When it comes to wireless entertainment headphones, there are many companies that compete for this niche slot in the headphone market. You have the main competitors such as Bose and Beats by DR. Dre producing expensive wireless headphones, and on the opposite side, you have companies like Panasonic and Sennheiser producing more affordable wireless headphones. Although Sony had already developed wireless headphones that covered pretty much both ends of the market, it was with this idea, that they wanted to dominate one particular side; they chose the middle. Sony had a plan for its development team and engineers to create a set of headphones that would be great for entertainment, not too cheap and not too expensive, just right. But did they succeed, or are the MDRRF865RK just another pair of wireless headphones on the market.
At first glance, the MDRRF865RK are much bigger than expected, they have a good solid feel which is of high quality, to further illustrate this, in my personal experience in using them , I have dropped them ‘quite a few’ times, yet this left no marks and the Sony MDRRF865RK managed to take every drop like it was designed to. So this great quality shell will provide most users with satisfaction through its sturdy designed. However due to their large size and over ear design, the Sony MDRRF865RK can feel uncomfortable at times, especially after long usage; let’s just say that unlike some headphones, you never forget that your wearing them on your head. Furthermore, Sony restrained itself from using leather for the ear cushion, which I believe is one mistake in reducing their comfort.
Now most people buy headphones for their sound quality. It is a well known fact that wireless headphones will never produce as good quality sound when compared to decent pair of wired headphones, but don’t take this to mean that wireless headphones have terrible sound quality, because trust me, they don’t. But are the Sony MDRRF865RK sound quality any good? Well the problem we have is that at times it is good, and at other times it is not as good, this is due to the great variance in signal strength, it really depends on if you have any equipment that distorts the signal and how far away you are from the receiver, there also some other factors that can affect the sound quality as well. But in general the sound quality is just “good”, nothing more, maybe something less. The problem is that the bass is to soft and the treble can get muddled at times. Most of the time, I often heard a light hissing sound in the background, but this is the case with most wireless headphones. Some people are quick to blame the headphones, yet don’t realise that some external equipment could be causing this hissing sound. So a big improvement Sony can make on these headphones is on increasing their sound quality, now I’m not saying it’s bad, but it simply won’t do for those who insist on perfect sound quality; yet one can argue, that if you want perfect sound quality from a pair of wireless headphones, then you need to spend a bit more that £70.
Sony claims that these pair of headphones can operate at a range of up to 100 metres from the receiver, I managed to test 70 metres, and surprisingly I felt no reduction in sound quality. Sony also mentions that the MDRRF865RK can cancel noise by 87.4%, however I found this to be stretching the truth slightly, I’m not an expert on the matter of noise cancelling, but to me it felt closer to 40% then 87.4%.
The Sony MDRRF865RK was on the market for £100, but they can now be picked up from Amazon for around £70 (they may even be cheaper at other retailers).
- Good build quality
- Easy to setup
- Good wireless range
- Sound quality could be improved
- Can feel uncomfortable at times (especially after long usage)
- heavy on the head
- Noise cancelling is not very good
So weighing up all the pros and cons, have the Sony MDRRF865RK fulfilled Sony’s ambition and are they worth buying. To answer the first part, I think Sony was quite close, but the sound quality and size ruined it for them. Now the “million dollar” question, are they worth buying? Well the answer is a little more complex then “yes” or “no”. You probably heard this before, but it all depends, if you love high sound quality and want a small compact pair of headphones, then the Sony MDRRF865RK are NOT for you. On the contrary, if you don’t really care that much about extremely high sound quality, and just want a pair of good quality wireless headphone, then the Sony MDRRF865RK may be the ones for you. Either way, these headphones are some of the best wireless headphones I seen for £70 on the market.
Other alternatives may include:
Philips SHC5100/05 Wireless HiFi Headphone
Panasonic RP-WF950EB-S Wireless Over Ear Headphones
FSL ZERO Wireless Bluetooth Headphones