An exhaustive listing of all of Sennheiser’s new CES offerings would take up more space than I’ve got here, but let me mention three highlighted product that I think will be of interest to AVguide readers. First up, we have Sennheiser’s very impressive CXC 700 Travel in-ear headphone with active Noise Guard digital noise cancelling, including three separate digital noise cancellation modes targeted to different types of noisy environment. Users can simply press a Mode button on the CXC 700’s amp control module until they find a mode that optimally addresses noise problems in their specific listening environments.
Next, Sennheiser offer not one but two new full-size noise cancelling phones: the over-the-ear MM550 ($499) and the smaller on-ear MM450 ($450). Both models can function as wired or wireless headphones, provide Bluetooth support, offer onboard track skip/volume controls, and incorporate switch selectable SRS processing said to give a wider apparent soundstage. The MM550 and 450 are among the best Sennheiser noise cancellers I’ve heard, though my sense was that—in an absolute sense—the MM550 outperforms the 450 by a narrow yet worthwhile margin.
Finally, Sennheiser officially released a HD-Series high-end headphone it had previously previewed at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Can-Jam event (sponsored by our friends at headfi.org); namely the new HD 598 (MSRP $349, MAP $249). The HD 598 sports a delicious looking cream and tan color scheme that reminds almost everyone of the interior décor of BMW sport sedans, but the real draw of the 598 is that delivers performance that is more than a little reminiscent of Sennheiser’s famous HD650, but at roughly half the 650’s price.
Ulimate Ears showed off almost all of the elements of its previously announced range of universal-fit in-ear headphones, including the 200 ($29, or $39 in headset version), 350 ($49, or $59 in headset version), 500 ($69, or $79 in headset version), 600 (a multi-driver model that replaces the Super.fi 5Pro, $99, or $119 in headset version), and the 700 ($149, and not yet offered in a headset version). The firm’s previous universal-fit flagship, the Triple.fi 10PPro, continues in the line, but with all new packaging and a revised mix of eartips. Not on display at CES, but of interest to readers, is the entry-level 100 model in-ear headphone, which is available through online sales only.
Westone rolled out a new flagship universal-fit in-ear headphone called the Westone True-Fit 4 ($449). The Westone 4 is a three-way headphone that sports four balanced armature -type drivers (grouped as two woofers, one midrange driver, and one tweeter). The Westone 4 is the most ambitious universal-fit model the firm has ever offered and one goal of the design is to come as close as possible to the performance of Westone's superb, five-driver ES5 custom-fit in-ear monitor, but at a significantly lower price. Playback will soon begin the review process for the Westone 4.