Amphony 2.4 GHz Digital
By Patrick McQuillan
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.
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
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.<