Friday, May 27, 2005

Save Some Money

I've seen some reviews of the latest Sony 5.1 headphones and attached processing unit, the MDR-DS8000, and at least one review said something to the effect that it was the "ultimate setup for gamers" No, no, no. That's a nice unit, but it's $550 dollars, and all you get is one pair of headphones and the base unit (which just creates the surround effect and doesn't really have additional features). With the Dolby Digital Headphone standard now being incorporated into some receivers, you can get Dolby Headphone (albeit not wireless) for less and have a full A/V receiver to boot.

Here's what I have: a Kenwood VRS-7100 digital receiver ( It's digital, so it weighs about four pounds, not fifty, and it doesn't generate heat like analog receivers do. It sounds absolutely terrific (better than much more expensive analog receivers, at least to me). It also has 6.1 support, 100 watts per channel, plus two digital and two coaxial inputs, along with four analog inputs. Plus Dolby Headphone, which sounds sensational. And you can get it for $299 online. So you save $250 and get a full-featured receiver instead of a pair of headphones and a processing unit.

I haven't heard the current Sony unit, but I heard the previous generation. Sony doesn't use Dolby Headphone--they have a proprietary algorithm. I far prefer the Dolby implementation, as it produces a much richer and more "alive" sound field (to me).

That link takes you to the receiver's page on because it listed the specs. Please don't take that as an implied endorsement of I've never bought from them and have no opinion about them.

Site Meter