Sennheiser is bringing its most transparent closed-back headphones ever to CES

Sennheiser’s HD 800 have long been one of the go-to picks for audiophiles looking for stunning detail in a set of headphones — including us. The company has plenty planned for CES this year, which you’ll be sure to find in our coverage of the show, but the biggest announcement may be that the company is debuting the HD 820, its new top-of-the-HD-line offering, and according to Sennheiser, the “new reference standard for its class.”

HD 820

Sennheiser HD 820

Generally, when you think of audiophile headphones, closed-back designs don’t leap to mind as the best option. Instead, most designs aimed at audiophiles, including Sennheiser’s HD 800, use an open-back design for a bigger, more “open” sound. The downside is that because of the open design, everyone around you can hear what you’re listening to, and you can hear them as well, which is less than ideal. The HD 820 headphones take a different approach, using a unique glass transducer cover aimed at reducing resonance and outside sound while retaining the auditory transparency that open-back designs are known for.

“Usually, high-end headphones require an open-back design, which has placed limits on where you can enjoy true audiophile sound,” Axel Grell, portfolio management consumer at Sennheiser, said in a statement. “The HD 820 is a game changer that delivers exceptional sound while insulating the listener from their environment. I consider them to be the most transparent-sounding closed-back headphones in the world.”

“The HD 820 … delivers exceptional sound while insulating the listener from their environment.”

The rest of the headphone design is similarly high-end, with a metal headband featuring an inner damping element, earpads crafted from non-allergenic synthetic leather and microfiber, and gold-plated plugs. The headphones use Pentaconn connectors, which Sennheiser refers to as the new standard for balanced outputs, with lower contact resistance making for as little distortion as possible.

The HD 820 headphones are slated to go on sale early this summer, and will be priced at $2,400.

HDV 820

While Sennheiser is just now announcing the HD 820 headphones, there was a hint they were on the way when the company launched the HDV 820 headphone amp and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) earlier this year. As the numbers at the end of each model indicate, the HDV 820 is a companion product to the HD 820 headphones.

Like the HD 820, the HDV 820 uses the same Pentaconn connectors. The DAC section uses an ESS Sabre32 chip featuring a resolution of 32 bits for PCM, and up to 384 kHz and 12.3 MHz for DSD format files. Sennheiser says the HDV 820 offers very low harmonic distortion, and uses fully balanced symmetrical signal processing for the most transparent sound possible.

The HDV 820 is available now via the Sennheiser website, and retails for the same price as the HD 820 headphones, $2,400.

CX 6.00BT

Of course, while audiophile-grade sound is great, there are times when you’re on the move and need something a little more portable to keep your music going. For that, Sennheiser is offering up the new CX 6.00BT wireless Bluetooth headphones, which do away with the neckband design used in the CX 7.00BT in favor of a more lightweight design — they tip the scales at just 14 grams. Four different sizes of included earpieces should make finding a comfortable fit a breeze.

The headphones feature Sennheiser’s proprietary speaker system, which the company says offers detailed highs and enhanced bass response. Bluetooth 4.2 and Qualcomm aptX are present, making for a clear, strong audio signal. And aptX Low Latency compatibility means that you won’t have to worry about audio and video getting out of sync when watching a movie. The CX 6.00BT in-ears allow pairing with two devices at the same time, letting you easily swap between your phone and computer, for example.

sennheiser hd 820 hdv cx 600bt ambeo soundbar ces 2018 1

Offering up to six hours of playing time, the CX 6.00BT can be fully charged in 1.5 hours, with a 10-minute charge adding up to two hours of playback. In addition to the three-button remote, the headphones feature voice prompts to let you know when you’re running low on battery.

The CX 6.00BT are set to go on sale later this month, and will retail for $100.

Ambeo 3D Soundbar

At last year’s CES, Sennheiser wowed audiences with its Ambeo Smart Headset, which used binaural microphones to let the wearer easily record the sounds around them in realistic 3D. The headset went on sale earlier this year for the surprisingly low price of $300, and will be on display at this year’s show. The company is continuing its progress in the Ambeo line, but this year, it’s with an Ambeo-branded soundbar.

Sennheiser promises that the Ambeo 3D Soundbar offers sound nearly as immersive as actually being there without the need for other components like a separate subwoofer. Unfortunately, if you’re curious to learn when you can bring this home, you might be in for a long wait. The model Sennheiser is showing at CES is just a prototype, but hopefully we’ll see one you can actually purchase sooner rather than later.

Product Review

These are the affordable noise-canceling headphones you’ve dreamed about

The TaoTronics TT-BH060 are a value-packed pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones that offer solid sound, exceptional battery life at a great price, making them one of the most compelling pairs out there.
Home Theater

Samsung Galaxy Buds first look: Are they ear candy or ear worm?

Samsung’s answer to the oddball design of Apple's AirPods is the new Galaxy Buds, which are cheaper, better looking, and bring some neat features. Can Galaxy Buds snuff out the AirPods?

The Powerbeats3 wireless earphones are $110 off for Presidents’ Day

There area a lot of benefits of having wireless headphones, including Bluetooth capability and water resistance, to name just two. Beats makes some of the best, and its $200 Powerbeats3 wireless earphones are more than half off right now on…
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Accidentally aired Samsung ad shows Galaxy S10, Galaxy Buds a day before launch

One day before the launch event that is widely expected to contain both the new Galaxy S10 smartphone and the Galaxy Buds fully wireless earbuds, an accidentally aired Samsung TV ad from Norway confirms both products.
Home Theater

Amazon ups the ante with Netflix, aims to release up to 30 movies a year

Netflix has a huge budget for both licensed and original content. But Amazon Studios isn't far behind. Studio chief Jennifer Salke revealed a plan to do 30 theatrical and direct-to-Amazon Prime titles this year alone.
Home Theater

The first reactions to Captain Marvel are out of this world

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (March 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in February and March, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in March 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for March 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Home Theater

Make the most out of your new Apple TV with these must-have apps

If you're looking to turn your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse, we can help you get started with this list of the best Apple TV apps you can download.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

Charter’s Spectrum TV Essentials offers 60 live TV channels for $15 a month

Charter Communication's Spectrum TV Essentials is a package of 60 live TV channels for $15 per month designed to keep cord-cutters happy. But with no sports or major broadcasters, is it enough?