Sennheiser Intros Ambeo Earbud-Style Binaural Microphones

At CES 2017, Sennheiser introduced the AMBEO Smart Surround VR microphone – binaural mics that you wear earbud-style.

The system is designed to let you record and listen to binaural audio recordings with your smartphone. The Smart Surround is Sennheiser’s first consumer VR mic product.

The company says that the system creates immersive, binaural audio that complements the high-quality video that is available from a wide range of consumer devices such as smartphones.

“Today’s consumers are accustomed to capturing incredibly realistic video, producing 4K and 360° videos. Yet…this footage is too often let down by the quality of sound that these devices can capture,” says Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser. “AMBEO Smart Surround is an innovative solution that closes this gap.”

The ‘earhooks’ of the AMBEO Smart Surround are fitted with two quality microphones. A realistic, immersive effect is made possible by reproducing the subtle differences in timing, volume and timbre that occur as sounds from different directions reach each ear.

Previously, such recordings were typically made using dedicated professional solutions, such as dummy heads. The new earphones build on the capabilities of mobile devices, and digital connectors, such as Apple Lightning and USB-C, to deliver this capability in a consumer device.

Pricing and Availablity

The AMBEO Smart Surround system will be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing is to be announced.

via CDM

11 thoughts on “Sennheiser Intros Ambeo Earbud-Style Binaural Microphones

  1. Looks very promising ! Imagine the immersive sound design you could achieve for either music or scoring…I bet it will be pricy though.

    1. It’s targeting consumers, so I’d expect this to be more of a ‘prosumer’ product – probably under $200.

      I could see this being really cool for doing field recordings with an iPhone or a Zoom recorder, to get material for creating ambient soundscapes.

  2. soundman from berlin produces those at a very good price and they are amazing, nothing new really, besides that you can plug them in your phone.. but a proper field recorder aint that expensive either. Anyway, binaural recording is pretty amazing, would do anything without it!

  3. Looks similar to the Sennheiser/Apogee lav mic.
    Monitoring while recording has potential for some wicked feedback in your ears!
    I love the idea of walking around recording hands free, but a bit concerned how I will look with furry wind filters sticking out of my ears.

  4. The AMBEO is a good value as a mid-priced earphone, but when you add in binaural recording with high-quality microphones, its value is beyond exceptional. Users don’t need to know anything to start recording beyond plugging it in and pressing their video record button. The result is a very natural “you are there” sound, and any commercial music the user has will also sound excellent, like a good hi-fi system.

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