Apogee Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset

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  • Overview

    The Apogee Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset integrates Sennheiser's headphone and 3D AMBEO expertise with Apogee's deep knowledge of digital audio and iOS to bring 3D audio recording capabilities to your iPhone—along with high-fidelity sound and the ability to tune in or tune out the sounds around you. Simply connect the AMBEO headset directly to the Lightning port on your iPhone (no setup or pairing required), hook each earpiece around your ears, and start listening to your music or videos with stunning quality.

    The earpieces are fitted with omnidirectional microphones for binaural recording that capture the sounds of your environment in 3D, just like your ears hear them. These microphones also enable the Transparent Hearing and Noise Cancellation features.

    Listen to music or videos with high-fidelity sound

    Inspired by Sennheiser and Apogee’s combined 100-year history of audio excellence, AMBEO SMART HEADSET delivers exceptional sound quality for listening to music or videos.

    Capture the world as you hear It with immersive 3D sound

    Use the AMBEO Smart Headset to effortlessly add 3D immersive sound to the videos you already create and share everyday on your iPhone. Listen back to these recordings through any pair of headphones to experience 3D sound with lifelike depth and relive the feeling of the original experience.

    Blend ambient sounds with your music—or tune them out

    The headset's built-in mics take advantage of the Transparent Hearing feature that lets you hear outside sounds and create the perfect balance between your surroundings and your music. It's ideal for any outdoor activity such as biking or jogging when you want to be aware of what's going on around you without removing your headphones. And for those times when you want to tune out your environment, Active Noise Cancellation blocks distracting sounds so you can hear every detail in your music and videos.

    Highlights

    Combines Sennheiser’s headphone and 3D AMBEO expertise with Apogee’s digital audio and iOS experience

    Built-in microphones for 3D audio recording to capture sounds the way you hear them

    Additional telephone mic lets you take calls and operate voice control on iPhone

    Headphones with Lightning connection for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

    Effortless recording with any app that captures stereo audio, including iPhone Camera App

    Transparent Hearing lets you hear the sounds around you and blend them with audio from your iPhone

    Active Noise Cancellation blocks distractions in your surroundings

    High-quality headphones with signature Sennheiser sound

    Apogee proprietary Soft Limit and mic preamp plus precisely tuned A/D and D/A conversion

    Did You Notice?

    Hands-free integration with iPhone, transparent hearing that lets you hear outside sounds, and Active Noise Cancellation mean you never have to remove your headphones.

    Apple Recommends For

    Enhancing iPhone videos with 3D immersive sound.

    What’s in the Box

    Apogee Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset

    Ear adapter set (S,M,L)

    Carry case

    Quick start guide

    Tech Specs

    Cable length: 45.67 in./116 cm

    Connections: Lightning

    Power Source: USB

    Weight: 0.8 oz./22.68 g

    Manufacturer Information

    Part Number

    Mfr. Part Number: ASH BLACK

    UPC or EAN No.: 615104316492

    Warranty

    Note: Products sold through this website that do not bear the Apple Brand name are serviced and supported exclusively by their manufacturers in accordance with terms and conditions packaged with the products. Apple’s Limited Warranty does not apply to products that are not Apple-branded, even if packaged or sold with Apple products. Please contact the manufacturer directly for technical support and customer service.

  • iPhone Models

    iPad Models

    iPod Models

  • 4.0 Average
    4 out of 5 stars
    Number of stars Percentage Number of reviews
    • 5.0 out of 5 stars

      Great Headset!

      These headphones sound amazing, and the recording feature is an additional bonus. The ability to blend the sounds of your environment with the music from your p These headphones sound amazing, and the recording feature is an additional bonus. The ability to blend the sounds of your environment with the music from your phone is the best!

      • Written by André H from Los Angeles

      6 of 7 people found this useful

      Is this review useful?Great Headset!

    • 4.0 out of 5 stars

      Unique High Quality Listening and Recording Device

      I've been testing the Sennheiser Ambeo headsets for a couple of weeks and have reached some preliminary conclusions. Right off the bat, I'll say they are excell I've been testing the Sennheiser Ambeo headsets for a couple of weeks and have reached some preliminary conclusions. Right off the bat, I'll say they are excellent headphones, with a full tone, good bass, and clear mids and highs. The binaural recording capability is pretty amazing and seems to work very well, at least for simple recordings. I haven't recorded music yet, just voice and random sounds, and hope to report back at a later date with more details, but for now I'll say the 3D binaural recordings are very natural and easy to make using the iOS Voice Memos app. I've used the Ambeos with an iPhone 6, iPhone SE, and iPad and have had no major problems with any of those devices, except… The main issue I have with the Ambeos is the Apogee control App and the control pad on the headphones' cable. First off, the control pad is finicky. It does volume up/down OK, but pause/play is slow to react and skipping forward or back to the next or previous song is a hit or miss proposition. There is a "programable" slider on the controller that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. The programming for the slider is also very limited. It mainly acts as a toggle between different headphone listening modes (more on this below). There's also a rocker that toggles between modes, but that's also finicky. It's hard to know which end of the rocker controls what. The whole slider/rocker thing, combined with the finicky skip/back button, makes controlling your music and the listening modes kind of like shaking a magic 8-ball. This is a real shame, because the modes are very useful (though not perfect). So it's better to use your iPhone to control the music and the Ambeo's Apogee app to select the listening and recording modes. There's a noise reduction mode that works very well. Maybe not as good as Bose, but it's pretty darn good. There's also a "transparent hearing" mode, which allows outside sound to pass through the microphones so you can hear the real world while wearing the headphones. Unfortunately, the transparent hearing mode does not have a setting that simultaneously brings down (or mutes) the level of the music when activated. So if you're on a plane and the flight attendant asks you a question, you'll still have to either take the headsets off or activate transparent hearing, then pause the music to have a conversation. That's too many steps if you're just trying to quickly confirm that they're asking about your choice of peanuts, pretzels, or cookies. On the plus side, there's an excellent graphic EQ that allows you to fine-tune the sound of the 'phones. I wound up rolling off the high end a bit. So that's it for now. Excellent raw sound quality, really unique recording capabilities, and a funky control system in need of some TLC, which I hope Sennheiser will give it soon. This review was written in March 2018 while using firmware version 1.0.45 and app version 1.01 (40).

      • Written by Dean F from Fort Lee

      3 of 3 people found this useful

      Is this review useful?Unique High Quality Listening and Recording Device

    • 3.0 out of 5 stars

      Good recording, lousy Active Noise Cancellation

      Comes with three pairs (S/M/L) of silicone ear pieces. I had to use the largest to seal the ear canal and get any bass response. Output sound is decent, and b Comes with three pairs (S/M/L) of silicone ear pieces. I had to use the largest to seal the ear canal and get any bass response. Output sound is decent, and better than stock Apple earbuds, but nothing outstanding (to my ears, a bit cold, thin and brittle). The real highlight is the binaural recording. The sound is flat and accurate, and the Apogee A/D converter seems to be of high quality. There may be some background hiss, but I don’t have a quiet space to measure this or get an accurate sense of signal/noise ratio. The Situational Awareness/Transparent Hearing features are kind of cool, basically using the external microphones to re-inject ambient noise back into the sound signal, helping with awareness of external sound deadened by the sound-isolating silicone ear pieces. Yes, the silicone ear plugs do muffle outside sound, which makes it more challenging to record binaural audio without Transparent Hearing acting as a low-latency monitor, but I worry that activating this mode discolors the recording with slight feedback. The Active Noise Cancellation is a joke. Compared to BOSE QuietComfort 35 headphones and BOSE QuietComfort 20 ear buds (which is a fairer apples-to-apples comparison), the ANC on the AMBEO Smart Headset is ineffective and almost useless. Upgrading to the latest firmware did not make a difference. The control module can feel a bit bulky and unwieldy, as with any ear bud-type headset with active electronics, but Sennheiser/Apogee packed some useful control buttons on it, including an assignable Smart Slider, which may be configured to launch certain apps, mute the phone, charge recording levels or listening modes, etc. In my case, the Smart Slider switch was defective, so I’ll probably have to return for exchange. Apogee’s support has not been helpful so far: they said they believe the problem is an “old app”, which makes no sense. Hopefully the exchange will reveal that the Active Noise Cancellation on my first unit was also defective, but I suspect this is not the case (just ineffective). Overall, I really like this headset just for its immersive recording abilitiies. For listening to music in a quiet space, and for Active Noise Cancellation in noisy spaces, I much prefer other products (even to play back sounds recorded with this headset). Still, the AMBEO Smart Headset really shines at what makes it unique: an immersive digital binaural recorder.

      • Written by Daron K from New York

      5 of 14 people found this useful

      Is this review useful?Good recording, lousy Active Noise Cancellation

    • 4.0 out of 5 stars

      Unique High Quality Listening and Recording Device

      I've been testing the Sennheiser Ambeo headsets for a couple of weeks and have reached some preliminary conclusions. Right off the bat, I'll say they are excell I've been testing the Sennheiser Ambeo headsets for a couple of weeks and have reached some preliminary conclusions. Right off the bat, I'll say they are excellent headphones, with a full tone, good bass, and clear mids and highs. The binaural recording capability is pretty amazing and seems to work very well, at least for simple recordings. I haven't recorded music yet, just voice and random sounds, and hope to report back at a later date with more details, but for now I'll say the 3D binaural recordings are very natural and easy to make using the iOS Voice Memos app. I've used the Ambeos with an iPhone 6, iPhone SE, and iPad and have had no major problems with any of those devices, except… The main issue I have with the Ambeos is the Apogee control App and the control pad on the headphones' cable. First off, the control pad is finicky. It does volume up/down OK, but pause/play is slow to react and skipping forward or back to the next or previous song is a hit or miss proposition. There is a "programable" slider on the controller that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. The programming for the slider is also very limited. It mainly acts as a toggle between different headphone listening modes (more on this below). There's also a rocker that toggles between modes, but that's also finicky. It's hard to know which end of the rocker controls what. The whole slider/rocker thing, combined with the finicky skip/back button, makes controlling your music and the listening modes kind of like shaking a magic 8-ball. This is a real shame, because the modes are very useful (though not perfect). So it's better to use your iPhone to control the music and the Ambeo's Apogee app to select the listening and recording modes. There's a noise reduction mode that works very well. Maybe not as good as Bose, but it's pretty darn good. There's also a "transparent hearing" mode, which allows outside sound to pass through the microphones so you can hear the real world while wearing the headphones. Unfortunately, the transparent hearing mode does not have a setting that simultaneously brings down (or mutes) the level of the music when activated. So if you're on a plane and the flight attendant asks you a question, you'll still have to either take the headsets off or activate transparent hearing, then pause the music to have a conversation. That's too many steps if you're just trying to quickly confirm that they're asking about your choice of peanuts, pretzels, or cookies. On the plus side, there's an excellent graphic EQ that allows you to fine-tune the sound of the 'phones. I wound up rolling off the high end a bit. So that's it for now. Excellent raw sound quality, really unique recording capabilities, and a funky control system in need of some TLC, which I hope Sennheiser will give it soon. This review was written in March 2018 while using firmware version 1.0.45 and app version 1.01 (40).

      • Written by Dean F from Fort Lee

      3 of 3 people found this useful

      Is this review useful?Unique High Quality Listening and Recording Device

    • 5.0 out of 5 stars

      Great Headset!

      These headphones sound amazing, and the recording feature is an additional bonus. The ability to blend the sounds of your environment with the music from your p These headphones sound amazing, and the recording feature is an additional bonus. The ability to blend the sounds of your environment with the music from your phone is the best!

      • Written by André H from Los Angeles

      6 of 7 people found this useful

      Is this review useful?Great Headset!

    • 3.0 out of 5 stars

      Good recording, lousy Active Noise Cancellation

      Comes with three pairs (S/M/L) of silicone ear pieces. I had to use the largest to seal the ear canal and get any bass response. Output sound is decent, and b Comes with three pairs (S/M/L) of silicone ear pieces. I had to use the largest to seal the ear canal and get any bass response. Output sound is decent, and better than stock Apple earbuds, but nothing outstanding (to my ears, a bit cold, thin and brittle). The real highlight is the binaural recording. The sound is flat and accurate, and the Apogee A/D converter seems to be of high quality. There may be some background hiss, but I don’t have a quiet space to measure this or get an accurate sense of signal/noise ratio. The Situational Awareness/Transparent Hearing features are kind of cool, basically using the external microphones to re-inject ambient noise back into the sound signal, helping with awareness of external sound deadened by the sound-isolating silicone ear pieces. Yes, the silicone ear plugs do muffle outside sound, which makes it more challenging to record binaural audio without Transparent Hearing acting as a low-latency monitor, but I worry that activating this mode discolors the recording with slight feedback. The Active Noise Cancellation is a joke. Compared to BOSE QuietComfort 35 headphones and BOSE QuietComfort 20 ear buds (which is a fairer apples-to-apples comparison), the ANC on the AMBEO Smart Headset is ineffective and almost useless. Upgrading to the latest firmware did not make a difference. The control module can feel a bit bulky and unwieldy, as with any ear bud-type headset with active electronics, but Sennheiser/Apogee packed some useful control buttons on it, including an assignable Smart Slider, which may be configured to launch certain apps, mute the phone, charge recording levels or listening modes, etc. In my case, the Smart Slider switch was defective, so I’ll probably have to return for exchange. Apogee’s support has not been helpful so far: they said they believe the problem is an “old app”, which makes no sense. Hopefully the exchange will reveal that the Active Noise Cancellation on my first unit was also defective, but I suspect this is not the case (just ineffective). Overall, I really like this headset just for its immersive recording abilitiies. For listening to music in a quiet space, and for Active Noise Cancellation in noisy spaces, I much prefer other products (even to play back sounds recorded with this headset). Still, the AMBEO Smart Headset really shines at what makes it unique: an immersive digital binaural recorder.

      • Written by Daron K from New York

      5 of 14 people found this useful

      Is this review useful?Good recording, lousy Active Noise Cancellation

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