In ancient times, say the 1970s, you could listen to your transistor radio quietly, after jamming a hard earpiece – complete with a six-inch cord -somewhere near your ear canal. Then you could listen to disco tunes without annoying your family and friends. Of course, the Bee Gees’ falsettos didn’t sound quite as high or clear as they did on vinyl albums, but what could you do? That was the best technology available.
Today, headphones are as essential an accessory as, well, cellphones. When we’re not talking or texting, we’re listening to music. Or podcasts. In today’s noisy world, headphones are important to listening enjoyment, wherever you might be.
Unless you’re a serious audiophile, Sony’s MDR-IF240RK headphone model might be the right fit for all your listening needs. Its infrared wireless technology allows you to rock to your entertainment system, listen comfortably to your TV or DVDs, and act as a buffer for hard-of-hearing people who keep their significant others awake while listening to late-night talk shows with the volume ratcheted up.
The infrared technology gives the wearer about 24 feet to move from a device, and 180-degree coverage of whatever’s playing. Open-air design of the headphones allow you to hear ambient sound, but doesn’t disturb those around you.
One of the nicest features of this Sony set is that you don’t have to turn them on or off; they automatically turn off while recharging, and automatically turn on when you put them on. Sony designed the MDR-IF240RK to last up to 60 hours with an optional alkaline battery, or 35 hours of battery life with the supplied NiHm rechargeable. The rechargeable is proprietary to Sony, but some users have reported an LR03 alkaline battery can be substituted in a pinch.
Signal interference doesn’t seem to be a problem, and connecting the set is easy to either your TV or home sound system.
Unlike some headphones, The Sony MDR is constructed with foam pads, instead of leather-style. The foam pads can wear out after heavy use, but users report that Radio Shack, among other retailers, carry replacements.
For the price – which ranges from $34 -$59, depending on the retailer, this cordless set of headphones will allow you to rock around the clock comfortably, at work or at home, making this Sony MDR series well worth the money.
A note from Sony: These headphones are not compatible with plasma screen televisions, which interfere with the infrared signal. The company also notes that the MDRs aren’t compatible with most treadmills, so check your manual.
Over-the-ear, ear-cup design – Foam pads
Weight 4.4 ounces; Up to 6.3 with battery
Transmission range – Up to 24 feet
Sound; Infrared wireless, with 30 mm drive units for deep bass
Minimum frequency response – 18Hz; maximum frequency response 22000 Hz
Supplied NiHM battery – Up to 35 hours of battery life
Color – Black
Additional feature – Automatic on/off
Supplied in the kit – Headphones and transmitter, rechargeable NiCad battery; AC adapter; connecting cord; and UniMate plug adapter