If dashing up a couple flights of stairs leaves you gasping for air and your heart pounding in your ears, Sennheiser’s new Sport True Wireless earbuds might be just the headphones you’ve been looking for. They can be customised to focus on your music or your surroundings, but uniquely also have the ability to tune out the sounds of your body.
There are currently two schools of thought when it comes to wireless earbuds. Options like the Apple AirPods Pro are designed to create a tight seal in the ear, which when paired with active noise cancellation technologies, allows the wearer to (mostly) tune out the world and focus on what they’re listening to. The other approach is what Sony has done with its new LinkBuds earbuds, which were designed with a physical hole that allows outside sounds to easily reach the ear. They boost awareness while outside, and allow users to easily converse with others without removing them. For its Sport True Wireless earbuds, Sennheiser appears to have embraced both approaches, plus added in a little something extra.
The seven-millimetre drivers inside the Sport True Wireless won’t blow users’ ears away (even the $US99 ($137) Nothing ear (1) earbuds feature emphatic 11-millimetre drivers), but Sennheiser does include six pairs of silicone adapters with the earbuds: three different sizes featuring a closed design that blocks external sounds — perfect for a noisy gym — and three size options with an open design that allows some external sounds through — ideal for use while users are out running and want to be aware of traffic and other people around them.
The Sport True Wireless earbuds also features advanced adjustable EQ settings, accessible through an app, that do more than just let users turn up the bass. With the open ear adapters installed, users can actually tune the headphones so that the sounds of their footsteps or heartbeat are less prominent, while other ambient noises are boosted, for those fortunate enough to have a running routine that takes them through a peaceful nature setting. Otherwise, the feature may be less appealing when it’s boosting the sounds of sirens or taxi drivers screaming at each other.
Battery life is claimed to be up to nine hours on a single charge, with the earbuds’ charging case adding an additional 18 hours to that. The Sport True Wireless earbuds are also IP54 rated, which means that while they can shrug off dust and the occasional splash, it’s still a good idea to keep them from falling into the dirt or a puddle. But the best feature might be their $US130 ($180) price tag, with pre-orders available now through the Sennheiser website.