATH-DWL5500 headphones. I've got 4 zones and a Sonos controller going without issues with this. This is 2.4GHz, but I'm not sure if it's using Kleer. Of course, YMMV.

Not sure if you can easily (or cost effectively) get this gear outside of Japan though. While Audio-Technica is available pretty much around the globe, this specific model is for the Japan market.

I also looked at the Sennheiser RS-180, but the Audio-Technica seemed superior in features, performance and quality. Big bonus is that the Audio-Technica has multiple optical inputs and outputs (pass thru).
Userlevel 5
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Sennheiser are releasing new wireless headphones called RS220 in November some time in Europe. They are supposed to offer sound as good as CD quailty and do not use Kleer technology, which the Rs180's use.

I have asked Sennheiser to confirm that it won't conflict with Sonos wireless. Will update when I get an answer.
Userlevel 2
I have asked Sennheiser to confirm that it won't conflict with Sonos wireless. Will update when I get an answer.

I'm curious, did you get an answer?
Userlevel 5
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Hi Montag......no I didn't. I will take a chance now they're released.....but confirm that I can take them back if they do conflict with Sonos.
Userlevel 5
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Well after reading real user Headphone forums, rather than rely on the positive reviews from the traditional reviewers, I have decided to wait as the market hasn't really matured as well as it seems the technology.

The negative points seem that some people are experiencing drop outs mainly micro drop outs, which are not acceptable if you're spending a lot of money on headphones. Someone also commented on that high ceilings can be a factor in drop outs when they got a response from Sennheiser. There are some who are not having problems, but at the moment it seems 50/50 based on a small sample of forum responses.

But what seems to be a problem, which I have experienced is that Sennheiser support does not seem to be that good. Some people get a response and others not. I contacted Sennheiser in the Nordics to ask them to confirm if there was any potential conflict with Sonos....and I got a response that they would get back to me. AFter no update, I contacted them again and was told that they're still waiting on a response and have heard nothing since contacting them before Xmas. Of course, I can take a chance and if I have problems, I can take them back, but when a set of headphones cost €399, I don't expect to have to go through this kind of hassle in the hope they deliver.

The one overwhelming positive from the forums is that the sound quality is exceptional for wireless headphones which uses the 2.4GHz band. They're not using Kleer technology anymore.
In the search for an improvement on my trusty Sennheiser RS85 900MHz FM cans I've tried a couple of digital wireless sets, neither of which worked out.

The Sennheiser RS180s used the Kleer frequency-hopping technology. Good as it sounded it instantly compromised my Sonos performance. Streams dropped out and the controllers become very sluggish. An inspection of the Sonos diagnostics confirmed that PHY error rates had shot up. Thankfully Amazon took them back without question.

Amphony 5GHz 'phones seemed like a good idea, as they avoided the 2.4GHz band entirely. Although quite cheap, build quality and styling wasn't that great. The range was pretty low and in the end they were returned too as they had a slightly faulty driver in one ear.

I'm playing a wait-and-see with the Sennheiser RS220. They've not been around for long, and Amazon doesn't even carry them as yet. They do however use direct sequence technology so maybe Sonos will not be as affected as it was with Kleer. It should just see a somewhat elevated level of background noise but how elevated is an open question.
Userlevel 2


I've been looking into the Sennheiser RS 220. These are for sale in Europe for 399 €.
Does somebody tried these headphones with Sonos - any interference or not?

Please share your experiences.
I've been interested in wireless headphones for a couple of years now but am waiting for some good reviews on this site and others when used with Sonos.

It's a real shame that Sonos can't make a headphones zone player, now that would be something to get excited about 🙂
Userlevel 2
Hi there,
For what it is worth I have been using Sennheiser RS160 headphones for over a year from my Play 5 without any problems. I use them several times a week for long periods when I sit outside (so I don't disturb my neighbours). I can't recall having any issues with them and my Sonos. I have 1x Play 5 and 2x Connect. The RS160 also have very acceptable sound quality and comfort for my taste.
Are there any recent answers to basic question of wireless headphones for use with Sonos?
If they ever team up with Beats to make headphones, I will never buy a sonos product again