New Headphones Distortion-Free Claims Sennheiser

  • Smallest transducer for headphones
  • Made from scratch-resistant ceramic
  • Drivers protected from dirt

Sennheiser’s IE 800 headphones are claimed to have innovative technology and also features a modern design and high-quality materials such as the scratch-resistant ceramic housing.

The interior of the IE 800 conceals many small but innovations, says the company. The centrepiece is the company’s specially developed Extra Wide Band (XWB) driver. With a diameter of 7 mm, it is the smallest wide-band sound transducer currently available in dynamic headphones. Its functional principle guarantees distortion-free sound even at high sound pressure levels.

The miniature-sized XWB driver is also able to reproduce the entire audible frequency spectrum and beyond. This means the music is played back with crystal clarity and with absolute time precision, claims Sennheiser.

It also uses a vented magnet system. The idea is simple and was used for the first time on the HD 700 high-end headphones. The oscillating motion of the diaphragm produces an air flow in the magnet system housing that causes the diaphragm to wobble slightly. By positioning two precisely defined vent holes in the housing directly under the magnets, it can cause the air to flow in a specific direction. This minimises the wobbling motion of the diaphragm and reduces total harmonic distortion to less than 0.06 percent.

Sennheiser says it has also succeeded for the first time in solving what is known as the ‘masking effect’. This effect, which has a negative influence on overall sound quality, is due to the way in which our ears work.

“The human ear is unable to perceive low-volume frequency components of a sound if there are much louder sounds occurring in a lower frequency range at the same time," explained Axel Grell from Sennheiser. "This means, for example, that very loud low-frequency sounds will ‘mask’ very quiet sounds in the medium frequency range. This is particularly apparent in in-ear headphones. The sealing of the ear canal by the earphones normally causes resonances that result in a peak in the 7kHz to 8kHz range. This has the effect of masking the actual higher-frequency components. Precisely this problem has been overcome in the IE 800 by the use of an absorber. Sennheiser’s patented dual-chamber system absorbs the energy of the resonance, thus preventing any unwanted peaks. As a result, all frequency components – even the finest nuances – in the music material become audible.

The housing is made of scratch-resistant, skin-friendly ceramic, while the ear pads consist of skin friendly silicone. This rules out any risk of allergies or skin irritation. Sennheiser has also developed new ear adapters with an oval shape based on extensive international studies in ergonomics. According to their personal preference, users can choose from a selection of oval (SM/ML) and round (S/M/L) adapters. A protective mesh on the ear cushions protects the drivers against dirt contamination.

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