Holy crap, say hello to the Sennheiser IE 800 in-ear headphones. We haven't listened to them yet, but just reading about the crazy engineering behind these baby bits is making our pulse quicken.
We love Sennheiser and when we say that, we're usually talking about their relatively inexpensive cans — the stuff us regular schlubs with day jobs can afford. But it's important to remember that the reason their cheap stuff sounds so good is because of the innovative high-end products the German audio company has been crafting for decades.
So let's talk about the just one of the crazy technologies in the $US1000 in-ear buds Sennheiser just unleashed on us. Sennheiser has created what it claims is the smallest wide-band driver in the world. In other words, Sennheiser made a 7mm dynamic driver that can reproduce the entire audible frequency range. That's quite an accomplishment if it's true. Most in-ear buds use dual -balanced armature drivers which are basically two very simple transducers which work together to reproduce the entire sound frequency range. Yes, the design can be made very small, but the disadvantage is that they're prone to loss and distortion at the edges of their respective frequency ranges. Sennheiser thinks it's solved this problem altogether.
And that's just the driver. The IE 800s are designed to be smaller and lighter than most other high-quality buds. OK, so maybe none of us will ever be able to buy these badass buds, but let's just take a moment to appreciate the engineering that might one day trickle down the status quo. [Sennheiser]