Wireless TV headphone system with simulated surround sound
Our take on the Sony WH-L600 by Crutchfield's Jeff Miller
Wraparound sound that's apartment- and nighttime-friendly
There are two main reasons people ask our Advisors about TV headphone systems: (1) They are hard of hearing, or (2) they want powerful TV sound without disturbing neighbors or family members. I'm in the second camp, and can attest that the Sony WH-L600 wireless TV headphones are a convenient, effective choice. Read on for my firsthand take.
This system features a simulated — yet realistic — 7.1-channel surround sound experience, designed with help from the experts at Dolby Audio™. With my wife and kids sound asleep, I could enjoy the effects-driven, over-the-top action movies that only I really appreciate in this household.
The wireless transmitter can connect to your TV in a number of ways.
How does this system work?
The WH-L600 system consists of two main parts: a transmitter and a headset. On the back of the transmitter, you'll find a few options for connecting to your TV or audio system — including an HDMI input. I used the included optical cable to connect the transmitter to my OLED TV.
The transmitter sends an audio signal wirelessly to the included over-the-ear headset. You get about 98 feet of wireless range. Volume controls are right on the headset, along with a button that toggles through a selection of listening modes.
Listening modes with a sound pedigree
Plenty of TV audio devices out there have sound presets, but few boast the level of sophistication and detail you'll find here. Sony's headphone designers took advantage of their company's connections in the entertainment world to help sculpt the four distinct listening modes: "Voice," "Game," "Sports," and "Theater."
The Sony Pictures division lent their expertise to the "Theater" mode. It creates a virtual surround sound field that's based on a sound-mixing process Sony uses for their blockbuster movies. "Voice" lifts hard-to-hear dialogue, and "Sports" boosts ambient crowd noise. As for "Game" mode? Sony's deep bench of PlayStation® developers provided heavy influence — so it delivers the proper directional and spatial awareness cues that serious gamers need.
The included wireless headset is lightweight and well-padded.
I experienced no distracting audio delays
I find tennis is a great test for latency — even a slight disconnect between the audio and video can take you out of the match. So one morning while auditioning these 'phones, I caught Wimbledon using "Sports" mode. The sound of Serena bouncing the ball on the grass before serving synced right up with the on-screen action.
Through these headphones, I could really sense the power and sheer force-of-will she puts into every strike and swing — it's something special. The crescendo of the crowd at the All-England Club grew bigger and bigger each set, pulling me further into the moment.
A relaxed fit built for binge-watching
Comfort is key for all headphones, but even more important when wearing them for marathon viewing sessions. The oversized ear cups easily surrounded my ears, and the earpads felt as soft and inviting as my couch — adding no extra pressure to my glasses. These headphones were so lightweight and unobtrusive that I banged out three episodes of Glow on Netflix, barely noticing or adjusting them on my head.
- transmits sound wirelessly from a TV or audio system to the included over-ear headphones
- simulated 7.1-channel surround sound designed by Dolby Audio
- four listening modes: Voice, Theater, Games, and Sports
- sound mixers from Sony Pictures and PlayStation game designers helped tune presets
Wireless Audio Transmitter:
- RF wireless transmitter range: up to 98 feet
- Dolby® Digital and DTS® decoding
- includes AC adapter for power
- docking station for charging the wireless headset
- LED display for inputs and listening modes
Wireless Headphone Set:
- over-the-ear, closed-back design helps keep out external noise
- large 40mm drivers for immersive sound
- generous padding on headband and earcups
- rechargeable battery provides up to 17 hours of operation
- on-ear volume and listening mode controls
- turns off automatically when not in use
- weight: 10 ounces
Connections and General Info:
- HDMI input with Audio Return Channel (ARC)
- optical digital audio input (cable included)
- 3.5mm stereo minijack input
- frequency response: 10-20,000 Hz
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Why did you buy this?
SONY is great for sound and comfort. Wanted for TV. [ Charlee Jul 13, 2018 ]