For Sennheiser 2019 has been a ‘sound’ year releasing some of its best consumer products ever. That is not to take away from the company’s professional sound achievements since 1945 but perhaps to reflect on a new focus.
Sennheiser 2019 has been about: Ambeo (move over Dolby Atmos😁); Momentum in-ear and over-ear audiophile standard BT/ANC cans; PXC 550 II travellers BT/ANC cans; and Australia got its own flagship Sennheiser store in Sydney.
Sennheiser 2019 was exciting to us sound nuts. What’s next?
Sennheiser 2019 (website here)
A new Australian flagship store
Sennheiser kicked off the year with the opening of its new Sydney flagship store in the beautiful art deco “Money Box” building at 5 Martin Place, Sydney CBD. The store set out to achieve two things. First, to give the iconic brand the ‘presence’ it needed. Second, to show off its huge range of consumer technology – on top of its pro gear – microphones, in-ear monitors, business conferencing and more.
One thing is for sure – a visit to this store may damage your wallet as you rediscover Sennheiser.
Ambeo 3D sound – as we are meant to hear
Ambeo is an immersive sound recording and playback technology. AR/VR/MR, in cars, movies and music use it. It is all about sound as we hear it – binaural (two ears) with all its glorious nuances and directions.
GadgetGuy Thomas Bartlett started with the $299 Ambeo Smart headset that both records and plays back sound. In his audiophile words, “It is really wonderfully effective”.
Then came the impressive Ambeo Soundbar.
At 18.5kg and $3999 had poor Thomas Bartlett gasping as he lugged it into the test lab and fitfully wondered whether his wife would divorce him if he bought one! This hi-res, 13-speaker, 5.1.4, Dolby Atmos soundbar with a room calibration mic is class-leading.
Again, in his audiophile words, The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is a truly remarkable piece of design. I generally don’t go out of my way to recommend soundbars, but I do with this one. And it delivers that great performance from a device, not all that much bigger than a regular soundbar.
Watch for more consumer Ambeo products and know that they will be impressive.
Headphone – in-ear and over or on-ear
Before we get into the review, let’s just say that Sennheiser has 33 in-ear and 44 over-or-on-the-ear headphones (26 are BT) ranging from $19.95 to don’t ask. No other brand has that range nor the ability to get just what you need.
Assistive listening – sound as good as it gets
Of particular interest to hearing impaired are Flex, RS and Set range of assistive listening headphones that are hearing aid and cochlear friendly and provide clarity of speech and a quality TV or Hi-Fi listening experience.
The most spectacular performing BT/ANC headphone this year is the Momentum 3.
It is big, bold, beautiful and sheepskin lined. It scored 5-out-of-5, and our take is if you are not serious about owning the best over-the-ear, active noise cancelling, audiophile-grade headphones STOP READING NOW. Our take, “at $599 they are going to rattle the soundscape. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Bluetooth over-the-ear headphones are a premium product, yet not so much more than its competitors – you should aspire to them.
But wait, the Momentum True Wireless at $499 we also the class leaders. Thomas Bartlett said, “There was one operational area in which these earphones really stood out from the crowd: they were so very, very responsive. These earphones sound brilliant. I love them.”
And stepping up a level to the $799 Sennheiser IE 80S BT wireless earphones.
These are genuine audiophile-grade in-ear canal phones: they’re a Bluetooth version of Sennheiser’s wired IE 80S ‘ear-canal headphones’. Thomas said, “These are a first-class listen for those wanting higher quality than usually provided in wireless earphones … if they’re prepared to pay for it.”