Bluetooth beater: TDK's WR700 headphones

Despite a few shortcomings, TDK's WR700 wireless headphones--which use Kleer wireless technology instead of Bluetooth--deliver good sound for a reasonable price.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read

TDK's $130 WR700 headphones use Kleer wireless technology instead of Bluetooth. TDK

Thanks to the increasing prevalence of Bluetooth-compatible devices (such as iPads, iPhones, and nearly all other smartphones), wireless headphones are starting to proliferate like never before. However, the only problem with Bluetooth is that it takes already-compressed audio (usually MP3) and compresses it even more, so it loses a little something in transmission.

On the other hand, a company called Kleer promises to deliver wirelessly uncompressed digital audio at CD quality. It says that when you compare it with other technologies like Bluetooth, you'll hear the difference, and--at least with TDK's $130 Kleer-powered WR700 wireless headphones--we did.

Of course, the problem with a fledgling standard like Kleer is that--unlike Bluetooth--it's not built in to a wide range of mainstream devices. To get around that, you'll need to connect the included Kleer transmitter--it's powered by two AAA batteries--into your in-home stereo system or mobile audio device and sync it with the headphones, which are also powered by two AAA batteries. You don't have to worry about "pairing" the device like you do with Bluetooth; the headphones connect very quickly to the transmitter.

Ergonomically, the headphones are fairly comfortable--and they seem pretty well-built--but they aren't supercomfy and we found ourselves making little adjustments after listening to them for a while. That said, they have a nice padded headband and earcups that sit on your ears but don't totally cover them. Like most closed-back on-ear or over-the-ear headphones, they can get a little steamy after using them for several minutes, particularly if you're using them in a warm environment.

Read the full review of TDK's WR700 wireless headphones.