Home Theatre Advice

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Koyaanisqatsi
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Home Theatre Advice

Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:22 pm

Ok, so I've finally decided it's time to upgrade to OLED now that my wife and I are moving back to NYC. Because we will be living once again in a shoebox apartment, however, I want to set up a situation where we can each have a pair of headphones (preferably earbuds for maximum comfort) that will in turn allow us to have full surround sound for movies without bothering the neighbors. Plus I want the ability for each of us to independently control our headphones (volume, bass, etc). Any suggestions SC hive mind?

I've been looking at RF vs. Bluetooth latency and there are MANY good reviews of the Sennheiser RS 165 RF approach (and some have suggested the much cheaper RS 120s), but I'm still intent on earbuds.

The TV has bluetooth, so if there is no latency problem, I should be able to find bluetooth enabled earbuds (something like the TaoTronics) designed with surround sound in mind, but that's actually harder than one thinks. So far what I've read suggests I need to have some sort of digital surround sound generator that I then plug (or bluetooth) a quality set of earbuds into, which would be ideal if it worked well with the TV.

I don't know yet (and am checking to see) if the TV generates a digital surround sound effect that it could then send via bluetooth. Then I'd just need a good pair of bluetooth earbuds/headphones to reproduce that effect. If that isn't the case, then the best case scenario is that I have something like the Sony HT XT3 that sends out a digital surround sound signal that I then pick up on a pair of low latency bluetooth earbuds, preferably with their own independent volume and EQ controls (or at the least, a bass option). By "independent" I mean unique to the earphones themselves, so that they don't change the levels from the master device allowing my wife to set her phones to whatever volume/EQ she wants and me to mine even though both sets are connected to the same device.

Overly explained? Ideas? Suggestions?
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DMB
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Post by DMB » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:57 am

That sounds like a great idea. I'm sorry I don't have any solution but I'll be interested to know what you find. My husband is pretty deaf and he watches TV with the sound turned up to levels that are painful to my ears when we are in the same room. The only way we can watch together is with subtitles, which are not available for everything.

Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:38 am

[quote=""DMB""]That sounds like a great idea. I'm sorry I don't have any solution but I'll be interested to know what you find. My husband is pretty deaf and he watches TV with the sound turned up to levels that are painful to my ears when we are in the same room. The only way we can watch together is with subtitles, which are not available for everything.[/quote]

Well, if all he's looking for (or you are looking for :D ) is a set of headphones that he can wear to boost his hearing, there are many that would work; either of the Sennheiver's I linked to above, for example. You don't even need a special TV for them to work. The base unit plugs into the TV's audio "out" connections and then transmits to the headphones.

What I am looking for is a more immersive surround sound environment specifically for watching movies, only through headphones. Perhaps I need to be looking at gaming headsets instead, as most headphones are simply stereo.
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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praxis
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Post by praxis » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:19 pm

[quote=""DMB""]That sounds like a great idea. I'm sorry I don't have any solution but I'll be interested to know what you find. My husband is pretty deaf and he watches TV with the sound turned up to levels that are painful to my ears when we are in the same room. The only way we can watch together is with subtitles, which are not available for everything.[/quote]https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=c ... +earphones

Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:54 pm

Ok, so after MUCH googling I still have not found the perfect solution, but at least I think I've narrowed down to what I need to find. Bluetooth (even aptx enabled) is not the way to go, at least not yet. Wifi (like the Sonos system that I've bought) is evidently the better medium and with no latency, but finding wifi enabled earbuds is proving to be difficult. There is a pair of KOSS (for $500), but KOSS has always been KMart dross so I'm skeptical.

I keep coming back to the idea of a small RF or Wifi transmitter/receiver base unit that would be portable and sit on end tables on each side of our couch that we can just plug regular wired earbuds into, so that my wife has her station and I have mine and we can use whatever headphones we like. Yes, it would be great to have wireless headphones, but that's evidently just not in the cards yet. The RF style all seem to be stethoscopes, basically, with a control unit that weighs the set down and the KOSS wifi enabled ones just seem way too expensive from a brand known for its cheap crap.

If anyone knows of any wifi enabled earbuds and/or RF/wifi transmitter/receiver base units please let me know!
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:38 pm

Update: Although I am holding out high hopes in regard to a question I just asked of the "Sonos Community" (I bought a sonos soundbar and sub and it's a wifi system with almost no latency and it's linked via an app on your iphone, so I'm hoping the wife and I can just use our iphones as audio receivers and thereby use our regular wired earbuds and the phone to independently control volume and eq to our heart's content), it appears I've been looking in the wrong market segment. There are all manner of RF audio transmitter/receivers in the professional musical gear section such as this: Audio-Technica M3 Wireless In Ear Monitoring System. It's what musicians use onstage to hear themselves and the other instruments. The only problem would be the transmitter is fairly large and connecting it to the TV could prove difficult (and the cost).

There's also this system: TP Wireless 2.4GHz Digital HDCD Audio Adapter Music Sound Transmitter and Receiver, but they are evidently 11" x 8", so it would be difficult to hide the receivers and still have a wired connection to ear phones. BUT, it has a latency of only .5 to 1 ms (compared to 40ms with bluetooth aptx). But there's no independence in regard to volume control, so we'd need to buy earbuds that have volume control included (and not volume control of the source player; just independent volume control for the headphones).

I know. First world problems.

ETA: And I just found out from Sonos that the app can't do what I was hoping. So, back to the maddening drawing board. If the TP Wireless system were just like 5" x 4" (or smaller) I think they would be perfect, but...they are not, so on I go...

ETAETA: And found out that you have to make sure your TV and your bluetooth headphones are specifically "low latency aptx" enabled (that's the 40ms), otherwise, if it just says "aptx" that has 70ms latency. Also, apparently the latest CSR chipset for aptX low latency will fall back to plain aptX (i.e., 70ms) if the transmitter (in this scenario my TV) has to send to two sets of earphones at the same time, so I'm back to needing to get a separate transmitter/receiver solution.

F*cking hell! It may be the Sennheisers are the best bet and we'll just have to find a pair that we can stand for long periods of time covering our ears. Or, you know, keep the volume of the TV at a reasonable level so we don't bother our neighbors. But what fun is that?
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:50 pm

Ok, so after ALL of this, I decided on the Sennheiser 185 system (with two headphones, though I still don't know if the volume controls on the headsets are unique to the headset or if they change the volume at the transmitter, which would mean they change the volume for BOTH headsets, which would defeat the purpose). The RF signal has almost no latency and it can send higher quality audio, apparently. Plus, everything in the world now runs bluetooth, so I'd likely be getting a lot of interference from the neighbor's gadgets.

As for wifi earbuds, Apple actually just came out with a version (the airbuds), but they only pair to Apple products, so I'd have to use my computer as the primary peripheral (i.e., as the DVD player, Netflix provider, etc). Which might work for audio, but then the problem is upscaling the video. And I'm not a huge fan of apple's version of earbuds. They are not very comfortable and don't really fit well inside your ear and as a result significantly worse audio fidelity.

So, for now, Sennheiers units even though they're a bit Soviet-era tech. They will take some time to break in, so I'll keep this updated for anyone that gives a flying cuss.
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