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Sennheiser RS120—volume knob causes static/dropouts in 1 ear (2 pairs), [TOS #6: was "Sennheiser RS 120 problems"]
shepard
post Apr 23 2012, 02:31
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I bought my first pair of these 4, maybe 5? years ago. I only use them to watch TV and really like them. After a couple of years the volume knob started not working properly. I hardly ever use it as I set the volume once and for most TV it is fine. Once in a rare while I will adjust them a little. What happened is that the adjustment would cause static or cutting out in one ear when turned. I figured I had them for 2 or 3 years, I would just replace them. I did and all is OK for a couple of new years with the new set. But just this week they started doing the same thing.

Is this something common with these? Seems like a loose connection or something. I searched and saw a thread here about another brand doing something similar and the suggestion was to "clean" them. Does that make any sense?

Thanks!
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Nessuno
post Apr 23 2012, 07:40
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QUOTE (shepard @ Apr 23 2012, 03:31) *
Is this something common with these?

It is something absolutely common with all contacts, especially rotating ones like volume potentiometers, the more if you use them once in a while. To clean it try first of all to rotate it rapidly from zero to full scale a few times.
Best thing to do, of course, is to spray inside some contact cleaner.


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... I live by long distance.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 23 2012, 11:30
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QUOTE (shepard @ Apr 22 2012, 21:31) *
I bought my first pair of these 4, maybe 5? years ago. I only use them to watch TV and really like them. After a couple of years the volume knob started not working properly. I hardly ever use it as I set the volume once and for most TV it is fine. Once in a rare while I will adjust them a little. What happened is that the adjustment would cause static or cutting out in one ear when turned. I figured I had them for 2 or 3 years, I would just replace them. I did and all is OK for a couple of new years with the new set. But just this week they started doing the same thing.

Is this something common with these? Seems like a loose connection or something. I searched and saw a thread here about another brand doing something similar and the suggestion was to "clean" them. Does that make any sense?


The volume control in my RS120s became noisy but remained usable.

I replaced them with RS160s, which sound a whole lot better. Most obvious is their absence of noise from interfering RD sources. The downside is that they have some latency so if speakers are on in the same room, there is an audible echo.
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shepard
post Apr 23 2012, 14:13
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But I expect the 160's cost more and if this is a problem common to the Sennheiser turning knobs then what's the point of buying an even more expensive pair? Do those have a different type of volume control?

Yes the noise when turning is not the issue, it is that it cuts out at certain points so only one ear works. Then you have only a limited few spots you can listen at and often those are not the correct volume locations.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 23 2012, 22:30
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QUOTE (shepard @ Apr 23 2012, 09:13) *
But I expect the 160's cost more and if this is a problem common to the Sennheiser turning knobs then what's the point of buying an even more expensive pair? Do those have a different type of volume control?


The RS160s have a digital volume control, composed of push buttons for up and down. This type of control is often very long lasting.
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shepard
post Apr 24 2012, 04:48
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Great. Thanks! I took a quick look at those and will research further tomorrow. First glance it seems like an odd charging setup? No cradle so I guess you need to plug them in to charge? Also it appears that both the transmitter and the headphones take 2 rechargeable batteries. Package contents only indicate 2 batteries total included so maybe not.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 24 2012, 12:48
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QUOTE (shepard @ Apr 23 2012, 23:48) *
Great. Thanks! I took a quick look at those and will research further tomorrow. First glance it seems like an odd charging setup? No cradle so I guess you need to plug them in to charge?


If you want a nice charging cradle like the RS120, you move up the model chain a few notches.


QUOTE
Also it appears that both the transmitter and the headphones take 2 rechargeable batteries. Package contents only indicate 2 batteries total included so maybe not.


The transmitter runs off of AC power and uses no batteries. The charging scheme is very effective but looks Micky-Mouse. There's a splitter on the cord from the wall wart, and the transmitter takes one side of the Y and the headphones plug into the other when you need to charge them.

Recharging a dead set of headphones takes only a few hours. You could probably run them a few hours after 15-30 minutes of charging.

Another difference is that the connections to RCA jack sources is more of a do-it-yourself project. I seem to recall that I had to add a RCA-to 3.5 mm stereo adaptor of my own.

The headphones use standard AAA rechargables (one in each earpiece) which gives you a lot of options. I keep a spare pair charged up just in case. The battery life is on the order of a day with the headphones turned on. I've never needed my spares.

The big pluses are the fidelity and freedom from audible noise. Range is about the same as RS 120s. There are more expensive models with much more range, I am told.
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shepard
post Apr 25 2012, 06:52
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 24 2012, 03:48) *
The big pluses are the fidelity and freedom from audible noise. Range is about the same as RS 120s. There are more expensive models with much more range, I am told.


OK Thanks. That is not an issue for me. I use them mostly for watching TV. I am fine with the quality and fidelity of the RS 120's. I am just frustrated having to replace them every couple of years because of the faulty volume control.

Earlier you mentioned latency causing echo if speakers are also on. Is this latency enough to cause that disconcerting issue where the mouths on the TV are not in sync with the sound in the headphones?
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 25 2012, 08:33
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QUOTE (shepard @ Apr 25 2012, 01:52) *
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 24 2012, 03:48) *
The big pluses are the fidelity and freedom from audible noise. Range is about the same as RS 120s. There are more expensive models with much more range, I am told.


OK Thanks. That is not an issue for me. I use them mostly for watching TV.


That's one of the things that I use these for. The RS 120s were not up to my standards for even listening to TV.

QUOTE
I am fine with the quality and fidelity of the RS 120's. I am just frustrated having to replace them every couple of years because of the faulty volume control.


Like I said, my RS120s had noisy but still functional volume controls. IME that is how most analog volume controls in portable equipment works out. None of my current portable equipment has analog volume controls.

QUOTE
Earlier you mentioned latency causing echo if speakers are also on. Is this latency enough to cause that disconcerting issue where the mouths on the TV are not in sync with the sound in the headphones?


No, the latency is just enough to give a slight echo when the speakers are also on and loud enough to get past the improved isolation, but not enough to cause lip synch issues all by themselves.

Ever notice how we've had a lot more lip synch issues with TV shows since TV went digital? A really clean accurate set of phones make that even more apparent.
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