Our next meeting was with Sennheiser, and we talked to Jeffrey Touzeau, a PR Manager for Sennheiser in the United States. Sennheiser is another big name in the audio industry, with their headphones, recording devices, and much more. Anyone with a slight knowledge of the audio market will probably have heard of Sennheiser. Their products range from the consumer-end to the audiophile end, but today we looked at some of the new things shown at CES.
The first headphones they showed off were the Sennheiser HD 630VB. While it is not exactly new, as it was launched in May 2015, this pair of headphones has a few interesting perks to it. For one, these headphones are made for home and on-the-go listening, and they feature a rotary bass dial. Located on the right ear cup, users can turn the wheel around to vary the amount of bass. In addition, there are other actions located on the left earcup. Jeffrey also stated this headset features better passive noise cancellation, especially since the earcups create a better seal on the ear. With a low impedance too, this headset is good to use with smartphones and other portable devices. A two year warranty comes with the HD 630VB.
The next product revealed to us was the HD 800 S. While the original HD 800 was the flagship, top of the line headset for Sennheiser, the HD 800 S represents an improved edition, with a more refined sound overall. Optimizations were made in the medium and low frequency range to improve the overall sound image. It still uses a 56mm transducer in the dynamic headphones, with the same patented diaphragm as the original HD 800. Otherwise, the newer pair still feels just as comfortable, while not as harsh overall. These headphones were made available in December of 2015.
The next thing we tried out was what Sennheiser dubbed their AMBEO 3D Audio Technology. This is the overall focus on immersive technology, something Sennheiser has been focusing on in the past ten years. Jeff mentioned that most people at CES have been focusing on the visual improvements, whether they are in the 4K and now 8K resolution, 3D technology, or now virtual reality. However, no one had looked at the audio side of things, which is just as crucial. One of the end usage of the AMBEO is the Venue Modeling technology. This VST plug-in allows users to hear what music sounds like in different environments. Sennheiser has released this audio environment plugin for the consumer. One of the use cases mentioned by Sennheiser was for DJs, who wanted to hear what their music would sound like in their halls or venues they would be playing in. this will be available in the second to third quarter of 2016.
In addition, Sennheiser showed off their virtual reality microphone, which would help in recording audio for live action VR production. This is said to launch in the third quarter of 2016, with a future bundle coming the year after for the microphone and software.
With the focus on VR as a whole during CES, I think Sennheiser has taken the right approach as to figuring out how to target this market. Only time will tell how their efforts will pan out. Special thanks to Jeff Touzeau and the team at Sennheiser for inviting us and sharing with us the new products here at CES 2016.