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Sennheiser Announces Four New Headphones @ CES 2017

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Today Sennheiser is announcing the first consumer product in their AMBEO 3D audio line, the AMBEO Smart Surround in-ear headphone. The Smart Surround appears to be a normal pair of in-ears at first glance, but upon a closer inspection you'll find it contains a pair of microphones as well, one on each ear. This enables anyone with an AMBEO Smart Surround to capture and playback their own binaural recordings. Binaural recordings are captured in a way that allows the listener to feel as though they're actually at the recording, but until recently the methods of capturing the audio was often cumbersome and awkward.

 

There's been a resurgence in binaural recordings in recent years thanks to the continued growth of the headphone industry as well as recent advances in augmented and virtual reality. While video technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the past decade, the recording practices used to capture audio for these experiences was slower to catch up. Dr. Andreas Sennheiser was quoted as saying, "today’s consumers are accustomed to capturing incredibly realistic video, producing 4K and 360° videos. Yet as mainstream technology makes immersive visual experiences ever more accessible, the power and emotion of this footage is too often let down by the quality of sound that these devices can capture. AMBEO Smart Surround is an innovative solution that closes this gap."

 

  

AMBEO Smart Surround In-Ear

 

Sennheiser is also unveiling a new headphone aimed squarely at the music listener in the form of their new MOMENTUM In-Ear Wireless, also known as the HD1 Wireless in some markets. Yes, Sennheiser is releasing a wireless version of the much-loved MOMENTUM in-ear headphone, and they've done so in a very Sennheiser way. They've retained the streamlined enclosure found on the MOMENTUM in-ear, a shape I happen to adore. It looks solid and, if it retains the musicality of the MOMENTUM in-ear that came before it, it'll possess a sound that matches the svelte looks.

 

Sennheiser has incorporated a wireless neckband to provide us with a Bluetooth 4.1 connection, aptX and AAC support to connect wirelessly with our favorite devices. There's a three-button remote built into the band as well for music controls and a microphone for easy phone calls. Sennheiser say we can expect around 10 hours of battery life from the new MOMENTUM Wireless. There's even NFC one-touch Bluetooth pairing for use with compatible devices like smartphones and DAPs.

 

  

MOMENTUM In-Ear Wireless

 

Rounding off Sennheiser's announcement today are the first Bluetooth offerings in their HD 4 series, the HD 4.50BTNC and HD 4.40BT headphones. Both models run on Bluetooth 4.0 and support aptX for high quality wireless audio. They have NFC for easy pairing with wireless devices and cup mounted controls for music playback. There's an integrated microphone as well should you want to use voice commands or take calls when connected to a smartphone. There are a few differences as well. The HD 4.50BTNC features Sennheiser's NoiseGard(TM) active noise cancellation (ANC) technology and comes with a protective case rather than the soft pouch supplied with the HD 4.40BT.

 

Sennheiser's Head of Portfolio Management Lifestyle Ian Kuan describes them as being "...designed for always-on, always-connected customers for whom the enjoyment of media and music can be part of every day and every hour." It shows that they're targeting the always-connected customer because they've made sure both models can survive a full day with their 25 hour battery life. The HD 4.50BTNC is expected to run around 19 hours with the ANC enabled, long enough for most international travelers. Should anyone happen to run out of juice while on the go, both models can be used wired so the music never stops.

 

  

HD 4.50BTNC (left) and HD 4.40BT (right)

 

The HD 4.40BT will be available later this month while the HD 4.50BTNC is expected to ship in February.

post #2 of 28

Cool! Though I was hoping for something else :( Too soon I guess :popcorn:

post #3 of 28

Amazing showing... oh wait... never mind.

post #4 of 28

Thanks for the report. But sigh... where's the HDVD820, or a HDVD800 in black, with remote control and DSD support?

post #5 of 28

i am sure more and more Bt heapdhones will come out and compete after apple removed the headphone input, now what is needed a BT headphone to handle mqa without down sampling via BT, and then the era of being tethered is over


Edited by Sound Eq - 1/5/17 at 10:30am
post #6 of 28
The proof will be in the listening, you know? Interesting that they made so many wireless models at once, I wonder if their audio transmission quality is approaching Sennheiser's decent but partially discontinued RF line.

The Ambeo is the most interesting one to me, as I really feel there's something to be said for the binaural experience. I've gotta wonder about it though... you basically have to go somewhere to record a binaural experience.

Where would I go? Recording a concert would barely make use of the binaural feature even if I had amazing seats, and the decibel level probably would be REALLY hot, so not sure I would bother unless I just wanted the nostalgia. Would be better suited to a smaller-scale acoustic performance, again with great seats/place to stand, where the binaural would come into its own to place the performers in a particular place.

And then, should the recorder stand still? We naturally sway or make micro head movements so our brain can compare and better create a 3D image, but go too far and later on I would be listening to my dancing performance as much as the audio, and I just don't know if that would enhance or detract from my playback experience... but I'm pretty sure it could annoy others if I distributed my binaural recordings and I wasn't mindful of my motion performance.

That leads to the next thing, what would the experience be like with binaural recordings made from other people's heads? Overall it would be fine, sure, but head-shapes (and the recording "performance" and "environment" mentioned above) all affect the sound character of the resultant audio file, some of them would be great and some recordings will be weird to the point of annoying. And obviously, this Ambeo system is irrelivant for playback of already recorded material, and can't do anything for VR gaming or pre-recorded movies to create a virtual binaural mix. This kind of product is begging for an accompanying community share service, where people can share, rate, subscribe, catalog and categorize recordings, and maybe then it would make a strong niche following.

I personally feel like it is best suited for non-musical performances at all. When I'm at home or in bed, it would be nice to relive walks in the woods, an aviary, sitting at the beach, literally recordings of recreational environments. Also, would be boss for first-person interviews, like talking to a vendor at CES or CanJam, I think it could help the viewer zone in on the speaker (not as well as a shotgun mic) while feeling part of the experience, maybe picking up side conversations. This could be an interesting piece of a YouTuber's toolkit.
post #7 of 28
Cool to see sennheiser doing the wireless neck brace thing too. But even wired, the momentum iems were some of the worst v shaped iems I have ever used
post #8 of 28

Was hoping for some HD750s, guess I will just get the HD700 then

post #9 of 28

Personally I don't think we will see a 750 for a long time, and I don't see a minor 700s revision coming out too since the hd700 does not have a lack of bass. Just a huge upper mids dip 

post #10 of 28

Wow, definitely interested in AMBEO!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

The proof will be in the listening, you know? Interesting that they made so many wireless models at once, I wonder if their audio transmission quality is approaching Sennheiser's decent but partially discontinued RF line.

The Ambeo is the most interesting one to me, as I really feel there's something to be said for the binaural experience....
This could be an interesting piece of a YouTuber's toolkit.

 

I have a big interest in binaural sound. These appear as more made to accompany existing web media production setups rather than the high-end binaural equipment that is out there. Interesting, as it seems like a pretty small yet growing niche for Sennheiser to gamble on.

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by akg fanboy View Post
 

Personally I don't think we will see a 750 for a long time, and I don't see a minor 700s revision coming out too since the hd700 does not have a lack of bass. Just a huge upper mids dip 

I seem to recall seeing http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD700.pdf that there is a HUGE impedance increase at around 100hz where impedance hits nearly 400 ohms.  Is this why some say that in the bass to low-mids there is a droop as well?  

 

Also, what is defined on head-fi as lows, low-mids, mids, upper-mids, highs, etc. so that it's easier for me to understand what frequencies are considered "existent" where.

 

(Link goes to actual site with graphs and charts)

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzosrevenge View Post
 

I seem to recall seeing http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD700.pdf that there is a HUGE impedance increase at around 100hz where impedance hits nearly 400 ohms.  Is this why some say that in the bass to low-mids there is a droop as well?  

 

Also, what is defined on head-fi as lows, low-mids, mids, upper-mids, highs, etc. so that it's easier for me to understand what frequencies are considered "existent" where.

 

(Link goes to actual site with graphs and charts)

well the lows is just a vague term for bass, usually around the mid bass and anything below that. Lower mids/mid bass I like to define as 300hz-1000hz or so. Upper mids/lower treble I like to refer as above 2khz and under 4khz.


The hd700 is far from having a drop off in the bass to lower mid transition, they have a little sub bass drop off though like most if not all open back dynamics

post #13 of 28

Ah, OK.

 

(And I'd love to see an HD700s or HD750 as well)

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzosrevenge View Post
 

Ah, OK.

 

(And I'd love to see an HD700s or HD750 as well)

 

 

Better not come out as soon as I buy my HD 700, haha

post #15 of 28

What about IE800s or IE900?

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