Sennheiser’s new earphones — no wires and no compression

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Sennheiser’s new MX W1 wireless headphones with independent left and right earpieces don’t compress the audio when transmitting the signal, so there’s no loss of sound quality. They are available nationally now at RRP $749.

These headphones, which won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s EISA Award for Best Product 2008-2009, incorporate the left and right independent earpieces and a wireless transmitter. The system also includes a transport case with an integrated battery that can recharge the earphones.

They also have Sennheiser’s ‘twist-to-fit’ system that keeps earphones securely and comfortably in your ear, according to the company.

While wireless headphones are not new, Sennheiser is claiming a coup with its no compression transmission technology that it developed in partnership with a company called Kleer.

“In Kleer we’ve found the ideal technology partner for our MX W1 wireless earphones”, said Sennheiser Consumer Electronics GmbH, Singapore branch managing director, Stijn Jans.

“Kleer’s digital radio transmission technology produces excellent sound quality, which means that for the first time we are in a position to offer our customers wireless earphones without compromising our special Sennheiser sound.”

The system is designed to be very portable, but also future proofed to be compatible with any MP3 players with Kleer technology.

“The transmitter is only the size of a matchbox and transmits CD quality music”, said Sennheiser product manager, Sven Wilhelmsen.

“The transmitter makes conventional audio equipment radio-compatible. However, this detour will soon no longer be necessary, because Kleer products are fully compatible with one another. For example, an MP3 player with Kleer technology can transmit straight to our earphones.”

Sennheiser’s Sales and Marketing Manager Australia and New Zealand, Wayne Farran, said that because there were no such Kleer-compatible devices in Australia, this functionality has not been tested here. He also said that because the transmitter is transmitting on a radio signal, as opposed to Bluetooth, not only is the audio quality is superior but the Kleer technology also allows one MP3 player to ‘broadcast’ to others in range who are also using MX W1 earpieces.

Sennheiser says that the Kleer technology also reduces drain on the batteries, in turn allowing them to be smaller and lighter.

“With Kleer, the audio signal’s latency is very low and transmission extremely interference-free”, said Wilhelmsen. “These advantages all mean that battery life is considerably longer than you would get with conventional transmission standards.”

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