The Sennheiser RS 120-W are headphones that are specially designed for use on television. With LE Audio, it has the latest Bluetooth technology on board and offers, among other things, crystal-clear sound without delay. However, he does not always find a connection without problems.
If you want really good sound when watching TV, you can buy external speakers or connect headphones. However, normal Bluetooth headsets are not necessarily suitable for this, since not all TV sets have the appropriate radio modules or the sound does not arrive synchronously with the picture. That can't happen with the Sennheiser RS 120-W, because its base connects to the television via cable and transmits with the brand-new Audio LE Bluetooth standard, even over longer distances, with practically no delay.
The headphones, which cost 130 euros (RRP), are big enough to be circumaural, but the shells actually rest on the ears. This is often uncomfortable when worn for a long time, but not with the RS 120-W. It weighs only 215 grams, shells and temples are softly padded and covered with fabric. In addition, the contact pressure is low.
The consistent use of plastic is necessary for the low weight, which is why the RS 120-W initially leaves a somewhat cheap impression. However, the workmanship is of high quality and fortunately also sustainable. The upholstery can be changed in no time at all and instead of a permanently installed rechargeable battery, there are two rechargeable AAA batteries in the left shell. Thanks to the energy-saving Audio LE, they last up to 20 hours.
The only two controls are a power button on the left shell and a volume wheel on the right shell. Both controls are placed and designed so that the thumbs can easily find and operate them.
The headphones do not connect to the television themselves, but via their base, which is wired to the TV set with a cinch cable. If the corresponding inputs are not available, an adapter to headphone jacks is included with the headphones.
Because modern televisions often no longer offer either of the two connection types, you have to buy an analog-to-digital converter if necessary (about 15 euros). An optical connection like that of Sennheiser's TV Clear earphones would have been the better solution for the RS 120-W from the outset, but the earplugs are considerably more expensive at around 400 euros.
The old-fashioned RCA cable is in stark contrast to the state-of-the-art LE Audio, which the base uses to transmit data to the headphones. The RS 120-W is one of the first devices ever to use the standard. Theoretically it would be possible to pair it with smartphones, tablets or notebooks, but the headphones cannot do that. He is a TV specialist.
While the base is very large, it doubles as a stand and charging station for the headphones. With Bluetooth Audio LE, it is also able to connect to practically any number of headphones at the same time.
There's also a slightly fiddly little toggle at the base for three different audio modes: neutral, music, and voice. These are the three scenarios for which Sennheiser has optimized the sound, more options are not possible without an app.
However, the criticism of the meager settings does not mean that the RS 120-W needs more. On "neutral" it inspires with a crystal-clear sound that is based on broad mids, but already provides a lot of details in the highs. The wide stage is also great, which almost gives a three-dimensional impression despite the stereo sound.
The sound should not be confused with the neutral sound that Sennheiser's headphones produce so well with music - the sound is optimized for most TV shows, series and films. Among other things, the music mode boosts the bass, which helps give concerts more volume, for example.
In practice, the speech mode is probably more important, in which the basses are a bit more reserved and the trebles are in the foreground. Without appearing unnatural, the setting helps, among other things, with bad soundtracks from films and series or increases intelligibility if you want to hear something in the original language.
All in all, the Sennheiser RS 120-W is a very good alternative to soundbars and other external TV speakers. It sounds great, is durable and very comfortable. You can currently get the headphones for less than 110 euros. Before you buy it, you should definitely check the connection options on the TV.