Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Sennheiser talks a clearer way to hear (provided you have the cash)

Hearing everything amongst the noise isn’t always easy, but a new type of earphones could make that easier, you’ll just need to spend up big.

There’s clearly no shortage of truly wireless earphones out there, but truly wireless earphones that have the potential to truly change things? Those are less common, for sure.

A pair shown at CES this year could just fit that bill and maybe make conversations and other gatherings easier to listen to, though you might look a little antisocial wearing them.

The news could have been missed amongst the sea of new TVs and unusual health gadgets at CES 2023, but Sennheiser’s Conversation Clear Plus could be a game-changer, particularly if being able to decipher what’s being said out loud is a problem for you. It’s probably less that your hearing is suffering, and more that there’s a lot happening and being said, but it’s an area audio specialists have even working on.

Sennheiser’s effort will use a combination of Active Noise Cancellation with Automatic Scene Detection to analyse the environment and surroundings where conversation is being had, and process the noise level with a speech enhancement level.

The Conversation Clear Plus earphones will come with a companion app to guide you through using them, and they’ll work with music and podcasts, too, connecting to any Bluetooth device and working for up to nine hours. However, they’ll make use of a “Communication” mode to clear up conversations, thanks in part to a chip from Sennheiser’s consumer division owner, Sonova.

We’re not entirely sure how this will work, but it’ll likely be handling some hefty processing, possibly not unlike how Apple’s AirPods Pro 2nd-gen analyses signals from sounds to improve the sound you’re listening to.

What they won’t be is cheap, hitting one of the highest prices for a pair of in-earphones yet.

While it’s relatively normal to spend up on audiophile-grade headphones with ANC, such as when the Focal Bathys hit over the thousand dollar mark, the Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus go a little further than that selling for $1399.95 in Australia, with New Zealanders paying a hundred bucks more ($1499.95).

They are clearly a different pair of earphones, mind you, and not the usual assortment of noise cancelling models, but if you need them, you may not blink at the price, and you’ll find them locally in March.

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