Amphony Model 1000 review:

Amphony Model 1000

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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Noise-free sound; digital transmission of audio; simple setup.

The Bad A bit heavy; fits almost too snugly; cable for your computer isn't included.

The Bottom Line Amphony's Wireless Headphones Model 1000 free you to move about as you please without sacrificing sound quality.

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7.0 Overall

Once you've spent some time with quality wireless headphones, it's hard to imagine being tethered to your PC or stereo system. Amphony's Wireless Headphones Model 1000 will spoil you with good sound quality and perfect digital clarity. These headphones may be a bit big and heavy for some tastes, but the freedom of movement that they allow is plenty of compensation. Once you've spent some time with quality wireless headphones, it's hard to imagine being tethered to your PC or stereo system. Amphony's Wireless Headphones Model 1000 will spoil you with good sound quality and perfect digital clarity. These headphones may be a bit big and heavy for some tastes, but the freedom of movement that they allow is plenty of compensation.

Simple setup
Setting up the headphones couldn't be simpler. You just plug in the power adapter, then connect the audio line-out of your PC, stereo, or other audio device to the transmitter's standard RCA jacks. There are no frequency settings or other configurations; turn on the headphones, and you're done. The package includes an RCA-to-RCA cable, which is good for connecting the transmitter to a stereo system, but you'll need to purchase a miniheadphone jack-to-RCA cable for connecting the headphones to your PC. The transmitter, which is about the size of a paperback book, has an unobtrusive antenna that measures about two inches high.

An elastic headband secures the headphones very snugly to your head, while the full-sized, padded earpieces completely cover your ears. It's a matter of taste whether you like such a tight fit. The receiver electronics and AA battery in each ear make the headphones a bit heavier than most, though they're still lighter than other wireless headphones that we've tested. Though by no means uncomfortable, the weight, combined with the tight fit, means that you're not likely to forget that you're wearing them.

Excellent sound quality
The Model 1000 delivered good sound quality without any noise or distortion whatsoever. Put simply, these headphones sound as if they're directly connected to your audio source. Listening to music, we did notice a lack of vibrancy at the high end of the spectrum.

Though the transmitter accepts only an analog input, it converts that signal to uncompressed digital form to transmit to the headphones. This digital transmission, which includes error correction, ensures clear, noise-free sound--assuming that you have a good audio source. It also means that the headphones either work or they don't; it's not like an FM radio, where you can still listen to a weak signal. Walk out of range, and the headphones will sputter, then go silent. The manufacturer claims a range of up to 200 feet within a clear line of sight or 50 feet through walls or ceilings, and we found those numbers to be accurate. Generally, the headphones will still work with one intervening wall or ceiling, but they lose signal beyond that.

Priced at $129 for the headphones and the transmitter, Amphony's Wireless Headphones Model 1000 make sense for someone who uses headphones a lot but doesn't want to be stuck in one place. If you're used to light, Walkman-style headphones, though, these big earmuffs may take some getting used to.

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