The Sennheiser RS 165 are decent home theater headphones with a good sound quality. They have a transmitter stand that communicates with the headphones via radio frequency and provides an almost lag-less wireless connection for watching videos. Unfortunately, they're too bulky and do not block enough noise to be versatile for anything else. Also, RF has a few disadvantages especially in terms of range.
The Sennheiser RS 165 are decent mixed usage headphones with an above average sound. They are best used for as critical listening or home theater headphones (coming soon) as they're not versatile enough for all environments and situations. That and the fact that they have a stand transmitter and no way to use the headphones wired means if you're not in direct line-of-sight or close to your source and the transmitter then the headphones are practically unsuable.
Above-average for neutral listening. They have a good audio reproduction with a good bass that can be amplified through their additional Bass button. The mid and treble range are also decently balanced that instruments and vocals are not drowned out by the regular bass response. Unfortunately, they don't have a spacious soundstage which won't be ideal for more neutral listeners, and their bass performance varies a lot depending on your head shape and if you were glasses which makes them a bit inconsistent.See our Neutral Sound recommendations
Not suitable for commuting and traveling. Although they have a decent overall performance that would suggest they're OK for commuting, the fact that you must have the transmitter in range means they won't be the ideal headphones to use anywhere but at home or at the office in front of your Tv or PC.See our Commute/Travel recommendations
Average for office use since you will most likely have a fixed source. They have a decent line-of-sight range, they're comfortable and easy-to-use. However, they're a bit leaky and they don't isolate enough for particularly noisy office environments.See our Office recommendations
The RS 165 come with a TR transmitter stand that also acts as a dock and a charging station for the headphones. This gives them a premium feel when docked but their design doesn't particularly stand out. They're a bit bulky and upon closer inspection, the padding looks a bit cheap. They're not meant for outdoor use so they're not the most fashionable headphones but their simple utilitarian design will work for most.
The RS 165 have large and spacious ear cups. They're also decently well padded and lightweight for their size. Unfortunately, the pressure they exert around your ears is not properly distributed. So after listening to the RS 165 for a while, you might start feeling a little soreness between your ear lobes and your jaw. It's not painfully uncomfortable but it's not ideal either.
The controls scheme for the RS 165 is good but slightly limited. They don't provide any call/music functions but by design, they're not supposed to. What they provide are good, clicky buttons for volume control and their additional bass effect, which feels responsive and easy-to-use.
These headphones are quite large and do not fold into a more compact design. This means they're not portable, especially, since you will need the stand too for them actually to work. Being home theater headphones, you most likely won't carry them around on your person, but if you plan to, then you will need a bag.
The build quality for the RS 165 feels decently sturdy but a bit cheap. The headband is moderately flexible and reinforced with a thin metal frame. The ear cups too are decently dense but aren't as durable. The plastic used feels low grade and a bit cheap, so the ear cups might get damaged by a few accidental drops. The padding material also isn't as soft on the skin or as premium as some of the other headphones in the RS 165's price range, which is a little disappointing, especially since you're most likely going to be wearing these headphones for hours if you're watching a movie.
The RS 165 are just tight enough that they won't move much during casual listening sessions. However, the ear cups are a bit too bulky and sway a lot under physical activity making them too unstable for sports. That and the need for their charging dock to be in range for them to work makes these headphones unideal to go running with. Even if their wireless design prevents them from being yanked from your head because the audio cable got hooked on something.
Poor Consistency performance. The Bass Range of our Over-Ear and On-Ear headphones are measured on 5 different human subjects, 5 times each. In the graphs, each line represents an individual's average Bass response. The RS 165 shows about 18dB of variance at 20Hz, which is quite significant and noticeable. The inconsistent Bass performance of these headphones is the result of poor seal/fit, as well as different personal positioning preferences. The Treble Range shows better consistency with about 6dB of variance at 10KHz.
Good Bass Range performance. Low-bass is extended down to 10Hz which is excellent. However, it is hyped by about 3dB, which is going to add excess thump and rumble to the sound. Additionally, the 5dB bump surrounding 100Hz makes the sound of these headphones noticeably boomy and muddy. Also, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.
Very good Mid Range performance. The response is consistent and relatively flat, but shows about 3dB of tilt towards the higher frequencies. This makes the sound of these headphones slightly forward, by bringing the vocals/leads slightly to the front of the mix.
Good Treble Range performance. Low-treble has a dip around 4KHz, but because of the narrow width, its negative effects on presence and detail of vocals/leads would be small. The rest of the Range is within good limits and relatively flat and consistent.
Poor Isolation. The RS 165 don't have active noise cancelling, and their passive isolation doesn't isolate significantly in the Bass Range. In the Mid Range, they achieve about 12dB of reduction, and in the Treble Range they achieve about 27dB of reduction, both values being decent.
Mediocre Leakage performance. The significant portion of leakage is spread between 300Hz and 3KHz which is a relatively broad range, but limited mostly to the Mid Range. However, the overall level of leakage is not too loud.
The RS 165 have a good 24-hour battery life. They use rechargeable AAA batteries that can be charged directly with the stand but it takes more than 8 hours for a full charge which is very limiting. However, the charge time is very dependent on the capacity, age and wear of the rechargeable batteries you use. So your charge time will vary. Also, you can always just swap out the AAA with new non-rechargeable batteries which may be less cost effective but has 0 charge time.
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