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Announcing the IE 80S BT: Sennheiser's First Audiophile Bluetooth headphones.

  1. Sennheiser
    The Wireless Audiophile Experience You’ve Been Waiting For
    Sennheiser introduces audiophile Bluetooth in-ear headphones IE 80S BT

    Wedemark/Hong Kong, August 12, 2019 – Sennheiser introduces its first audiophile Bluetooth in-ear headphones at the Hong Kong High End Audio Visual Show. The IE 80S BT builds on the sonic achievements of the audio specialist’s much-loved IE 80S ear-canal headphones to create a wireless model that supports hi-res audio for outstanding accuracy and a breathtaking soundstage. As well as offering wireless listening, the new model introduces connected features such as customization via the Sennheiser Smart Control App and one-touch access to virtual assistants such as Siri or Google Assistant. A smart audiophile product that can be enjoyed anywhere, the sleek neckband headphones are the perfect wireless companion for the sophisticated listener on the move.

    "The IE 80S BT earphones have been meticulously crafted to the most demanding standards,” explains Ronja Harste, Product Manager Audiophile at Sennheiser. “They not only meet Sennheiser’s exacting criteria for a high-end audio product and match the exceptional performance of their wired predecessor, but also offer a real wireless option for refined audiophiles who don’t wish to compromise on sound quality.”

    A smart audiophile product that can be enjoyed anywhere, the IE 80S BT ear-canal headphones are the perfect wireless companion for the sophisticated listener on the move.

    Enjoy high-resolution sound on the move
    Support for hi-res codecs including LHDC, aptX HD, and AAC allows the IE 80S BT to process high bit rates so the listener can enjoy uncompressed music formats on par with wired performance. Audiophile sound quality is also guaranteed by a top-of-the-line AKM DAC that lets listeners experience the full performance of Sennheiser's dynamic speaker system which features 10mm drivers and powerful neodymium magnets for brilliant sonic accuracy and clarity. For supreme versatility, support for aptX Low Latency also allows for perfect synchronization with video content.

    The IE 80S BT has been carefully tuned to deliver the tonally balanced sound characteristic of Sennheiser’s audiophile headphones. However, the listening experience can still be tailored according to taste, either by using the bass adjustment tool to boost the bass on the earphone directly, or using the Sennheiser Smart Control App which provides an intuitive 5-band equalizer.

    Stay effortlessly connected
    Created for a connected, always-on age, the IE 80S BT offers at-a-touch interaction with all common voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant via a dedicated voice assistant access button. Utilizing Sennheiser’s expertise in microphone technology, the headphones feature high-quality microphones with noise reduction technology that are optimally positioned to ensure crystal clear capture of speech for undisturbed telephone calls and communication with voice assistants.

    Engineered to impress
    The latest addition to Sennheiser’s audiophile range, the IE 80S BT earphones display all the meticulous attention to detail, durable high-quality materials, and aesthetic refinement for which the audio specialist is famed. The sleek design also offers exceptional versatility as the Bluetooth neckband component can be detached so the earphones can be used with an optional cable accessory for those occasions when wired listening may be desired.

    The supplied selection of ear adapters made from silicone, silicone lamellar and ComplyTM Memory Foam in a choice of three sizes each helps to ensure a perfect fit for excellent passive attenuation of external noise. A secure fit is also assured by the flexible ear hooks, which have a soft touch finish to enhance the wearing experience. These ergonomic refinements let the user enjoy the longer listening sessions made possible by the 6-hour battery life in perfect comfort. When on the go, Sennheiser’s IE 80S BT earphones provide the wireless listening experience audiophiles have been waiting for.

    The IE 80S BT will be available from mid-August for 499 EUR/499.95 USD (MSRP).

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  2. Sennheiser
    Q&A IE 80S BT

    Q: What was Sennheiser’s motivation to launch the first Bluetooth product in the Audiophile segment?

    A: Whereas the more traditional Audiophile customer (40+ years old) seeks the best possible sound quality and comfort in his home environment, we discovered that there is a new generation of Audiophiles (20-40 years old) growing for whom digital solutions and mobility (using their headphones during a commute, at work, etc.) is getting more important. With the IE 80S BT, we want to support the need for mobility of this next generation of Audiophiles without compromising on hi-res sound quality on the go.

    Q: How can I describe the IE 80S BT in one sentence?

    A: The IE 80S BT is Sennheiser´s first high-end wireless model that delivers outstanding accuracy and a breathtaking soundstage from a sleek neckband design.

    Q: How does the IE 80S BT achieve a great wireless performance, on par with wired?

    A: The headphones’ accomplished acoustic performance is assured by state-of-the-art Bluetooth connectivity: support for hi-res codecs including LHDC, aptX HD, and AAC allows the IE 80S BT to process high bit rates so the listener can enjoy uncompressed music formats on par with wired performance. Audiophile sound quality is also guaranteed by a top-of-the-line high-end AKM DAC that allows the listener to experience the full performance of the Sennheiser dynamic speaker system: thanks to powerful neodymium magnets this ensures brilliant sonic accuracy and clarity.

    Q: What is a DAC and what does it do?

    A: A DAC is a Digital-to-Analog Converter. It takes digital data and transforms it into an analog audio signal. Afterward, it sends that analog signal to an amplifier. When playing digital recordings, you're actually listening to an analog signal that was converted from digital by a DAC. For example, your smartphone contains only a very basic DAC. A better DAC performs the conversion more accurately.

    Q: What DAC chip is being used in the IE 80S BT

    A: AK 4331 with a built-in headphone amplifier. The DAC has four digital filters for better sound quality, low distortion characteristics and a wide dynamic range.

    Q: What is the LHDC codec?

    A: LHDC stands for low latency and high-definition audio codec and is announced by Savitech. Compared to the Bluetooth SBC audio format, LHDC allows more than 3 times transmitted data. LHDC provides a very realistic, high definition wireless audio. There will be barely any audio quality disparity between wireless and wired audio devices. Enjoy both the convenience and high quality that wireless audio via Bluetooth brings. LHDC was debuted on Huawei devices, but now can also be found on several portable music players.

    Q: Has the sound signature changed compared to the IE 80S?

    A: The default tuning will be familiar to owners of the IE 80S, a smooth u-shaped sound with a dash of fun while keeping the bass and treble balanced. Sennheiser has carefully tuned the IE 80S BT to deliver the tonally balanced sound characteristic of its high-end headphones, but the listening experience can still be adapted to individual preference. This can be achieved either by using the bass adjustment tool to boost the bass on the earphone directly or via the intuitive 5-band equalizer included with the Sennheiser Smart Control App.

    Q: What does the bass adjustment tool do?

    A: Everyone has had those moments… whether a thunderclap of emotion to invoke dancing or a soothing melody after a tough day, music can be the perfect accompaniment. Instead of trying to find a middle ground, the IE 80S BT bass response can be adjusted to celebrate personal tastes or perfectly match the mood. It adjusts particularly in the atmospheric-feeling sub-bass frequencies, which otherwise can seem to be masked during commutes in rumbling environments.

    Q: Can the user make a wired product out of the IE 80S BT?

    A: Yes, the Bluetooth neckband component can be detached, so the earpieces can be used with the optional cable accessory from the IE 80S for those occasions when wired listening may be desired.

    Q: Will the detachable neckband be available as an accessory?

    A: Yes, it will be available as an accessory and is compatible with IE 8, IE 80 and IE 80S, so users can even upgrade their old models to a wireless model.

    Q: There are three ear tips included; silicone, lamellar silicone, and Comply™ foam. What is lamellar silicone?

    A: Ear tips are the key factor in comfort, isolation, and a good seal to provide a good bass extension. Everyone’s ears are different, and in the quest for a great ear tip, Sennheiser provides 9 pairs of tips in total. That’s three sizes of each material. Silicone is the standard ear tip that will be most familiar to people upgrading to the IE 80S BT – quick to insert, easy to clean, lasts a long time. Lamellar Silicone ear tips are still made from the same durable material as the standard tips, but isolate more noise because they have a second flange of silicone, and might be more comfortable because of a different shape. The famously comfortable Comply™ foam tips are also included. These squish down for insertion, then expand to fit inside the ear shape, providing almost customized comfort and the best isolation.

    Q: I work, commute, and travel all the time. Is the IE 80S BT a good portable option?

    The IE 80S BT has the sound, the looks, and portable convenience to make it the ideal everyday audio companion. It has the sound quality to rival its price competitors, but the IE 80S BT can transform — from a musical home or office luxury, into a headphone that is well-compensated for noisy subways or droning airplanes. Like an earplug, the IE 80S BT offers 26 dB of noise isolation. The understated, real stainless steel plates engraved with the Sennheiser “S” logo, and premium quality speak to the mature visual statement the earphone makes in public. Finally, the product can be stored in the newly developed case which provides enough space to carry a charging cable and ear adapters.

    Q: What is the battery life of the headphones?

    A: IE 80S BT delivers 6 hours of Bluetooth music streaming using the standard SBC codec.

    Q: How do you charge the headphones?

    A: The headphones charge via a USB-C cable.

    Q: Is the internal equalizer (EQ) controllable via the companion app?

    A: Yes, the Sennheiser Smart Control companion app provides a very intuitive way to set up the internal EQ.

    Q: How can the user access AI voice assistants?

    A: The user can activate voice assistants like Google Assistant or Siri via a convenient single press on the dedicated button on the neckband.

    Q: How can users check for, receive and install firmware updates?

    A: When using the Sennheiser Smart Control app, users will receive a notification once a new firmware release is available. The app will guide them through the update process. The firmware update will be installed over-the-air via the Bluetooth wireless connection. Additionally, users can check the current firmware release status in the Smart Control app’s settings.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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    iBo0m and Niyologist like this.
  3. mochill
    I want one :-D
    Niyologist likes this.
  4. Niyologist
    This is cool. I hear that Cosmic_HiFi from IG has taken an interest in this.
    iBo0m and mochill like this.
  5. robertjwarren
  6. iBo0m
    Nice!! Based on the IE 80S housing design, they would be also awesome in a true wireless edition which would make a very serious AirPods competitor :)
  7. LajostheHun
    2 years ago this would have been great, now nobody cares for neckband design.
    galacticsoap likes this.
  8. emusic13
    So basically $150 for a bluetooth neckband? I like Sennheiser but yeah...
    Should have just stuck the ie80s drivers in the momentum wireless instead and charged $450

    If you're going to go wireless, might as well go all the way. Plenty of better IEM options you could convert with a bluetooth wire as well.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    solblack likes this.
  9. solblack
    I like Sennheiser but like the rest they will stay a boutique company.
    I ask the "Average" person on the street and most don't know of them but they do know Samsung. (due to phones)
    You got to bring out a product that don't break the bank for the average person. That goes for DAP's too.
    The Sweet spot is $100, you can get "Decent' "IEM'S" for that price but not "Headphones".
    akburt likes this.
  10. joshnor713
    Well, to be fair, "most" people recognize what's fashionable and popular over sound quality (AirPods, Beats, or Skullcandy are prime examples). I don't think that's how Sennheiser wants to position themselves.

    They have such offerings like you say - $100 momentum in-ear (wired or wireless). "Momentum" is supposed to be their mainstream line. It's just a tough space to compete in. Sennheiser places too much priority in sound quality for the "average person".

    And BTW, the average person has no reason for a DAP. They probably don't even know audio players still exist.
    Sennheiser likes this.
  11. robertjwarren
    You are all showing your ages! 20 years ago everybody who listened to mobile music knew Sennheiser!
    Sennheiser likes this.
  12. dweaver
    I like Sennhieser but do think they are making a mistake here. The challenge going forward is that BT design needs to be thought of as a requirement not an enhancement since most phones are starting to remove the headphone jack. While offering a wired cable should become the enhancement for the hardcore listener.

    As such this model should sell for the same price or close to the price as the 80S. Like what AT did with the M50X BT. Otherwise these headphone/IEM models will become to niche in regards to market size. Their pricing already limits the market at the normal 80S price point.
    solblack likes this.
  13. solblack
    Yeah sad to say but your right.
    I still can't figure out why "Apple" didn't buy "Sennheiser" or "Audeze"? The Beats are horrible. lol
    Look all you do is put a "Sennheiser" Momentum in LeBron James hand in a commercial, "boom" money coming in..
    Work for Michael Jordan. lol
  14. solblack
    I did still have all my mobile amps:ksc75smile: Actually its the only way i listen to music on my phone. more like 15yrs.
  15. solblack
    Not true many don't know them now.
    As i said put the product in the hands of a "Superstar Athlete".
    Work for Michael Jordan, he does not even bother to design new shoes he just sells the old one's. Sell out in a day.

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