RadioShack 2.4GHz Wireless Stereo Headphones
In this world of iPod-centric audio accessories, it's refreshing to note that RadioShack's 2.4GHz Wireless Stereo Headphones work with any portable audio device. We certainly can't complain about the $59.95 list price, but the fact that they're too uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time rather takes away from the experience. We dislike meddlesome headphone wires as much as anyone else but not at the cost of comfort.
The RadioShack 2.4GHz Wireless Stereo Headphones share most of their design elements with the other wireless portable 'phones we've tested, with good reason. Since models like this need to pack their own batteries, earbuds are out of the question. Large, over-the-head models consume a lot of power and require a heavier battery. Thus, the wraparound design RadioShack uses here is typical of portable wireless options.
Unfortunately, suspending a battery-operated device from the top halves of your ears gets uncomfortable after a matter of minutes. Everyone's ears are different, and we each have our own comfort levels, but during our testing, the sensation of the headphones pressing down on our ears was distinctly unpleasant.
This model is not without its attractions, if you don't mind the slight, constant discomfort. The transmitter has a hinged, extended jack that works with any headphone output--even the recessed ones found on some home stereos--and, to a certain extent, prevents the jack from being dislodged from your MP3 player. Sound quality was fine; we never experienced any dropouts, even around a Wi-Fi network (which, conversely, performed normally around the headphones) and a wireless mouse. But they don't sound as good as high-quality earbuds or full-size headphones. A control wheel on the right headphone handles volume, which is handy when your MP3 player's stowed away.
Both the headphones and the transmitter recharge via the same AC adapter. We coaxed more than eight hours of battery life out of the setup in two separate listening sessions, which is a decent amount of time. You probably have to recharge them every three days or so.
If you have an iPod and like the idea of wireless headphones, you'll probably want to go with the similar Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod. They cost a bit more but double as a remote control for basic playback functions, and our reviewer found them more comfortable than we judged this model. Conversely, if you're looking for wireless headphones that double as a Bluetooth headset for your cell phone, the Plantronics Pulsar 590A Bluetooth headset is a better fit.