CES 2023 had its share of new headphones and IEMs. Two brands caught our attention during the show: Sennheiser and Audio-Technica. Both manufacturers have just presented their latest innovations: affordable audiophile in-ear monitors, models equipped with a hearing aid for Sennheiser and a gaming version of the legendary Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones for Audio-Technica!
The new Sennheiser IEMs
Sennheiser IE200 IEMs: audiophile sound at an affordable price
The German brand enriches its IE range, which includes the Sennheiser IE 600 and Sennheiser IE 900! At CES, it presented its new Sennheiser IE 200 in-ear monitors. These earbuds are an audiophile solution offering a sound that is similar to that of prestigious Sennheiser models… But at a lower price! Dedicated to a wider audience, these IEMs available for under €150 should therefore have a detailed, clear and deep sound signature.
The Sennheiser IE200 monitors feature a 7mm extra-wideband transducer. They come with viscoelastic foam and silicone tips in different sizes. These effectively block ambient sounds and provide a good bass presence.
The Sennheiser IE 200 in-ear monitors will be on sale from January 31 at a price of 149.90 euros.
Conversation Clear Plus: True Wireless earbuds with a hearing aid
Another major release unveiled at CES 2023: the Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus earbuds. Acquired last year by hearing aid specialist Sonova, Sennheiser’s consumer audio division is releasing earbuds that combine these two specialties.
Using special microphones, the Sennheiser True Wireless Conversation Clear Plus IEMs adopt three modes of active noise-cancelling (ANC): Relax, Communication and Streaming. However, these earphones stand out from the competition by the presence of Sonova technology.
This technology allows people with hearing problems to better understand conversations in noisy environments. To do this, the device analyzes the ambient noise level. Then, it blocks unwanted sounds and improves the clarity of conversations.
The Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus earbuds have a Bluetooth module to easily connect them with any smartphone. Each earbud has a battery life of 9 hours. Once the battery is flat, they can be recharged using the carrying case, without a cable. The case offers up to 27 hours of additional autonomy.
The German brand will offer the Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus earbuds from January 20 at a price of €849.
Audio-Technica: headphones for streamers and gamers
Finally, during the show, the Japanese brand revealed the gaming version of its legendary Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. After the Bluetooth version (see the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headphones review), this iconic model is available in two versions: the ATH-M50xSTS and ATH-M50xSTS-USB.
These new gaming models use the 45mm transducer from the ATH-M50x. The latter is known for its detailed, open and powerful sound. This sound signature seems ideal for video game enthusiasts.
Truly dedicated to streamers and gamers, these headphones are equipped with a boom microphone. With a lot of experience in microphone design, the brand indicates that it has built on the technical features of the 20 Series, including the cardioid condenser capsule.
The two models are differentiated by their connectors. The ATH-M50xSTS has a 3.5mm headphone jack (with 6.3mm adapter) and an XLR microphone output. The ATH-M50xSTS-USB is connected via USB. It also has a high quality A/D converter (sample rate of up to 24-bit/96kHz).
Both headphones will be available at the end of January. They will be priced at €199 for the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS and €229 for the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS-USB.