Week 23, 2018: Sennheiser Flex 5000 for watching TV with headphones, Get an Oppo Blu-ray player while you can!

Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 23, 2018

Q. My wife cannot hear the TV very well.I have been able to resolve the problem by using a C.Crane FM Transmitter 2. It takes an input directly from the TV and turns it into an FM signal. She then uses an FM radio with headphones to listen. While this works quite well, it is sometimes difficult to find a clean FM frequency. Are you aware of a Bluetooth device that has an audio input and will broadcast to Bluetooth headphones?

-J.K., Rosemont, MN

A. Bluetooth does not work well for TV listening, because of the audio lag. The great majority of time the audio and the picture do not sync up, which is extremely annoying. You need to transmit the signal via radio frequency (RF) like the FM transmitter you are using.

Sennheiser has a perfect product for you. The Sennheiser Flex 5000 has a digital transmitter that wirelessly transmits the TV audio signal to a matching receiver that will work with any wired headphones. The Flex 5000 has multiple listening modes that enhance sound quality and improve the clarity of TV dialogue. The Flex 5000 uses an RF signal like your C. Crane unit so audio/video sync issues are nonexistent.

You can use any conventional wired headphones you like. A matching pair of wired Sennheiser headphones, purchased according to your personal budget sensibilities, would be a good choice. Obviously, spending more gets better headphones and better sound.

Last call for ZVOX promotion, and possibly for Oppo Blu-ray players: I’ve received a lot of questions about the ZVOX AccuVoice TV Speaker lately, given the recent promotional price of $179, reduced from $249. Please note the promotion is over on Father’s Day, June 19th.

The discontinuing of Oppo Blu-ray players was a shocking development announced in early April, much to the dismay of audio and video lovers the world over. Oppo felt they had taken development of audio and video disc players as far as they could, and decided the most sensible business decision was to exit the home entertainment marketplace and concentrate on their line of smartphones, which is sold overseas. In their announcement, Oppo promised to support their players well into the foreseeable future. This is a promise I have full faith in given my experience with the company, their products, their history of industry-leading support, and the company’s executive leadership here in the USA. Oppo and their representatives have always acted in the most honorable and professional manner, which is another reason audiophiles and movie lovers adored the company so much.

Predictably, the existing stock of Oppo Blu-ray players sold out practically overnight, just like Panasonic plasma TVs did when Panasonic left the plasma TV marketplace. Retailers who still had stock upped the price from $1,299 to anywhere between for $2,200 to $3,250. The good news is Oppo has promised a “last batch” of their top-of-the-line UDP-205 Universal Blu-ray Player, with availability in August. This could be your last chance to own one of the best audio and video products ever developed. Once you have had an Oppo disc player, there is no going back, especially since current Blu-ray players are so flimsily made of cheap plastic they feel like they belong in cereal boxes. You can register to be notified of availability at oppodigital.com.

Hopefully enough people will register and order that Oppo will continue to produce batch after batch. If there is a product worth saving, it is this one.