Anyone who reads 9to5Toys on a regular basis is well aware of Apogee and its pedigree in the professional audio industry. Sennheiser is another one of those companies that has been creating high-quality and professional headphones, microphones and much more for many years. Well, the two brands are now coming together for the new Ambeo Smart Headset. Now available at Apple.com and in Apple Stores everywhere, the new smart headphones come with a number of interesting features as well as a solid listening experience for sans-headphone jack iPhone users.
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Let’s get the basics out-of-the-way first. This is essentially a Lightning powered headset that connects directly to your iPhone and offers up all the usuals for a set of this nature. That includes active noise cancellation, MFi-certification, Apogee’s proprietary Soft Limit and mic preamp technology as well as its best-in-class analog-to-digital converters. You’ll find your typical telephone-style mic for taking calls and telling Siri what to do as well.
There is also “Transparent Hearing” technology built-in here. So while you can block out ambient noise with the cancellation feature, TH allows you to blend external noise with the audio coming from your phone as well. So people who prefer a bit of ambient sound, especially on downtown runs/rides and things of that nature, can get a custom blend going.
But this is where the unique stuff comes in. Ambeo also features special recording microphones that allow users to capture full 3D audio of the environment around them. This can be particularly interesting when recording video on the iOS camera app. Here’s more details from Apogee and Sennheiser:
Whether you’re traveling the world, at a concert or at home for the holidays, sound recorded with the AMBEO SMART HEADSET will place the listener inside the soundscape of the location. Listening back to the recordings created with AMBEO SMART HEADSET through any stereo headphones will immerse you in stunning 3D sound, replicating the spatial direction and the feeling of the original experience.
The new Ambeo Smart Headset is available now at $299 in black or white. The black pair is exclusive to the Apple Store, but you will find the white set elsewhere including Amazon. You are certainly paying a premium here for the brand attachment, but anyone interested in this kind of 3D audio recording should certainly take a closer look. There aren’t many contraptions out there that offer this kind of functionality at this price point with the Apogee seal of approval.