The flagship headphone battle is stepping up a gear

OPINION: Sennheiser’s tease of its upcoming Momentum Wi-fi 4 over-ears is yet one more entry within the premium market unveiled in latest months. For these of us hoping to avoid wasting cash, I’m sorry to say that simply whenever you thought you had been out, you’re about to be roped again in.

Sennheiser is conserving its playing cards near its chest, solely disclosing a number of particulars to whet the appetites of audio followers. And the German model actually piqued our curiosity with its claims of a brand new design, prime quality sound and gargantuan battery life that exceeds anything we’ve seen from a premium pair of over-ear headphones.

For the reason that pandemic the curiosity in headphones solely appears to have risen. The will to take heed to prime quality music positively performed a component however sitting at residence or sharing an area with others has meant extra of a deal with particular options: headphones for cellphone calls and on-line conferences, headphones for gaming, headphones to go watch movies/TV with, and ANC headphones for once we need some privateness.

Headphones have turn out to be a jack of all trades proposition to cater to as vast an viewers as attainable by guaranteeing there’s all the things an individual might need, whether or not it’s noise cancellation, smarts, good name high quality, low latency for gaming and guaranteeing a seamless connection together with your machine. With that in thoughts, the previous 12 months has seen a number of huge launches within the premium headphone sector.

Yamaha kicked issues off with its YH-L700A, Philips launched its Fidelio L3 and since then we’ve seen the Bose QuietComfort 45, Technics EAH-A800, Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Edifier Stax S3 headphones that launched in Might. Qualcomm leaked Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 so we are able to presume they’re on their method too. There’s a number of selection and plenty of high-quality choices, and so they’re not all aiming to do the identical factor – not less than not in the identical method.

Plus, with consciousness in 3D Audio gaining a foothold, whether or not it’s via headphones upmixing stereo into 3D, Dolby Atmos Music, Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio or Apple’s Spatial Audio; headphones wish to broaden the experiences they provide. The arrival of Snapdragon Sound and aptX Lossless will present a lift to headphones within the pipeline that help Qualcomm’s chipset, with the promise of upper high quality and bit-lossless sound over a Bluetooth connection, a difficulty that’s all the time appeared to carry wi-fi headphones again from matching their wired counterparts.

This innovation is resulting in an thrilling tit-for-tat battle between headphone manufacturers that appear to be attempting to one-up one another to supply the one headphone you’ll want for the subsequent few years. As you possibly can think about nevertheless, a number of of those headphones are coming with an elevated value – the one actual draw back from this push to larger high quality efficiency – however for individuals who can afford them there are a humiliation of riches to get pleasure from.

So who will win this battle? Is there even a winner available? The race to innovate and supply higher experiences is leading to among the finest headphones but. To paraphrase the tagline for the (mediocre) Aliens vs Predator movies, whoever wins… we win.

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