I decided I wanted to get some good quality headphones. I was also determined that this should be the last pair I'll have to buy for the foreseeable future, and therefore I was prepared to pay a bit more than usual. Over the last few years I've spent a lot of money buying half a dozen different sets of earphones and headphones...most of which still work, but for some reason I no longer like. This time I'm going to choose more carefully and I now finally know what I want. I've gone off in-ear buds, I'm cheesed off with wires and I don't care whether I look like a lunatic any more. So therefore...it's time to get a big ol' set of bluetooth headphones.
After a bit of research (you won't find a better online resource for headphone reviews and advice than Head-Fi.org) I've found that there are a only a couple of pairs of bluetooth headphones that people really recommend. I then spent some time hunting these down in shops so I could try them on and in the end whittled my selection down to one...the Sony MDR-1RBT.
Now I'm aware that Bluetooth headphones are not the best way to listen to music, but more often than not, I'm using these on a noisy train listening to podcasts of people talking. I'll be connected up to my iPad and will be either reading RSS feeds or answering emails. When I get to my destination the fact I'm wireless means I can pack my iPad in my rucksack and continue my journey on foot whilst still listening to the podcast. If I want to listen to music, Bluetooth usually sounds good enough, however if I attach the wire, the sound does get a tad richer and warmer, although it's not a massive difference.
These headphones reduce background noise significantly, but they don't completely block it, which is actually preferable for me as I like to maintain some awareness of what's happening around me. For example on a train I'll be able to tell that they are making an announcement, but I'll have to lift a cup off my ear to be able to understand it. The fact that these are over the ear headphones means that there is no sound leakage, but that also means that your ears can get warm in hot weather.
Sony are also introducing a smaller and cheaper version of these headphones called the MDR-10RBT which sport an on-ear rather than over-ear design which might be more suitable for some and I'd imagine they will prevent your ears getting too hot. The new model also supports Apt-x for potentially even better wireless performance.
I bought my headphones when a high street store had a sale on and I also had a £50 off voucher. At the moment the best deals for UK buyers seem to be from Japan on ebay...but I'm concerned about the potential import duties. When it comes to buying high value items like this you would be better getting it from somewhere you know like Amazon.
UPDATE - I forgot to make any mention of the range. In my modesty sized two story house I can put my iPad in one room and the headphones will stream the sound to me in any other room in the house without breaking up. I've got plenty of other wireless devices operating, so that's pretty good going.