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Amazon Kindle Oasis

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Google Pixel 3a

Dyson Hot+Cool purifying fan and heater

Microsoft Surface Go with LTE Advanced

Google Pixel Slate

ABox Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter kit

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iOS 12

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Casper Dog Bed

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Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier and Fan

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Sonos Beam

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Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset

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Review: Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset

Sennheiser Ambeo Demo_Medium from Gadjo Sevilla on Vimeo.

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

While the headset market is making the slow but steady move from wired in ear headphones to wireless solutions like Apple’s AirPods and similar products, there’s still a lot innovation that’s possible in the headphone space.

Sennheiser is pushing the envelope on mobile headset technology. The innovative Ambeo Smart Headset serves as an exemplary iOS headphone (It’s Lightning adaptor only). Combining the comfort and security of over the ear headphones and high-fidelity wired mobile headphones you can wear for listening to movies, podcasts or music.

Compared to most headphones in this class and style, the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset is around the same size as most sports-focused over the ear headsets.

The earpiece that clasps over your ear is secure but it is still a bit of an adjustment if you’re coming from earbud style headphones. There’s a good reason for this design and for the slight increase in size and weight.

The Ambeo Smart headset integrates microphones in the earpiece facing away from your ears. These help with active noise cancellation as well as recording 360’ video in various conditions.

The Ambeo is the world’s first intuitive, compact, and mobile 3D sound recording headset.

Not just for music playback, this headset uses special built-in microphones and technology that can capture and recreate soundscapes.  Its earpieces are fitted with omnidirectional microphones that capture the sounds in your environment just like your ears would.

Audio quality is exceptional and immersive with great balance and clarity.

I took the Sennheiser Ambeo connected to my iPhone X and recorded video during an early spring hike. As you can see and hear from the video above, the Ambeo does a great job catching ambient bird sounds, the rustling wind and the general soothing sounds of nature. Listen to the video with your headphones and you’ll be enveloped in sound and will get an immersive 360’ audio soundscape.

If you shoot video with your iPhone while wearing the Ambeo headset, it will record 360’ of audio so anyone watching the video with headphones on will hear audio in the range and scope that it was recorded.

This brings a different kind of augmented reality thanks to Apogee’s proprietary Soft Limit and mic preamp, plus precisely tuned A/D and D/A conversion, and an Apple MFi-certified Lightning connector, the headset integrates seamlessly with all compatible Apple iOS devices. While this is a feature that may have limited appeal for content creators, it raises the bar of audio quality from smartphones and tablets. Sennheiser plans on

feature we call Situational Awareness. Using the rocker switch, you can either make the outside noise fade into your personal program, which lets you stay safe when you are on the street. There’s a safety aspect to this product since you’re not completely isolated from the world around you.

Using the built-in mics, the Transparent Hearing feature lets you hear outside sounds and create the perfect balance between your surroundings and your audio on playback. This is ideal for bikers, walkers, joggers and anyone else who wants to be aware of what is going on around them without removing their headphones. Distracted accidents can then be minimized, which is a good thing.

What Sennheiser has done is make a smartphone headset more useful as a recording tool which will help create immersive video and audio as well help content creators put together immersive experiences. Consider this as the equivalent of a 360’ video camera attachment but for audio, which is powerful for content creators and those who want to relive immersive experiences later on.

While I admit the use case for the Ambeo Smart headset may be limited (you need a perfect storm of great video, an event or location that lends itself to immersive audio and an audience that wants to hear immersive audio and is willing to listen with headphones). It’s still quite amazing that Sennheiser has been able to shrink their Ambeo technology into an affordable and easy to use device that’s great as a general purpose headset.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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