Sennheiser at CES 2023 – I can hear clearly now with Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus (AV)

Sennheiser at CES 2023 knows all too well that with our aging population comes hearing impairment. It is also aware that more than 1 billion young people are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

Its new owner Sonova specialises in hearing care, so expect to see more Sennheiser-assisted listening and ‘hear safely’ products. You see, the solution to better hearing is not to turn up the volume (that causes more damage) but to analyse and reinforce the frequencies you have trouble with.

Sonova makes well-respected hearing aid brands Phonak and Unitron and Advanced Bionics Cochlear implants. It has two focuses for Sennheiser. First, to enhance its reputation for no-compromise audiophile-grade music. Second, to ensure it has products that combine that with better, safer hearing. Read Sennheiser TV Clear – crystal clear TV sound for the hearing impaired and Sennheiser Assistive Listening wireless TV headphones.

Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus

Simply put, these earbuds feature advanced speech enhancement technology to help you hear better in noisy environments.

Sonova technology (Sennheiser Automatic Scene Detection) analyses the noise level of a user’s environment and matches the speech enhancement level to their surroundings. It works with Active Noise Cancellation to block distracting noise and improve speech clarity. They also feature Ambient Aware when you need to connect with the outside environment.

The good thing is that this is off-the-shelf and does not require an audiologist to test, program and fit them. You can control all enhancements via the App. It has three pre-sets

  • Relax listening scenario lets you customise the amount of background noise you want to block
  • Communication automatically adjusts settings for the best performance and clarity during conversations
  • Streaming automatically adjusts settings for the best performance and clarity while streaming audio content. This mode raises the bass and treble frequencies (not volume) without overpowering the clear voice frequencies.

Battery life is nine hours with another three charges in the case. They are available in Australia from March 2023 at $1399.95.

CyberShack’s view – hearing impairment is a hidden, isolating problem.

As a sexagenarian, I know all too well how many friends have become virtual recluses because they can no longer enjoy conversations with friends. The ‘stigma’ and, to an extent, the several thousand dollar cost of good hearing aids means that they avoid audiologists and the right cure until it is too late.

The Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus are not hearing aids. They are the next best thing, off-the-shelf, at a fraction of the price and should suit moderate levels of impairment. But, if they don’t work as expected, you need to see an audiologist.

I like the convergence of in-ear buds and hearing reinforcement as they should be much more useful in listening to your partner, hearing phone and teleconferences and improving quality of life.

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