Sony MDR-RF4000K and MDR-RF810RK: Slick and sexy wireless headphones

Sony has announced two pairs of headphones that aim to satisfy style-conscious audiophiles with a dislike of cables

Patrick Steen Special to CNET News
2 min read

Sony has removed the veils from a pair of headphones that aim to satisfy style-conscious audiophiles with a distaste for wires: the MDR-RF4000K (pictured) and MDR-RF810RK.

The higher-end MDR-RF4000K headphones offer wireless sound at distances of up to 30m from the base unit. That doesn't really compete with the capability of Sennheiser's RS 180 lossless headphones, which can keep their signal at distances of up to 100m, although you'd really need to live in a mansion to fully exploit that potential.

Styled in glossy black, the MDR-RF4000K headphones and their storage case comprise a slick package, complementing Sony's soon-to-be-released Monolith TVs. The storage case doubles up as a charging dock, allowing you to fold the MDR-RF4000Ks neatly away while they charge.

Sadly, after a massive 16 hours of charging, you'll only get 7 hours out of the headphones' NiMH battery, although you can bump this up to 10 hours with a single AAA alkaline battery.

Sony claims that digital-radio-frequency transmission will ensure crystal-clear reception, with a closed-cup design ensuring decent sound isolation. The headphones feature a 40mm long-stroke driver which offers a frequency response between 12-22,000Hz, besting the RS 180's narrower 18-21,000Hz.

Sony's MDR-RF810RK wireless headphones offer an even narrower frequency response, at 20-20,000Hz, but they make up for this with a lighter design, weighing 220g, compared to the MDR-RF4000K's 300g.

Available in silver and black, the MDR-RF810RK headphones can provide a 100m listening area, although they rely on analogue RF transmission. They'll stretch to 13 hours of listening time on a single NiMH battery charge, but will apparently reach an impressive 28 hours on AAA alkaline batteries.

Both sets of headphones feature on-headset volume controls, so you won't have to grope around for a remote control. They'll be available from April. Sony has yet to announce prices, but we reckon they won't be too far off the £220 RRP of the RS 180s.