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Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Jun 15, 2017 at 04:51 pm
Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
5.6
Mixed Usage
6.8
Neutral Sound
5.5
Commute/Travel
4.6
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
6.0
Wireless Gaming
4.5
Wired Gaming
2.2
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Sennheiser RS 175 have the same design and build quality as the RS 165 but sound a bit worse for critical listening. They don't do as well with voices and instruments, and they have a bit too much bass. They're also not versatile enough to use anywhere but indoors in direct line-of-sight of the transmitter. On the upside, they're comfortable and have low latency for watching movies.

Our Verdict

5.6 Mixed Usage

The Sennheiser RS 175 are good home theater headphones but only average for mixed usage. They're not versatile enough for all environments and situations, and the stand transmitter limits their use outdoors. If you're not in direct line-of-sight or close to your source and the transmitter, then the headphones are practically unusable.

6.8 Neutral Sound

Average for neutral listening. These RS 175 are not as good for neutral listening as the RS 165. They have a bit too much bass that makes them sound boomy, especially, since they lack a little mid-range. Instruments and vocals will be a bit more drowned out than on the RS 165. On the upside, they have a better treble and due to their bass and treble heavy response, they will sound exciting when watching movies you just might not hear the voices as well.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
5.5 Commute/Travel

Not suitable for commuting and traveling. 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
4.6 Sports/Fitness

Not intended for sports. They have a fixed transmitter, they're bulky and a bit unstable which is not ideal for running or working out.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.0 Office

Average for office use. 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
4.5 Wired Gaming
2.2 Phone Call
  • 5.6 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 4.6 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 6.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 4.5 Wired Gaming
  • 2.2 Phone Call
Pros
  • Low latency connection.
  • Decent sound quality.
Cons
  • Poor isolation and high leakage.
  • Limited range and usability.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The RS 175 have the same form factor as the 165 and the rest of the RS series from Sennheiser. They come with a TR transmitter stand that also acts as a dock and a charging station. They have slightly different ear cups than the previous model with a textured finish on the back of the ear cups and an additional button for the surround sound effect. They're a bit bulky and not meant for outdoor use, so they're not the most fashionable headphones, but their simple and utilitarian design will work for most.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.65 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

The RS 175 have the same comfortable fit as the RS 165, but they're slightly heavier. Like the 165 they have spacious ear cups that are decently well padded. Unfortunately, they also have the same problem as the pressure they exert around your ears is not properly distributed. So after listening to them 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.

6.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
N/A
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control N/A
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons Room Effects

The RS 175 have an efficient controls scheme, but it's slightly limited. The buttons are responsive and provide basic functionality for volume control and two extra buttons for additional bass, and surround sound. However, they don't have any call/music functions, which is a bit disappointing but by design, they're not supposed to.

6.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.8 C
1.1
Design
Portability
L 7.6 "
W 7.6 "
H 3.9 "
Volume 225 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required Yes

The RS 175 are not portable headphones. They're quite large and do not fold into a more compact format. Also, since you need the stand for them actually to work, you most likely won't carry them around on your person.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The RS 175 have a decently sturdy build quality. The headband is moderately flexible and reinforced with a thin metal frame. The ear cups too are decently dense, and a bit heavier than the RS 165 but aren't as durable as some of the other wireless over-ear headphones we've tested. 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 their price range. It's a little disappointing, especially since you're going to be wearing these headphones for hours if you're watching a movie.

5.5
Design
Stability

The RS 175 are not the most stable headphones. They're tight enough that they won't move much during casual listening sessions but unfortunately, their ear cups are heavier than those on the RS 165 and sway a lot under physical activity. This means they won't be good headphones for sports or working out. Also, they need to be in relative range to their charging dock so running in general with these headphones is impractical.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser RS 175 Headphones
  • TR 175 transmitter
  • Audio cable
  • Optical cable
  • (EU) power adapter
  • (UK) power adapter
  • (AU) power adapter
  • (US) power adapter
  • 2 AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
3.84 db
Treble Amount
-0.33 db
5.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.16 dB

Poor Consistency performance. The ear pads on the RS 175 are relatively stiff, and we suspect they are the culprit for the poor Bass Range consistency here. 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. We have measured about 18dB of variance at 20Hz between our subjects which is quite bad. The blue line represent one of our subjects that wears glasses.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.99 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
6.54 dB
Mid-Bass
3.95 dB
High-Bass
-0.3 dB

Decent Bass Range performance. The entire range is tilted in favor of low-bass, which shows more than 6dB of overemphasis. This will make these headphones kick and rumble excessively, which would be unsuitable for certain music/films. Bass is also hyped by about 4dB, resulting in excess Bass which would drown out the Mid and Treble Ranges. 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.

7.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.46 dB
Low-Mid
-4.6 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.11 dB
High-Mid
-1.2 dB

Decent Mid Range performance. The dip from 250Hz to 700Hz makes the body of vocals/leads a bit thin, and could also push them slightly to the back of the mix.

7.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.59 dB
Low-Treble
2.07 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.63 dB
High-Treble
-4.35 dB

Good Treble Range performance. The response is relatively even and consistent. The 5dB peak around 3KHz, adds excess presence to vocals/leads. This and the excess Bass give a V shaped or smiley face sound profile to these headphones. Additionally, the small dip around 7KHz makes the sibilances (S and T sounds) slightly soft.

7.2
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.75 db
Dips
1.51 db
6.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.7
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
3.12
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
4.62
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.92
6.2
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.7 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
5.66 dB
PRTF Distance
9.54 dB
Openness
4.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
6.1
7.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.309
WHD @ 100
0.430
Isolation
5.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.52 dB
Bass
-1.21 dB
Mid
-13.17 dB
Treble
-27.32 dB

Poor Isolation. These headphones don't have active noise cancelling and isolate passively using their ear cups. They start to kick-in around 150Hz, which is decent for passive over-ear headphones. In the Mid and Treble ranges they achieve about 13dB and 27dB of reduction, both values being decent.

5.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
49.63 dB

Poor Leakage performance. The stiff ear pads of the RS 175 seem to be responsible for the poor leakage of these headphones. The significant portion of the leakage sits between 300Hz and 5KHz, which is a relatively broad range. The overall level of the leakage is also relatively loud.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
AAA (X2)
Continuous Battery Life
24 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
24 hrs
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port Proprietary

The RS 175 like the 165 have a good 24-hour battery life. They also use rechargeable AAA batteries that can be charged with the stand but it takes more than 8 hours for a full charge which is very limiting. However, the charge time is heavily 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.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
7.9
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
122 ft
Non-BT Latency
55 ms
5.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
N/A
USB Audio
N/A
Detachable Yes
Length 0 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
N/A
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio Only
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
Audio Only
5.6
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
Yes
Line Out
No
Optical Input
Yes
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
AC Adapter

Compared to other headphones

See our recommendations for the best TV headphones and the best headphone brands.

Sennheiser RS 185 RF Wireless
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless and the Sennheiser RS 185 RF Wireless are very similar headphones in design, but the 175 are closed-backs while the 185 are open-backs. This means that if you are looking for TV headphones to watch movies and TV shows without bothering your household or to block out ambient noise, the closed-back RS 175 will be a better option. However, the RS 185 have a better sound quality, but they don’t block noise and leak quite a bit, which won’t be ideal in a noisy environment. The RS 185 also feel a bit more premium and better-built, and you also get an RCA input that the RS 175 don’t have.

Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Price

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