Sennheiser at CES 2012
Sennheiser at CES 2012
Our very last meeting at CES 2012 was a stop by the large and very busy Sennheiser booth in the South Hall of the LVCC. As usual, they were demonstrating a large number of their products and you could step into their sound booth to take a better listen to a plethora of the product they offered. This year they were really excited about a couple of their latest headphones - including the HD-700 and Amperior. These are geared to two totally different markets. We'll cover both briefly.
The HD 700's are priced roughly between the HD 800 ($1499.95) and the HD 650 ($499.99) at a "mere" $999.99. These are pretty stellar cans and offer some great features and an unparallelled listening experience. As with all high-end headphones, you'll want to power these with a great receiver. If you are merely plugging these into a $50 MP3 player, you won't experience anything close to what these can provide.
The HD 700's are best enjoyed with a high-end receiver, and great 192Khz 24-bit digital audio. Anything less than 96Khz 24-bit is almost not worth the effort. That being said, these sound great no matter what they are hooked to, but poor audio tends to still sound poor and the high quality drivers don't flatter crappy audio.
The Amperior headphones are inspired from the DJ scene and they seem to work quite well. The design is very flexible as it allows for two ear, one ear or a relaxed around the neck orientation. The audio quality of these is very good and as they fit into the DJ scene, the bass response is very good on these - despite their much smaller size. I believe the sticker price on these was $349 MSRP and they should be available very soon - if they aren't already.
While I personally believe that Sennheiser is a bit overpriced, there is no question regarding the overall quality of their product. Sean Dillmann accompanied me to the booth and he had stated that some of their demo tracks were a little weak and didn't really showcase what the products claim to be capable of. After listening to them for a bit, I'd have to agree. In the end though you get (mostly) what you pay for, and a set of Sennheiser headphones will be an investment that you should enjoy for years to come.
In addition to their headphone line, Sennheiser also offers microphones, headsets, and a whole series of professional audio products. If you haven't checked them out lately, you should take a look. My tip of the day is to check out some of their older models as they can be found a lot cheaper and they still offer a great listening experience.
Also, make sure to check out the rest of our CES 2012 coverage here.