From Germany comes the Amphony Digital Wireless headphone system. These headphones are easy to use and connect to any existing stereo or studio sound system. The 2.4 GHz radio band is used for clear, digital audio transmission of stereo sound from the transmitter base station to the comfortable headphones.
Ease of Use: 5
How They Work!
The same band used for video sender units and some wireless phones is used for transmitting full-range, CD-quality digital audio from the small AC-powered base station transmitter to the battery-operated headphones. No audio or data compression is used and the error correction system ensures clear, static-free sound. The lightweight and comfortable headphones run for 100 hours on a pair of AA batteries...one battery in each ear piece for proper balance on your head. On the headphones, there is an on/off switch and volume control with plenty of level. (Assuming you are feeding a proper audio level to the transmitter)
The system's transmitter has RCA stereo audio input jacks ready for the cue mix output of your console or the output on your stereo receiver/pre-amp that would normally feed a tape recording deck. Use an output that will not be affected by the volume control setting. This is so you can adjust your speakers' volume without changing the level going to the Amphony system. The transmitter also has a digital output for the connection of additional RangeBooster modules that extend the maximum distance or widen the reliable working area of the headphones. The digital interconnection means that audio quality does not suffer went linking up to a RangeBooster module.
Audio is transmitted in digital PCM (pulse-coded modulation) format with 64 times oversampling and a transfer rate of 3 megabits per second. Signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted) is typically 93 dB (very good) with dynamic range at 93 dB (also very good). Channel separation is 91 dB with harmonic distortion at -88 dB. Maximum transmitter output power is 1 mW...totally safe around babies and small pets. Amphony rates the transmitter operating range at 200 ft. line-of-sight and 50 ft. through walls and ceilings. The transmitter also has a squelch scheme where if no audio is present at the transmitter's input, it will stop transmitting. I suspect this is to minimize possible interference to other devices you may have operating on the 2.4 gHz band...like a cordless phone or a baby monitor. Other nearby systems transmitting on 2.4 gHz may interfere with the Amphony Wireless headphones. You may have to turn off that video sender or microwave oven off. The transmitter should be closest to or in the immediate area you'll be using the phones. The headphones are dynamic type with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 24 kHz and they'll put out a maximum sound pressure of a loud 113dB.
In The Studio
You might imagine that these are the greatest for the studio. You can add as many additional headphones you'd like all feeding from the same transmitter. No more wires to tangle and there are individual volume controls on each set of phones. I also liked that, unlike infrared-based headphone systems, you don't have to be in the same room as the transmitter. In my tests, I was able to go three rooms away and get the same sound. Furthermore, since the whole system is digital, it either works or doesn't! If you get too far away, the phones just quit with no static or popping. I didn't try out the RangeBooster modules but I would think they would double the range. I also found I could extend the range just by re-positioning the transmitter for a better coverage of my workspace. Walls seem to attenuate the 2.4 gHz signal more than anything but if I got the transmitter near a window, I could cover my entire backyard. Pretty cool listening to mixes out on my patio laying in the sun!!
Sound quality is good. The headphones have a neutral sound with a warm overall tone. There is good stereo separation and there is no noise at all. The headphones fit well with no need of adjustment and they are lightweight with soft ear pads that seal off outside sounds well. A good feature for studio work, there is no leakage of headphone sound once the phones are on your head.
The 2.4 gHz Digital Wireless Model 1000 Headphones from Amphony Model 1000 sell for $129 MSRP and additional sets of headphones are $79 each. For a dealer near you and much more, contact: www.amphony.com
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