Rated 5 out of 5 by joedoro Excellent
Fantastic headphones - especially for home theater.
True, not the same as a dedicated 7.1 system but none the less a very neat listening experience and to me preferable to some of the home theater systems out there which , to me, have unrealistic placing of sounds, especially from the rear. And for houses like mine where a thumping home theater is not realistic due to the poor sound insulation of modern construction I can watch at volumes without bothering others.
Special effect sounds come through realistically with excellent base especially with blu-ray sources. Placement of sounds is realistic with a wide expansive soundstage.
There is absolute silence in the background, no hiss, hum, etc.
The only minor difficulty is sometimes when switching from the headphones to an external speaker system, it doesn't work automatically and you have to turn off the headphones and then turn the module where everything connects on and off.
Also the manual (now available in English online) could be more clear in explaining what all of the settings do. Still haven't figured out a couple.
Expensive? Yes - but well worth it even with the above minor caveats.
September 27, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SteveLinNYC An Amazing Product in spite of silly Missteps
I've had these headphones for several months now and overall am very happy with them. By far and away, they outperform any bluetooth headphones on the market and they are comparable to any other wireless option out there. They don't match the clarity of a $150 set of wired Grado cans, but then I wouldn't expect them to. They do reproduce audio from movies and other video sources with suprising fidelity and even do a decent job reproducing high-end music, including 192MHz 24-bit sources.
The surround sound aspect is synthetic - a DSP box connected to surround sound source uses psychoacoustics to create the illusion of depth. It's amazing how well this works - sounds really do seem to eminate from discrete locations around the room. Where the illusion falls apart, surprisingly, is with stereo sources. One would expect that the Sony DSP would do a decent job of projecting a musical soundstage in front of the listener, but it doesn't. Music still tends to sound like it's originating inside the listener's head, particularly with classical music. None of the options provided seems to improve this situation either - Sony really needs to fix this. In spite of these flaws, this is an excellent set of cans.
There are, however, some really silly missteps that detract from an otherwise excellent product. The finish of the headphones is plastic and feels pretty cheap - definitely not what one would expect at this price point. Even more ridiculous is the lack of a case or stand for the headphones. This product clearly is intended to be used with a home theater setup. The DSP/Transmitter box connects directly between my TV and my Oppo Blu-Ray player. So where am I supposed to keep the headphones when not in use? There's no case to store them in. There's no stand to hang them up on. There isn't even a charger - just a standard USB cable. Does Sony expect me to lay them out on the coffee table as a conversation piece? The lack of even a flimsy plastic pouch to store them in is a shocking oversight.
Secondly, the only way to switch inputs on the DSP/transmitter box is from the box itself, or using a button on the headphones. I guess Sony stupidly assumed that no one would ever use the transmitter without the headphones. However, if one makes the DSP/transmitter box a part of their home entertainment system, what are they supposed to do if they connect an always-on device such as a TiVo or Apple TV? Are they supposed to use the headphones as a remote control to switch inputs? Would it have been so difficult to have added a small infrared remote similar to those included with stand-alone HDMI switches? What good is having a built-in HDMI switch if it can't be used as an HDMI switch?
Finally, the instruction manual is poorly written and contains multiple grammatical errors. This "Japanese" English is reminescent of the manuals Sony used to put out ine the 1960s - something I thought Sony had long put behind them. Sony has some real blockbuster consumer electronics products out there now, including what are arguably the best video game systems and some of the best digital cameras money can buy. With gaffs like these, however, it's no wonder the Koreans are eating Sony's lunch.
December 28, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by durham77 Great Multi-Purpose with awesome DTS support!
No one has yet to review this headset on Sony's website so now that I have one of these let me shed some light on these awesome headphones to help others out.
- The only headset that I have been ever able to find to play popular DTS formats that is present on almost all Blu-ray movies (DTS, DTS-HD, etc)
- Easy setup. Reviews at Amazon I've read some said this is hard to configure. I've got mine going though my computer until I can afford a Big TV and they work fine with my HDMI out.
- Comfort. I've tried several headsets and the cushion on these are remarkable after watching several movies back to back. My ears do get warm occasionally for excess use but that is to be expected.
- DTS sound produced between the receiver and the headset! I watched Independence Day on Blu-ray and let me say the base effect at 5 Hz you can feel the rumble effect around you adding to the emersion. The frequency response of these are amazing. Great sound on all DTS movies I've tried so far.
- Music to me sounds great in MP3 format. I've tested these on 320Kbs but not on lower quality grades of music. Some review sites say music don't shine well on these but beg to differ. High quality audio track + Cinema Mode = excellent acoustics. I've tried them all but Cinema is the best well rounded EQ setting for movies or music for me. Just a personal preference.
I have a few Cons but they in no way diminish the value of these headphones and what they are capable of and their purpose.
- Set could have come with a stand for headphones. I know this would increase price but at retail price a stand would be nice.
- In addition to the stand idea, charging station on the stand would have been nice, but price would be an issue as well.
- Very short Micro USB cord for charging. Sony don't sell longer ones so buy extension cord if you plan to use while charging.
- Not a great headset for gaming. No mic also. I tested a few games on my PC like Watch Dogs, Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 4, etc. The sound is ok but on the PC the audio signal is only in 2 channel stereo instead of multichannel like when Blu-rays are played. If you can get multichannel to work on your games the sound quality and volume may be sufficient. I personally use Astro A50 for gaming and bought these because Astro headsets will not decode DTS audio.
So to sum everything up as you can see I own 2 headsets for two different application purposes. After reading tons of reviews Astro A50 are the best gaming headsets you can own but lack DTS playback capability. However, these Sony MDR-HW700DS are superior for a home theater experience with all major audio formats supported. I'm not saying buy two different headphones if you game and watch movies but that's what I did because I wanted the best of both worlds when it comes to my movie and gaming experience and what each headsets has to offer.
These are a dream come true to people who live in duplexes or apartments or families with young kids worrying about disturbing siblings or neighbors. These pack the best sound for movies if a traditional home theater is not a viable option for you. I don't know why Best Buy don't sell these yet.
Bottom line if you need a headset that can decode DTS audio get these!
July 18, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by charlielin 2nd wireless headphone from sony
just got it from Sony yorkdale today.
I think for all the years they should also look for the details that customers really care about.
first of all I would love to start off with, this product definitely is better than Item: MDR-DS6500 . I took away 1 star because its trouble some to charge this head phone. with Item: MDR-DS6500 you can just clip on and set it on the stand for it to charge. looks nice and neat. confident. 2nd with optic connection for sure there won't be 4k sound. I use a sony receiver. my tv is ARC with the receiver. now with this headphone because the TV only has one ARC I suppose the only choice is optic. optic isn't better than hdmi. although hdmi means there is light for video. but I would love the sound quality through hdmi. so again, I am back to optic same as Item: MDR-DS6500 .
any suggestions to help me out here? or mistakes to feed? throw it at me so I can learn.
December 10, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Gibsr Good product
This is a very good product and has excellent sound. The only problem I have is that when you use HDMI it turns off sound thru the TV. I have to use the optic hook up so that my wife can also listen to the TV. She is very happy that she can turn down the sound for her and I control my volume on the headset. Battery life is also very good. The only other comment I have is I think they are a little overpriced. If they were a little cheaper I would have bought a second set so I could use HDMI.
September 27, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by LoveThisHeadphone Luxury wireless headphone
I've had them for a year now, and use them every day. Fantastic sound with an increadibly long range.
I use the HDMI/Analog switching to change between multiple screens.
10 out of 10
May 3, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by slr42one very poor base. Way to expensive for their quality.
March 28, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by GatorLA Great Wireless Headset
My previous wireless headphones used the digital optical out from the TV to transmit the audio of whatever media was being watched. These headphones can be used the same way, but to get the most out of them you need to wire individual HDMI cables from each source through the control box where the audio signals are pulled off, processed, and transmitted to the headphones. By doing this, you will have onscreen menus to set up audio preferences; the input and audio controls being controlled by buttons on the wireless headset. The sound from a blu ray movie is amazingly rich with these headphones; it's almost like being in a theater (except there is no strong bass)
September 27, 2014