Pioneer SE-DIR800C Wireless Headphones with Dolby Headphone Technology Description:
The Pioneer SE-DIR800C Infrared Wireless Surround Sound Headphones simulate 5.1 channel speakers to create high quality surround-sound like what you’ll experience from a traditional home theater. These headphones process Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS surround sound from a gaming console, DVD player, or CD player connected through the optical or coaxial input. The SE-DIR800C headphones offer super-soft earphone enclosures so the entire ear is cushioned for greater comfort. Die-hard video gamers, movie and music enthusiasts now have a new ally in the fight to be entertained at any time — and at the decibel level of their preference. Self-adjusting headset Wired headphone input with volume control 2-Way stand with vertical or horizontal mounting options 3 Room Type Effect Presets – DH1(Mixing room with very little reverberation), DH2(Default mode with moderate reverb), DH3(Small Movie Theater) Inputs – Optical Digital, Coaxial Digital(cable supplied), Analog Line In Input attenuator Frequency Response – 12kHz-22kHz Distortion – 1% or less (1kHz) Rechargeable AA batteries and recharger
- Brand: Pioneer
- Model: SE-DIR800C
- Dimensions: 11.74″ h x 4.20″ w x 18.00″ l, 5.00 pounds
- Wireless 5.1 surround sound headphones with Dolby Headphone multichannel technology
- Support for Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Surround formats; transmission range of up to 26 feet
- Produces up to 5 virtual loudspeakers in your head to create an immersive surround experience
- Small, medium, and large “virtual room” presets based on acoustical measurements of actual rooms
- Built-in volume control; includes transmitter and rechargeable AA batteries; 90-day warranty
I had purchased an inexpensive Sony home theater in a box system that was a pretty nice system for the money spent. But I found myself with problems that had nothing to do with the quality of the system. As I watched movies, I was bothered by various ambient noises from my apartment… street noises, the people upstairs, water running through pipes, the hum of the refrigerator, etc. And, if I was hearing noises from the outside, it’s a pretty good bet that people on the outside can hear what’s coming from inside. So, I needed a solution, and it seemed the mutually beneficial solution was headphones. Unfortunately, while my HT receiver has a headphone jack, it only outputs 2 channel stereo sound, and it seems like a waste to have to rely on that when I have a system capable of outputting 5.1 channel sound. Doing some research I realized there was no way to get surround sound through headphones with the equipment I had, even if I purchased expensive headphones. In fact, many tech-savvy posters on message boards scoffed at the notion of headphones producing surround sound altogether. Fortunately, they are mistaken.
In my research I found out about Dolby Headphone technology and read about the Pioneer SE-DIR800C. Dolby Headphone technology treats the sounds from different channels in a way to make it sound like it’s coming from different directions, the directions they would be coming from in a traditional 5.1 based speaker set up. I had heard the effect for myself with cheap stereo headphones and was not overwhelmed. But since the reviews of the Pioneer system were all so good, I decided to blow my tax return on them.
What this Pioneer system does, based entirely on the movie watching experience, is everything I needed. The simulation of surround sound is completely convincing. So much so that I have a hard time believing its simulated. The headphones are well designed, lightweight and comfortable and do a great job of keeping out sound. I’ve watched several movies so far with them, and often the sounds of the movie are all I can hear through the length of the film… a far cry when I watch movies with my speaker based system. Invariably you forget you are listening to headphones and lose yourself in the film, if you are watching a good film. The sound is clear and open, and the bass is deep, though it can’t recreate the effect of an earth shaking subwoofer. But it’s such a joy to have the volume cranked up without worrying about disturbing anyone. There are some minor inconveniences with the design of the unit… there’s no outputs or remote, for example… but that wouldn’t be a problem if you had a separate receiver with an output and remote… just have a single digital output going from your HT receiver to the pioneer receiver and you can still control all your inputs with the HT receiver remote. I wouldn’t have minded using a wired headphone but this wireless set is flawless for watching movies (if you’re listening to music and want to walk around you’ll lose the signal if you leave the room).
The Pioneer receiver has a separate headphone jack, so if you have one friend over (or two perhaps, with a headphone splitter), they can listen. Since I have no headphones as nice as the wireless ones included in the set, I’m not sure if high end headphones plugged into a Dolby Headphones processing jack would be as effective as these headphones. If I didn’t already have a speaker based HT system, I might have considered looking for one that has Dolby Headphones processing and purchasing a pair of expensive, high end headphones. But since I already had a system, purchasing this Pioneer system was less expensive (though expensive none the less) and offers me everything I could have possible needed. There is one problem with the headphones… you might get spoiled. After using them I saw a movie in a theater with great DTS sound. But I could hear people whispering, eating popcorn, sucking down the last of their sodas, and a man with respiratory problems, and I found myself wishing I could have been using these headphones in the theater.
Great sound, but physically flawed
I’ve had these headphones for about a year. They are comfortable, and the sound quality is great. However, today, the headphones broke. It seems the swivel mechanism is a very tiny and thin plastic piece. If this piece were made of metal, it would be OK, but the plastic can’t hold up. I’m not rough with these, but I didn’t handle them as if they were made of thin glass either. It is physically a poor design, in my opinion as an engineer.
This is too bad. The speakers and audio system are great, but the physical package is not up to the task. They need a re-design, badly.
Surprisingly good wireless headphones with a few caveats
I am a night creature, which until I moved in with my new roommate was not an issue. Unfortunately, he is a bit of a light sleeper, so if I wished to continue to watch movies at 2am, I was going to need a set of headphones.
I knew from the start that wireless was going to be the only option for me, and I set about on an exhaustive four day hunt online for the best ones I could find, and the Pioneer SE-DIR800C really stood out. of course, so did the price; $300 is a lot to spend on what I considered to be a novelty item, but it was the only one that delivered on both sound and connection performance, so I took the plunge.
And so far, I could not be happier, with a few minor annoyances.
It really creates surprisingly accurate sound, though all of it sounds just a tad mechanical and tinny. It has several Dolby Pro Logic modes that all sound equally good, and it even manges to reproduce surround sound in a reasonably enjoyable way.
As long as I am in front of the device, it never looses connection. Never. it never pops, or crackles, or goes silent at all, no matter how I move my head, even when I am lying down. However, a suggestion: Don’t turn the headphones on until you get your TV and cable box on first; I get some loud popping if I do that in the wrong order.
Of course, these are line of sight headphones. You have to be in front of the device for them to work, though I have found I can be directly to the side of them with no loss in connection at all.
And there are plenty of audio inputs (1 analog, 1 coaxial, 1 optical) in the back and a clear and simple way to switch between those inputs (though lacking a remote, which is slightly tedious)
I seem to be getting about 12-14 hours from the two rechargeable AA batteries that come with the headphones, which is quite good in my opinion. The fact that the base station also charges the batteries is a nice touch, but I was disappointed that you actually have to remove the batteries from the headphones and insert them into the base for this to work. It is a minor annoyance, but I find myself putting regular batteries in while charging the ones that came with it, which kind of defeats the purpose.
It is just so damn ugly. It is 1970′s Battlestar Galactica ugly. Carrot Top ugly. The headphones themselves are actually rather pleasing in their form; simple and understated. The base station, however, looks like someone stuffed Christmas lights into a digital alarm clock from 1990, complete with large, round plastic buttons all across the top. The entire front of the device is constantly aglow with green and red LED lights. It’s like a condensed version of Kitt’s dashboard next to your television. It looks it belongs in an old Devry commercial. It is really, really ugly.
I have found I can wear the headphones for about 2 to 4 hours without having to shift them. I have good sized ears and I can still tuck them perfectly into the headphones. they are lightweight, and with a few pillows propped and folder behind my head, I can wear them lying down with no discomfort.
Amazon.com Product Description
Don’t let a sleeping family keep you from your new action adventure movie, DTS 5.1 concert, or online video game tournament by setting up these Pioneer wireless surround sound headphones. The SE-DIR800C phones, which connect to any 5.1-channel source–including a DVD player, game console, digital cable box, or satellite receiver–are equipped with Dolby Headphone technology, which produces up to five virtual loudspeakers in your head by directing and reflecting the sound from each channel. The effect is a stunning surround experience, far more dimensional than with typical headphones, and, some say, even better than with a high-performance surround speaker system. The audio is natural sounding and doesn’t cause “listener fatigue” as do many other headphones. The phones also work with a variety of surround formats, including Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Surround.
Most conveniently, the SE-DIR800C phones are completely cordless. The small wireless transmitter connects to your source (DVD player, game console, etc.) and broadcasts a clear, strong signal via infrared technology to the headphones. Thanks to the wireless technology, you won’t snag a headphone cord on furniture, your dog, your glasses, or anything else.
The phones feature a trio of “virtual room” presets from which to choose. The options actually reproduce the sound of a playback system in up to three different listening environments based on the acoustic measurements of real rooms. The small room setting (DH1) re-creates a small, well-damped room with very little reverberation that’s perfect for both movies and music-only recordings, while the medium room (DH2) is a more acoustically live (or “wet”) room that’s well suited to both formats as well (with moderate reverberation). Meanwhile, the large room setting (DH3) offers a bigger sound, more like the audio within a concert hall or movie theater.
A final bonus stems from the onboard volume control. With a volume dial on the headphone itself, users can easily turn up the audio without getting out of the chair. The SE-DIR800C phones, which offer a transmission range of up to 26 feet, are an ideal choice for folks who live in busy households where people go to sleep early, or for anyone who wants a little audio privacy while watching movies or listening to music. The phones are backed by a 90-day warranty on parts and labor.
What’s in the Box
Wireless headphones, transmitter, rechargeable AA batteries, charger, coaxial digital cable, two-way stand, user’s manual.