Analogue v Digital

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by goak, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. goak

    goak Casual Listener

    Jan 17, 2012
    I'm looking to upgrade my existing wireless headphones that I use for tv listening. (I use them to cope with hearing loss).

    Your site has given me useful information and I'm leaning towards the Sennheiser RS120*. However, a visit to Sennheiser’s own web site says the RS120 uses analogue transmission. Their more expensive headphones (e.g. RS160 and RS170) use digital transmission.

    Is anyone able to give advice on whether I’d be better paying extra for earphones that have digital transmission?

    * Incidentally, your site says the RS120 is now discontinued and replaced by the RS120-II. Surprisingly Sennheiser’s own web site Sennheiser UK - RS 120 only lists the RS120 and a search on the RS120-II is not recognised!
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Obsessive Auditor

    Jul 3, 2011
    Charleston South Carolina
    Analogue versus digital

    There is some experience and some guesswork here, so interpret this against what you hear elsewhere!

    A lot depends on the strength of the signal. If you have a good digital signal and a poor analogue signal (or vice-versa), then that could make all of the difference. If the effective signal strength is the same, then when the signal breaks up due to lost strength (similar to what happens with cellular phones), the digital breakup may be worse sounding than the analog breakup. But again, that depends on the equipment used, if the manufacturer has provided a cure for bad breakup sounds.

    If someone is saying that the digital signal is more accurate, that would be very dependent on the design quality. If wireless has the same analogy as cellphones where digital cellphones use much less power and ostensibly put less radiation to your head, that could be a plus.

    My wife and I live in a small two bedroom apartment and she tried some digital wireless headphones and finally gave up. The signal broke up too often. If you stay in one room, the room with the transmitter, you would probably have better luck.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  3. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Sennheiser use Kleer Digital technology for their wire less digital headphones (RS160, RS170, RS180), this is much clearer than the analogue FM RS120. The FM signal is quite compressed but the RS120 are really impressive when compared to cheaper analogue wireless headphones. The FM signal will travel further (up to 80m/255ft without walls) whereas the digital signal will only travel a maximum of 20m (64ft).

    The digital ones will sound significantly better as the Kleer digital technology is of almost CD quality.

    RS120 II is just a slightly updated RS120. Almost the same, the packaging is slightly different and there is a new adaptor in the package.:)

    Hope that helps.

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