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Wireless TV headphones are designed to provide a convenient listening experience for TV and home entertainment pleasure by eliminating the tethered headphone wire. Instead, the headphones use radio frequency (RF) or infrared (IR) waves, generated from a transmitter placed near the sound source. The transmitter is plugged directly to the audio-out ports of the system, broadcasting the signal. Headphones fitted with a matched receiver pick up the broadcast and translate the signal into audible sound.
When consumers are shopping for wireless TV headphones, they should consider the differences between RF and IR technologies. RF or radio waves transmitters can have a broadcast range of up to 300 feet (~100 meters), and can penetrate walls and go around objects. They can also pick up interference, however, from competing radio waves in the same band. IR waves occupy a different area in the electromagnetic spectrum, eliminating most interference issues. These devices require a clear line of sight, however, and most products in the line have a relatively small range of less than 30 feet (~10 meters).
Aside from broadcast range, if a person will be using the headphones with the home entertainment system, he or she should look for built-in Digital Theater Systems (DTS) and Dolby® decoders that will provide surround sound environments for encoded movies. Shoppers should also check the frequency response that indicates the range of sound the headphones are capable of reproducing, from low basses to high trebles. The human ear is capable of hearing sounds from 20 hertz - 20 kilohertz.
Wireless TV headphones can be very handy for listening to television, a movie, radio or music when the house needs to be quiet for other household members. In the case of RF models, it’s also nice to be able to roam the house to work, cook, or clean without losing volume or audio quality as a person would when the speakers are located in a single room and the listener's activities keep him or her mobile.
Many online outlets that sell electronic products allow buyers to post reviews, listing pros and cons that can help potential buyers choose wireless headphones wisely. Consumer comments can be supplemented with professional reviews to help a shopper come up with a very satisfactory choice that will meet his or her needs and expectations while fitting a budget.