Product Reviews

Product Reviews

In Brief

Comfortable headphones sound great and do it without wires. All digital signal requires no signal compression, resulting in full CD-quality sound. Great for dorm room or bedroom with sleeping spouse.


Price

$129

Amphony
Shorewood, Ill.


Multimedia Reviews

Reference Guide has the reviews of all the top multimedia products:

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Xitel PC-to-stereo-system link

Amphony digital wireless headphones

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Imaging:

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Media:

Plextor 40/12/40 USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive

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Key Specifications

Signal-to-noise ratio
(A weighted):
Typ. 93 dB

Cannel separation:
   Typ. 91 dB

Harmonic distorion:
   Typ. -88 dB

Frequency response:
   20Hz to 24kHz

Max. sound pressure level: 113 dB


multimedia gear

Amphony 2.4 GHz Digital
Wireless Headphones

Rating:

By Patrick McQuillan

September 19, 2002

Sometimes, all I want to do is blast the stereo. I’m one of those people who crams for finals better when the sound is cranked up.

Unfortunately, the dorm has rules. So blasting is a no-no during exam week. That means headphones are in. Not those flimsy little things that come with a Walkman, but real audiophile quality headphones. Oh yeah, and did I mention that I can’t stand dragging a long cord around? Give me wireless!

Amphony gets it. Their headphones have great sound. And they’re completely wireless. But even better than that, they’re completely digital. And they operate at 2.4 Gigahertz, the same frequency band as those high-quality cordless phones you probably have at home.

Simple set-up. There are two pieces to the Amphony system, the headphones, and a transmitter. You connect the transmitter to any line-out jacks on your stereo system. The transmitter takes the signal from the stereo, converts it to digital format, and transmits it. The headset contains a built-in receiver. It receives the digital signal, converts it back into analog form, and sends it to the left and right transducers, generating the sound you listen to. The headset requires two AA batteries, one mounted on each side.

Behind the left earcup is a tiny power switch, and behind the right earcup is a volume control.

 
 

The transmitter connects to your stereo system with standard RCA cables.

In theory. Amphony describes the headset as Digital Wireless Radio-Frequency headphones that transmit audio in true CD quality. They got that right.

Since they transmit audio digitally, noise and distortion are absent. According to Amphony, that’s a drawback in existing 900-MHz analog systems. And since the Amphony system transmits at a data rate exceeding 3 Mbps (megabits per second), the audio signal doesn’t need to be compressed. That’s good, becuase doing so would have yielded results similar to MP3’s compressed audio, where files can sometimes sound muffled or lack a sense of sonic fullness and spaciousness. In addition, this high data rate allowed Amphony to implement an intelligent error-correction scheme that corrects transmission errors to provide near-error-free reception even under difficult conditions.

The transmitter has some distance limitations. The headphones can pick up its signal 200 feet away if there are no obstructions. But through a wall, the range drops to 50 feet. Amphony’s add-on RangeBooster module can be added to extend the range. You can add several of these.

Amphony and final exams. It’s a good combination.<

 
Yeas & Nays

Yea:

4Easy to set up, simple to use

4Great sonic quality

Nay:

4Signal sometimes drops off through walls


Safe Use

Sure, we all like our music loud, right? But you’ve got to be extra careful when using headphones. With the sound-generating element so close to your eardrums, severe pain—and even permanent damagecan occur when playing music too loud. And don’t ever drive when wearing headphones of any kind. Not only is it dumb, it may be illegal, too.


   

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