Sennheiser’s AMBEO SMART HEADSET brings binaural sound recording to the consumer market
Sennheiser has created the world’s first intuitive, compact and mobile 3D recording headset. First showcased at the CES 2017, the AMBEO SMART HEADSET is a ground-breaking headset that captures immersive 3D audio with mobile device simplicity. The binaural audio recordings created with the AMBEO SMART HEADSET deliver a stunning 3D experience – placing the listener inside the soundscape and playing back the direction of sounds and natural spatial characteristics of a location.
Sennheiser has once again partnered with the award-winning manufacturer of professional audio devices Apogee, an industry leader at the forefront of digital audio recording, for the creation of this breakthrough product. The AMBEO SMART HEADSET’s incredibly detailed and realistic recording is achieved via two omni-directional microphones integrated in the ear pieces that work alongside a premium A/D converter, mic preamp and SoftLimit from Apogee. The two microphones capture the subtle differences in timing, volume and timbre that occur as sounds from different directions reach each ear. When played back on headphones, the result is a truly stunning lifelike audio experience in picture-perfect fidelity. It places the listener in the exact, original sound field, so whether you capture a rainforest or a buzzing city, listening to the 3D recording will make you feel like you are there.
“With this new headset you can use your iOS device’s camera to record, experience and relive the same balance of three dimensional sound and 180° visual perspective that we as human beings are accustomed to in our perception of the world,” explains Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, co-CEO Sennheiser. “Sound is crucial to how we understand the space around us, and the AMBEO SMART HEADSET lets you record this sense of depth, detail and realism.” Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO Sennheiser, adds: “Together the AMBEO SMART HEADSET and your mobile device can become powerful creative tools for capturing your world in an entirely new way.”
“The first time you put on headphones and hear a video made with the AMBEO SMART HEADSET you will be amazed,” says Betty Bennett, Apogee co-founder and CEO. “It adds an entirely new dimension to watching videos and memories captured on your iPhone,” she continues. “The AMBEO SMART HEADSET is truly special because it offers the best of what Sennheiser and Apogee have achieved together making products for audio recording professionals in an effortless and transformative product everyone will love.”
The AMBEO SMART HEADSET enables consumers to precisely record in 3D directly onto Apple iOS devices featuring a Lightning connector. The easy-to-use product creates immersive 3D audio that matches the high-quality video that is now available on mobile devices. It also complements the convenience and simplicity of the mobile device experience, with intuitive handling that makes the spontaneous capture of brilliant three-dimensional sound as easy as shooting a high-definition video.
Recording via the AMBEO SMART HEADSET is made simple by seamlessly complementing the standard iOS camera app, letting you record and store 3D audio along with the video. Once captured, the 3D sound files can be enjoyed through any headphones on any stereo-capable device.
To translate every dynamic detail with clarity and accuracy into digital information the AMBEO SMART HEADSET uses a premium Apogee analog to digital converter, mic preamp and SoftLimit. Apogee’s SoftLimit is a unique technology that automatically optimizes recording levels so you do not have to worry about distortion.
The captured sound is delivered through the Lightning port of your iOs device as pristine digital audio and back to your ears through high-quality Apogee digital to analog conversion.
At launch, the AMBEO SMART HEADSET will be available for Apple iOS devices featuring a Lightning connector. A version for Android devices will also be available at a later date.
Using the AMBEO SMART HEADSET’s Smart Slider, users can adjust the mic sensitivity to normal or loud environments such as concerts, ensuring pristine, distortion-free recordings in any given environment. A dedicated app will allow users to further program the Smart Slider according to their individual requirements, allowing selected features to be activated with a single switch. The app will be available for free at the launch of the AMBEO SMART HEADSET.
The AMBEO SMART HEADSET also features a Situational Awareness control that lets users choose the level of ambient noise they want to perceive. Using the headset’s rocker switch, users can either select the Transparent Hearing feature which makes the ambient noise fade into their personal program and keeps them safe in traffic, or deploy the active noise cancellation to enjoy their entertainment without any distractions. The Situational Awareness feature can also be used when recording and when making a call and can be turned off when not needed.
Besides offering unique 3D audio recording capabilities, the AMBEO SMART HEADSET is also a high-quality pair of in-ear headphones. It delivers Sennheiser’s exceptional sound quality and provides ultimate comfort thanks to a special ear-hook design, while the headphones’ stable fit minimizes structure-borne noise. An additional built-in microphone lets users take calls and operate voice control on their iOS device.
Sennheiser and Georg Neumann have been setting the standard for binaural recording technology since 1974 with the development of the MKE 2002 “Kopf Stereo Mikrofon”. This leadership continued in 1992 with the pioneering KU 100, Dummy Head. Today, with the AMBEO SMART HEADSET, Sennheiser has reimagined binaural audio for a new generation, letting consumers embrace the creative possibilities of this exciting technology with mobile device simplicity.
Early in 2016, audio specialist Sennheiser unveiled a strategic focus on 3D immersive audio, developing groundbreaking technology under its AMBEO® trademark that promises the ultimate in audio capture and reproduction. 3D audio is the new frontier of excellence, set to transform the listening experience for users across a broad range of applications, from virtual reality to audio recording and broadcasting. The AMBEO SMART HEADSET will be the audio specialist’s first AMBEO consumer product.
In the company’s 30-year history, Apogee Electronics has won a total of 19 TEC Awards for their innovative products and been recognized as industry leaders in digital audio technology within the recording community. Apogee products like Symphony I/O, Ensemble, Quartet, Duet, ONE, JAM and MiC have been instrumental in creating countless GRAMMY® and OSCAR® winning recordings by the world’s most successful music artists. For more information, please visit www.apogeedigital.com
Shaping the future of audio and creating unique sound experiences for customers – this aim unites Sennheiser employees and partners worldwide. Founded in 1945, Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. With 21 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company is active in more than 50 countries and operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland, Romania and the USA. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company. In 2017, the Sennheiser Group generated turnover totaling €667.7 million.