Owners thread for the Sony MDR-HW700DS - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 92 Old 07-11-2014, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Owners thread for the Sony MDR-HW700DS

Please share your opinions and tips here about the Sony MDR-HW700DS .....
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post #2 of 92 Old 07-12-2014, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Not many owners i think?
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post #3 of 92 Old 07-12-2014, 10:07 AM
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Reposting my quick and dirty review after owning for about a week:

Good for the price, not great. It solved my fundamental problem that I had to keep things turned way down to not disturb the rest of the household, as I have no way to soundproof the current residence. (Mother in law sleeping the next room over.) I had to keep things so low I literally had to strain to hear voices.

Bass is above average, but not the best I've heard from headphones.

Setup was easy. I have mine taking input from the receiver and passing through to the TV. It was important for me to have the receiver (at low volume) and the headphones both active at the same time so that the subwoofer output was active to support my Buttkicker transducer on my recliner.

***10/10/2014 edit - This was a mistake. Plugging my sources into the AVR, and then sening that output into the headphone box limited me the the AVR's 5.1. Now I have all my source devices going into the headphone box first, then to the AVR to get the most from the headphones.

It does what is says it will; puts up an impressive surround sound field. Of course that is completely dependent on your source content. For example, I haven't noticed the height channel yet, like when the Batplane rises up in that last movie. (don't have that Blu Ray). I watched Cloverfield first, thinking that might come into effect in a few places, but never really noticed it, even when I was specifically listening for it. (FYI, the bridge scene and the helicopter crash really stood out.) But that was a weird movie because the "narrator" voice is the cameraman which is "behind" the camera, so the voice kind of floats in your head throughout the movie. Other voice sources were all naturally positioned.

A couple WOW moments this week while reviewing them were: The Hobbit during the Dragon attack. Avengers, the New York attack. Prometheus, that tunnels scene. Hellboy II, that final battle.

The price is really the hold up for me. I paid $450. Most will pay $500. Seeing as how a really great set of headphones can be had for $250-$300, the question is if it worth the price premium over what you'll get from just plugging a great set of headphones into your receiver. I've tried that with My $125 JVC stereo headphones that are good, but not spectacular. There is definitely a difference in sound stage. But was it worth the extra $450?

It was to me. Wasn't to my wife. YMMV.

Other reviews I looked at before buying:



http://www.avforums.com/review/sony-...s-review.10290

http://www.trustedreviews.com/sony-m...dphones_review

Funny English translation review: http://www.topreviewfor.com/2014/03/19/sony-mdr-hw700/
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Last edited by Oregon Chris; 10-10-2014 at 10:06 PM.
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post #4 of 92 Old 07-26-2014, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Mine has now also arrived with an extra headset..
My impressions:


I used before this setup an astro mixamp with a philips fidelio x1 what sounds great also.


Now the sony is absoluut great with movies,i realy love the low end.
i tried the intro of indendence day and i thought i had my subwoofer on in my room(realy great lows)


Also the movie pulse has some great ultra low scenes and there where played flawless by the sony..
The only thing where my astro-philips setup was better in is with voices,they sound not so inside your head but thats because the philips are open headphones and the sony closed..


For music i do like my philips alot better..
But for movies i will keep these for sure for late night movie watching they sound stunning..


comfort is great to,they are very light on the head...
And its nice when you put your sony on your head that the transmitter(dolby decoder) turns it self on then..


Also its nice to have a choice between 2.4 ghz or 5 ghz..
Also it decodes dtshd master,dts etc....


If they where open cans then they where even more perfect for me(because of the voices now sticks somewhat in your head) but thats for my situation here in my room..


Do i recomend these for movie watching:Hell yea
For music they are okay but not that great...


And my neighbours love them too
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post #5 of 92 Old 08-23-2014, 12:07 AM
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Is there any way to change the input of the Sony MDR-HW700DS using BRAVIA Sync/HDMI CEC. Don't want to have to switch inputs when not using the headphones by manually pressing a button on the unit.

Perhaps the Harmony Ultimate remote with Wi-Fi can do this?
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post #6 of 92 Old 08-24-2014, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsoncleaver View Post
Is there any way to change the input of the Sony MDR-HW700DS using BRAVIA Sync/HDMI CEC. Don't want to have to switch inputs when not using the headphones by manually pressing a button on the unit.

Perhaps the Harmony Ultimate remote with Wi-Fi can do this?

Hello there,sorry i dont know if thats possible.
Maybe someone else can help?
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post #7 of 92 Old 08-24-2014, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Yesterday i watched godzilla,


Damm that was good on these headphones,There was alot of sublow in this movie..
Even the surround was good...


Sometimes i forgot that i was wearing these headphones and thought damm i need to turn the sub down in volume its killing my neighbours.....
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post #8 of 92 Old 09-09-2014, 08:09 PM
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MDR-HW700DS 9.1

I find some movies to be fantastic on these and some not so much. Guess it depends on what's already there on the sound mix. Dredd 3D was probably the best movie I tried on these so far - but it has encoding to go up beyond 7.1 via DTS Neo X mix (Up to 11.1). I didn't think these could decode Neo X until I checked the manual and in fact they do decode Neo X!!!

The 11.1 DTS soundcheck in the Extras on Dredd was VERY well represented in all directions including the Wides, Height, and Back channels. Count me impressed. I think maybe these should be called 11.1 instead of 9.1. The main problem now is that The Expendables 2, Dredd, and Step Up Revolution are the only blurays I could find that support Neo X. The new Transformers movie will be the first to have Dolby Atmos but these headphones do not support it. Here is what these support:

Digital surround processor (DP-HW700)

Decoder functions
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Digital
Dolby Pro Logic IIz*
DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS Express
DTS Digital Surround
DTS-ES
DTS 96/24
DTS
DTS Neo:X*
Linear PCM 2ch/5.1ch/7.1ch
* The Dolby Pro Logic IIz function and the DTS Neo:X function of the system support playback from the headphones only

On another note my DLP link Estar 3D glasses are very comfortable under these and not an issue at all
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post #9 of 92 Old 10-01-2014, 05:06 AM
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Hullo,
does the Sony really deliever a 7.1 imagination?
I mean especially the rear surround - I tried already Dolby Headphone with a Marantz Receiver but I got never an surround impression from behind.
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post #10 of 92 Old 10-01-2014, 03:20 PM
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Does the system really offer a clear imagination of the rear surround channel (7.1) (sound from behind)?
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post #11 of 92 Old 10-05-2014, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Wink X-Men Days of Future Past

Today i watched X-Men Days of Future Past 3d on these headphones,
And its was again a blast! Me and my wife enjoyed it very much,great sound!


More people need to listen with these great movie headpones..You will enjoy it!
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post #12 of 92 Old 10-10-2014, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowCND View Post
Does the system really offer a clear imagination of the rear surround channel (7.1) (sound from behind)?
I'm tempted to just say, "Yes" from memory. But I'll go home this weekend and demo a couple good surround sound scenes from my 5.1 system, then the headphones and compare.

Worth noting - I screwed up by initially running sources through my AVR, and then into the headphones, and then to the TV. By doing so, I was only getting the 5.1 channels my AVR supported.

I now have my sources going directly into the headphone box, and then into my AVR, then the TV. (It makes it more difficult for the family, as there is no remote control to easily switch inputs - aside from the button on the box or the button on the bottom of the headphones.)

This gives me all the best audio my blu-ray, DirecTV box and XBOX ONE can output into the headphones. I only noticed it a couple weeks ago so feel a bit chagrined. I rewatched the The Hobbit after I made the switch and listened to it in all its DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 glory. I think there was more going on then before, but admit it could just be placebo effect, as it has been a month since watching it last before I reconfigured the cables.

Listening to it with the headphones turned up, and the Buttkicker cranked on my recliner, I almost feel satisfied, despite having toured some showrooms over the last year and becoming obsessed with having a real system. I suspect when I finally get an Atmos system demo, it will make things even worse.

Reminder - they support: Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS Express, DTS Digital Surround, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS, DTS Neo:X and Linear PCM.
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post #13 of 92 Old 10-10-2014, 08:41 PM
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Does this unit only work with the included headphones, or can you plug another set in wired? My old Pioneer surround headphones had a wired output so you could ditch their wireless ones and use your own (I like to use my Grados).
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post #14 of 92 Old 10-10-2014, 09:52 PM
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Does this unit only work with the included headphones, or can you plug another set in wired? My old Pioneer surround headphones had a wired output so you could ditch their wireless ones and use your own (I like to use my Grados).
Only works with their wireless set. No jack to plug in another set.
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post #15 of 92 Old 10-10-2014, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
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Does the system really offer a clear imagination of the rear surround channel (7.1) (sound from behind)?
I tested with Super 8 chapter 14, the bus attack, and Judge Dredd throughout the movie. Whenever there were good rear surround effects in the movie, I backed up and listened with the headphones right after.

Bottom line, it doesn't replicate rear channels that well. Instead of it sounding like it comes from directly behind you, it is more of an "in the head" effect that is kind of hard to explain. It was still a good experience, but it just didn't compare with even my cheap pioneer 5.1 system sound stage.

My review is still the same - that for people that live in a place where they can't turn up real speakers, these offer a very good alternative They gives you a lot of positional feedback, better than plugging standard headphones into an AVR jack. But no, it doesn't compare to a real system. The bass is good for headphones, but is quickly exposed in scenes that drop down below ~ 60 hz. Turned all the way up in those scenes, it just turns to distorted mush.

Last edited by Oregon Chris; 10-10-2014 at 10:08 PM.
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post #16 of 92 Old 10-10-2014, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon Chris View Post
I tested with Super 8 chapter 14, the bus attack, and Judge Dredd throughout the movie. Whenever there were good rear surround effects in the movie, I backed up and listened with the headphones right after.

Bottom line, it doesn't replicate rear channels that well. Instead of it sounding like it comes from directly behind you, it is more of an "in the head" effect that is kind of hard to explain. It was still a good experience, but it just didn't compare with even my cheap pioneer 5.1 system sound stage.

My review is still the same - that for people that live in a place where they can't turn up real speakers, these offer a very good alternative They gives you a lot of positional feedback, better than plugging standard headphones into an AVR jack. But no, it doesn't compare to a real system. The bass is good for headphones, but is quickly exposed in scenes that drop down below ~ 60 hz. Turned all the way up in those scenes, it just turns to distorted mush.
Good stuff. But you also have to take into account the fact that of course any decent 7.1 system is going to sound better because the soundstage is much larger than the claustraphobic sound stage any set of headphones can create - even a good pair like these

The positional feedback / accuracy of these headphones is great IMO though and I have no qualms with that whatsoever. Just turning the receiver to Game Mode and playing any good shooter, etc will give you a good idea - not to mention the surround test in the Dredd bluray menu

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post #17 of 92 Old 10-11-2014, 11:40 AM
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not to mention the surround test in the Dredd bluray menu
Good grief. I forgot that was in the extras! I had remembered there was supposed to be good surround sound in that movie, but had forgotten that "feature" was on the disk. Thanks.

Last edited by Oregon Chris; 10-11-2014 at 11:53 AM.
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post #18 of 92 Old 10-11-2014, 12:30 PM
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Good grief. I forgot that was in the extras! I had remembered there was supposed to be good surround sound in that movie, but had forgotten that "feature" was on the disk. Thanks.
No problem. I was impressed by the 11.1 DTS soundcheck on the Dredd bluray as you can see in post #8 of this thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamermwm View Post
MDR-HW700DS 9.1
Dredd 3D was probably the best movie I tried on these so far - but it has encoding to go up beyond 7.1 via DTS Neo X mix (Up to 11.1). I didn't think these could decode Neo X until I checked the manual and in fact they do decode Neo X!!!

The 11.1 DTS soundcheck in the Extras on Dredd was VERY well represented in all directions including the Wides, Height, and Back channels. Count me impressed. I think maybe these should be called 11.1 instead of 9.1. The main problem now is that The Expendables 2, Dredd, and Step Up Revolution are the only blurays I could find that support Neo X

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post #19 of 92 Old 10-11-2014, 12:58 PM
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The only thing I might add to my previous statement is about the presence of the Wide Channels in Neo X. Sony only claims support for the front height and rear surrounds, so technically there is nothing to say they are there. But listening to the DTS Neo X 11.1 soundcheck on the Dredd blu sure does make it seem as if they are

In the 11.1 soundcheck for the Wides when you hear the audio of the motorbike speeding beside and then by you it sounds exactly as it should and placement for a virtual Wide channel is believable. Listening to the entire 11.1 soundcheck while visually noting where each channel/speaker would actually be in your home theatre shows the accurate positioning of each channel

I use Cinema mode with the Neo X matrix at all times except when gaming. Game mode seems to be louder overall to me though so I can't crank the volume up quite as much as I can when watching a movie in Cinema

And as for gaming, I don't feel like anyone can sneak up on me when playing Destiny and having these set to Game Mode for heightened surround presence. I actually have to keep the volume at mild levels just so I don't get PTSD from the firefights lol!
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post #20 of 92 Old 10-20-2014, 01:05 PM
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Can anybody help me out with a problem I'm having? Sometimes I want to use my headphones and sometimes I want to use the room's speakers. I have my video sources inputting HDMI directly into the Sony's control box, and their digital audio directly to my AV reciever (I have an older one that doesn't handle HDMI) . Then the Sony outputs video directly to the projector.

The problem is, when viewing content using the speakers instead of the headphones, the sony box shuts off after a while (goes into standby with the orange light) and stops passing the HDMI video signal from my blu ray player on to my projector.

I can't find anything about this issue in the manual.

Is there a way to force the Sony box to stay on all the time?

"Don't forget that a significant contribution made by the use of high-end cabling is emotional. Knowing that you have the best available causes the listening and viewing to be that much more enjoyable. Observable improvements make it even better."

-From a post on the audio video improvements forum
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post #21 of 92 Old 10-23-2014, 08:27 PM
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Well, Sony was having a sale today so I picked one up - it wasn't on sale, but it qualified for a general discount that I was waiting for anyways.

Haven't actually tried it yet as it's charging. One thing I don't understand is if it requires USB to charge, would it have hurt to put in a charging port on the main unit or on the power adapter? There must've been some room in the price to do it...
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post #22 of 92 Old 10-27-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Well, Sony was having a sale today so I picked one up - it wasn't on sale, but it qualified for a general discount that I was waiting for anyways.

Haven't actually tried it yet as it's charging. One thing I don't understand is if it requires USB to charge, would it have hurt to put in a charging port on the main unit or on the power adapter? There must've been some room in the price to do it...
Lets us know if you like them please..
Test some good movie with a good hdmaster sound track
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post #23 of 92 Old 10-27-2014, 08:44 PM
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Well, I tried them for a few minutes. The Dredd sound check was strange - the surrounds were fine and behind, but the left and right channels felt a bit too "close" for my comfort, and the centre channel was freakishly inside my head. Though, this was using default settings - I haven't explored all the various options.

The surround effect works well otherwise - nicer than just plain 2.0 stereo. I already had a set of nice pioneer surround headphones (but they're only 5.1 and Dolby Digital or DTS) so it so far seems like a worthy upgrade.

About the only thing i'd want added would be Atmos.

I did try a few minutes of a movie and it was impressive. About the only thing one might miss if your system has it is chest-thumping bass. (I'm not a fan of continual chest pounding, but the odd explosion rattling the windows doesn't hurt).

The headphones themselves are well padded and despite me having a huge noggin, there was no head squeeze. I'd need to do longer term testing to see how badly they seal in moisture to see if you get a wet ear after a little while. They didn't seal off all the sound, but got rid of a huge chunk of it.

All in all, it works great for me, and I won't quite retire my Pioneers yet as it works great wiith it's external line and headphone out (so you can use your own, but wired.
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post #24 of 92 Old 10-28-2014, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worf View Post
Well, I tried them for a few minutes. The Dredd sound check was strange - the surrounds were fine and behind, but the left and right channels felt a bit too "close" for my comfort, and the centre channel was freakishly inside my head. Though, this was using default settings - I haven't explored all the various options.

The surround effect works well otherwise - nicer than just plain 2.0 stereo. I already had a set of nice pioneer surround headphones (but they're only 5.1 and Dolby Digital or DTS) so it so far seems like a worthy upgrade.

About the only thing i'd want added would be Atmos.

I did try a few minutes of a movie and it was impressive. About the only thing one might miss if your system has it is chest-thumping bass. (I'm not a fan of continual chest pounding, but the odd explosion rattling the windows doesn't hurt).

The headphones themselves are well padded and despite me having a huge noggin, there was no head squeeze. I'd need to do longer term testing to see how badly they seal in moisture to see if you get a wet ear after a little while. They didn't seal off all the sound, but got rid of a huge chunk of it.

All in all, it works great for me, and I won't quite retire my Pioneers yet as it works great wiith it's external line and headphone out (so you can use your own, but wired.
Glad you like them. Try it in Movie mode next time with Neo X selected. That's my go to for almost all content. I'm not a big fan of the default listening mode as it pales in comparison to the movie mode for which they used the big money guy at Sony to produce. Game mode has its uses as well. If you want more bass or need to change the center channel to be more suitable just bring up the sub-menu and adjust from there

I'd bet almost anything that next year's model incorporates Dolby Atmos. But with the Height Channels so well represented here I don't think it would add much to what we already have besides a possible side/rear height effect for virtual 7.1.4

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post #25 of 92 Old 10-28-2014, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamermwm View Post
Glad you like them. Try it in Movie mode next time with Neo X selected. That's my go to for almost all content. I'm not a big fan of the default listening mode as it pales in comparison to the movie mode for which they used the big money guy at Sony to produce. Game mode has its uses as well. If you want more bass or need to change the center channel to be more suitable just bring up the sub-menu and adjust from there

I'd bet almost anything that next year's model incorporates Dolby Atmos. But with the Height Channels so well represented here I don't think it would add much to what we already have besides a possible side/rear height effect for virtual 7.1.4
I also set it on Movie mode with Neo X selected,its the best i think.
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post #26 of 92 Old 10-28-2014, 08:35 PM
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Thanks, I'll give Neo X a go - I did have it on cinema mode (default), but a little matrix decoding could solve the issues I had, especially the centre channel.
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post #27 of 92 Old 11-05-2014, 08:53 PM
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I just purchased these headphones and I'm a bit confused about the best way to set them up. I want to connect a plasma tv monitor with no speakers, a Sony LCOS projector, an Oppo BDP 103 bluray player with two HDMI outputs and everything runs through a Denon AVR S-900W av receiver which also has dual HDMI outputs. I know that the plasma tv, projector and blu ray player should first be connected to the Sony base unit but then what's the best connection to my receiver? It has 7 HDMI Ins in addition to the two outs.
Should I connect the Sony base unit to an auxiliary in on the Denon?
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post #28 of 92 Old 11-05-2014, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jamese777 View Post
I just purchased these headphones and I'm a bit confused about the best way to set them up. I want to connect a plasma tv monitor with no speakers, a Sony LCOS projector, an Oppo BDP 103 bluray player with two HDMI outputs and everything runs through a Denon AVR S-900W av receiver which also has dual HDMI outputs. I know that the plasma tv, projector and blu ray player should first be connected to the Sony base unit but then what's the best connection to my receiver? It has 7 HDMI Ins in addition to the two outs.
Should I connect the Sony base unit to an auxiliary in on the Denon?
Help!
If you are like me and you like everything going thru your Denon as usual you can go the route I did. I bought these Monoprice HDMI splitters for each device I actually use the headphones for; PS4 (for games/blurays) and my Wii U. Link below:

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

So each device's HDMI out is going to the IN on the HDMI splitter. And then I have 1 OUT on the splitter going to the usual spot on the Denon and the other #2 OUT on the splitter going to the Headphone's receiver. Best of both world's. The splitter I posted the link to is cheap and 4K/3D compatible. Just keep in mind you'll also need to get some of their cheap HDMI cables since you'll need a few more for this setup and buy another power strip if you need since each splitter will need to be plugged in

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post #29 of 92 Old 11-05-2014, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gamermwm View Post
If you are like me and you like everything going thru your Denon as usual you can go the route I did. I bought these Monoprice HDMI splitters for each device I actually use the headphones for; PS4 (for games/blurays) and my Wii U. Link below:

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

So each device's HDMI out is going to the IN on the HDMI splitter. And then I have 1 OUT on the splitter going to the usual spot on the Denon and the other #2 OUT on the splitter going to the Headphone's receiver. Best of both world's. The splitter I posted the link to is cheap and 4K/3D compatible. Just keep in mind you'll also need to get some of their cheap HDMI cables since you'll need a few more for this setup and buy another power strip if you need since each splitter will need to be plugged in
Thank you so much for your most helpful response. I buy all my cables from Monoprice, so I guess I'll get some splitters!
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post #30 of 92 Old 11-06-2014, 01:00 AM
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Thank you so much for your most helpful response. I buy all my cables from Monoprice, so I guess I'll get some splitters!
No problem, glad I could help. One more thing I might mention is that you won't get the headphone's on-screen menu with this setup until you run another HDMI cable from the OUT on the headphone amp to an extra HDMI IN on your Denon. This is optional but the reason to use the HDMI OUT on the headphone receiver with this setup at all is so that we don't miss out on the onscreen menu altogether

You won't use it much but when you need to it's invaluable. One can simply flip to whatever input the headphone amp is plugged into on the Denon, pull up the onscreen menu and make the neccesary changes, and then flip back to the input on the Denon for the device you are using as usual. I don't leave my Denon on the HDMI input coming from the headphone receiver's HDMI OUT unless I'm using my Chromecast which is plugged exclusively into the headphone amp bc if it was plugged directly into the Denon I wouldn't get any audio to the headphones. I guess I could have got another splitter for the Chromecast but didn't think it was neccesary since it gets used the least

The best part about this setup is I didn't have to explain anything to the wife/kids for them it's the same as it always is which is the beauty of my setup

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Last edited by gamermwm; 11-06-2014 at 01:06 AM.
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