Product Name: AMBEO Smart Headset
Product Type: Headphones
Cost at Time of Review: £259.99
Works With: iPhone (Coming to Android later 2018)
Release Date: Out Now!
In this day and age everything about being online. A lot of people now do everything online, they tend to watch their shows online, get in touch with friends and many other things. Some of these people watch their favourite people vlog and in doing so want to be online and vlog themselves. Enter the Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset.
Being online is no easy feat, you need to get in the views to make it worthwhile, you want it to be appealing and want the tech to be able to host yourself. That’s where things get tricky. If you’re on the move you usually have to hunk around huge bits of equipment to maintain that. Even if you do it from your home, you need a lot of equipment to have a decent setup. What tends to happen is, you get bits of equipment from different places and set things up to make it work. There hasn’t really bean any equipment made for streamers or content creators specifically. Sennheiser is here to change that with the Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset.
Take a look at the Sennheiser AMBEO. It does look like your ordinary headphones, possibly get the hint of a sporty look for when you’re out jogging but it’s what’s inside that counts here. The headphones feature Active Noise Cancelling, Binaural 3D Audio Recording and different Transparent Hearing Sets.
Active Noise Cancelling is built in. All the headsets I’ve used and reviewed before have a trend. They either need to be charged or battery changes. Not with the AMBEO. You don’t need to change batteries or charge it. Once plugged in it is ready to be set up for Noise Cancelling. The headphones require little wattage to produce the Noise Cancelling and it works great. I use it all the time when traveling around. I use the bus to commute to work every day and it’s great to cut out everyday noise. As with all Noise Cancelling, it’s not quite getting rid of every noise, you will hear loud noises coming through still but cuts out a lot of the background noise from distraction.
Next up is the 3D Binaural Audio Recording. This feature is revolutionary for headphones. I’ve never come across anything like this. At first, you have to think what even is this. I did. They were talking about how these were great for vlogging etc, however, I found many uses for it. Let’s jump back again and take a look at the headphones. You see that metal grille on the side? That’s for the microphones. Oh yes, now you remember where you’ve seen these before. You look at any live performance and take a look at the mic, it has that grille. Now your headphones have them, not one, but two of them.
These are used to pick up the noise around you. This is where I was getting at when it comes to vlogging. You can hear everything going on around you and hear what your recording live there and then. These headphones recording surround sound. Freaking, surround, sound. Sennheiser is calling this 3D sound but let’s simplify it, it is surround sound. You hear it back, it’s amazing that these little headphones can do what a large set up is required for. I still can’t get my head wrapped around it. Well done Sennheiser for leading the way!
It doesn’t just end there, you have what Sennheiser is calling situational awareness. This is a more complicated way of saying it features Noise Cancelling and Transparent Hearing. We pretty much have delved into both already but what I did want to delve into further was the Transparent Hearing.
Transparent Hearing is where you can hear what is going on around you without taking your headset off. It uses the 3D Binaural Recording mics for this to then come through the headphones. I never thought I would need something like this but my god it does come in handy. As mentioned before I commute to work on the bus. I talk to the bus driver every morning getting on and making sure I get to my seat without anything going on. I turn the music down, turn off the Noise Cancelling and turn on the Transparent Hearing. It sounds complicated but literally only takes 2 button presses down on the control. That is it. Once done you can hear the driver, you get on the bus, you sit down, no more distractions, you press the button up and back to listening to your music in Noise Cancelling again. Incredibly easy and the biggest feature I use on the headphones and absolutely loved. You can go to the shop and do the same, you can use it everywhere it is so handy.
Moving on over to the base station where all your buttons are. It is big but thin. Bigger than your stand headphones. It has to house everything that is going on. You have your volume buttons, pause and play as well as the control to switch between Noise Cancelling and Transparent Sound. It is chunky but not heavy, it does help straighten the clip around your ears to sit nicely. There wasn’t a time where it was getting in the way, so although it does look like it may you’d be surprised at how little bother it causes. One thing that was hard was switching from controlling my music through my iPhone headphones and moving on over to the chunky, further down, control base.
Let’s move on over to what everyone is thinking of, can it be used for music well? At first, I thought no. It sounds very clear no doubt but zero bass and poor on the lower notes. Great for watching short videos on but nothing for a movie or any bass(y) music. However! After no mention that I could see in the manual of this, there is an app for this. A lot of headphones now have apps to control and equalize their headphones. Mainly I use the amazing Bose QC35 and they describe that an app is available to control everything. After thinking of this I searched the App Store and voila! There she is, the Sennheiser APOGEE App, there is an app specifically for these headphones. After finding this out, the whole headphone experience changed. There are presets currently where you can change it to bass and your other standard options but still wasn’t on the standard of a good pair of headphones for music. After messing around with the equalizers while listening to some music, I found the sweet spot. While not the best for music from headphones they do half pack a punch. Definitely mess around till you find the sweet spot you want and you will have an exceptional set up in a single pair of headphones.
After some time keeping them in, they did get a little bit uncomfortable on the inside of my ear. I believe this is caused by the squareness of where the mic is situated. If you do have a good pair of rubber inside that you could seal of that ear with you can pull them out slightly. You won’t lose any noise from them and make them a little bit more comfortable. Nothing major that would take them out cause they were annoying but it definitely helped. I would just smooth of that squareness on the ears. Then again, everyone’s ears are different. Another factor here is the price. Coming in at £259.99, these are pricey. For the tech inside, this is the beginning of the next evolution of headphones so the tech is all new. When it begins to become more mainstream which I believe will happen, the price will come down for sure however right now these are the only headphones you can buy with this tech. The tech is the main selling point here. You don’t have to be a vlogger to get the most out of these. It’s a big selling point, however, I’m not a vlogger and I’m blowing away with what these are capable of.
Overall, I’m blowing away. I’m still a little bit confused at what Sennheiser has managed to pull off here. Sennheiser has always lead the way with exceptional audio equipment and they’re back in action leading it with the next step in headphones. I’ve used them for a good week now, day in day out, in the office, at my desk, going to the shop. I’ve hardly had the need to take them off. You’d think with the tech in this is a bit of a gimmick, once you begin to use them, you will be surprised how much you needed the tech inside these headphones that you can fit into your pocket. Well done Sennheiser!
Keep your eye’s pealed. Sennheiser has kindly sent another set of these and I am putting these up for competition! The news will be out shortly next week with the details on how to enter.