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Sennheiser’s wireless earbuds slim down in a big way with the HD1 Free

Sennheiser is announcing three new headphones today: two brand new models of wireless earbuds, and a redesigned version of what the company claims are the “finest pair of ear canal phones on the market.”

At the top of the list is the Momentum HD1 Free (seen above), a new entry in Sennheiser’s line of fashionable but good-sounding headphones. It’s a pair of neckbuds, but they aren’t attached by one of those huge plastic neck straps — there’s just a cord in between the earbuds, with small plastic pieces on either side, one of which contains playback controls and a mic.

It’s a significant slimming down since Sennheiser’s first pair of neckbuds, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless, which tried to make a neckband stylish by wrapping it in leather. Aside from looks, details are pretty limited on the new pair for now, but we know that they’ll support Bluetooth 4.2, apt-X, and AAC. They’re supposed to get six hours of battery, and they’ll come with a leather carrying case — which means these are probably going to be on the expensive side. Pricing details haven’t been announced, but Sennheiser’s bulkier neckbuds sell for $199.95.


Momentum HD1 Free case

Momentum HD1 Free case
Image: Sennheiser

There are two other nice little touches: the earbuds are magnetic and can attach to one another, so they won’t swing around while you’re not using them. Sennheiser has also put a little clip in the back, so that you can adjust the length of the cord. That should be a big help: the Beats X have this same magnetic feature, but their long cord means they reach awkwardly far down on some people’s chest.


CX 7.00BT

CX 7.00BT
Image: Sennheiser

The second pair of wireless earbuds being announced today are the CX 7.00BT. They’re more traditional neckbuds with a big black band that wraps around your neck. The highlight here is that they’re supposed to be “affordable” — Sennheiser’s CX line seems to run from about $50 to $90 — but specific pricing isn’t available yet.

Sennheiser says the CX 7.00BT will get 10 hours of battery life and can be fully recharged in 1.5 hours. It only supports Bluetooth 4.1, but it does still have apt-X for higher quality streaming. There’s a built-in mic, too. Both the CX 7.00BT and the Momentum HD1 Free will be available sometime in October.


Sennheiser IE 80 S

Sennheiser IE 80 S
Image: Sennheiser

The last of Sennhesier’s announcements today is the IE 80 S, the successor to its $359.95 noise-reducing wired earbuds, the IE 80. It’s not clear that there are any real sound improvements here — Sennheiser is only touting “enhanced fit and high-end style.” And really, they just seem to have been redesigned to look a little bit smaller and to fit in with the company’s black and red color scheme. The original had a much more industrial look.

Sennheiser’s pitch here seems to be that a better fit will lead to better sound quality, which is fair enough. Like the other headphones announced today, there’s no pricing information available, but it sounds like they’re designed to replace the existing IE 80. They’re supposed to be available sometime next month.


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