German audio brand Sennheiser has shown off its first set of what it’s calling audiophile-grade wireless earphones.
The new buds support several high-res codecs including LHDC and aptX HD, which provide low latency, high-resolution wireless playback approaching near CD-quality via Bluetooth 5.0, combined with an AKM digital-analog converter.
The lower latency also reduces the sync issues experienced by some users viewing video content with Bluetooth audio.
Sennheiser promises the earphones will ship with a “balanced” sound, but an accompanying app also provides a 5-band equaliser, allowing listeners to tune the earphones to their preferred sound.
The earphones use an earhook and neckband design for secure fitment.
The neckband features a remote for volume and track control as well as interacting with a connected device’s digital voice assistant.
In a rather unique design choice, the neckband can also be detached to allow the earphones to be used via a wired connection to audiophile-grade devices with no Bluetooth or in studio settings.
While this is comparatively high for a neckband Bluetooth set, the lack of charging case means heavy listeners on-the-go could find themselves running out of charge before the day is done.
The IE 80S BT charge via USB-C so could potentially charge via a similarly equipped smartphone in the future.
While local pricing and release is yet to be revealed, Sennheiser’s US site (where the earphones are due to go on sale before the end of the month) quotes a price of US$499.95.
This points to a possible price around the $750-$800 range down under, depending on exchange rates and taxes.