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Super earphones and hearing aid in one - the 850-euro plugs can really do that

Earphones for 850 euros? You have to trust yourself first.

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Super earphones and hearing aid in one - the 850-euro plugs can really do that

Earphones for 850 euros? You have to trust yourself first. The Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus are extremely inconspicuous and look like dozens of other earphones that are on the market - and only cost a fraction of them. We tested the earphones for a few weeks and quickly realized that the Conversation Clear Plus are unique. A comparison is of course difficult.

With this model, Sennheiser creates a new category that can simply be described as a hearing aid. It was to be expected that something like this would happen. A good year and a half ago, Sennheiser sold its consumer audio business to the Swiss hearing aid manufacturer Sonova. With this intersection, the Conversation Clear Plus are a compelling consequence. In fact, there is a Sonova chip in the Bluetooth earphones.

Despite everything, of course, the Clear Plus also do what makes Sennheiser stand out: play music in very good quality. The bass is powerful but not too powerful and the highs are clear. Overall, this is a good vote, even if the Sennheiser True Wireless Momentum 3 sound a bit more balanced. But only good ears really hear that.

However, the Clear Plus model is not intended for perfect ears. It is precisely these users that Sennheiser deserves. During setup, a smartphone app guides you through an individual hearing test in order to set the right profile for the basic setting. Because every ear is different.

Depending on the situation, the user now chooses one of three modes: Relax, Communication or Stream. Relax activates noise cancellation, where ambient noise more or less disappears. This is helpful, for example, in an open-plan office. Stream is designed for listening to music while still allowing outside noise to come through. Here the sound automatically adapts to the content, because a podcast should sound different than rock music.

However, the focus is on the communication mode, which is activated immediately when the earphones are inserted. In this mode there is an automatic situation recognition, in which the speech intelligibility is adjusted and, above all, higher frequencies are amplified. If desired, the speech volume can be increased even further, but then a noise comes into play that sounds more like trees swaying in the wind.

Last but not least, there is a "Clarity Boost" that can be switched on. This gives the user almost supernatural hearing powers. In our case, we were able to understand our counterpart in a busy canteen, even though he was whispering. The person next to us couldn't hear it. However, some ambient noises no longer sound natural. The gentle stroking of the table surface is more reminiscent of the tone of sandpaper. And the rustle of a plastic bag becomes a rather unpleasant experience.

Conclusion: Sennheiser has done a lot right with its new model, which not only users with somewhat limited hearing would like. The sound of the Conversation Clear Plus is very good, they even connect to two Bluetooth sources at the same time, so that the earphones can be used on both the smartphone and the computer. The software is clearly designed, all functions can also be activated and regulated directly on the earphones. There are push buttons and touch-sensitive control surfaces on the left and right. It takes a little getting used to the short press, long press, and double tap controls. Unfortunately, it is not possible to jump back and forth in a playlist in this way.

However, the success of the earphones in this price category does not depend solely on the technology. You also have to adapt to everyday life. For our interlocutors, it was not a normal situation to talk to someone wearing earphones. Some felt this was rude, others thought we were on a phone call.

The earplugs cannot really be ignored. The Clear Plus come with different sized silicone tips and a storage case that's a little too big for your pocket, which can charge the earbuds twice. The earbuds themselves are more enduring than almost all of the competition, lasting around nine hours.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 7 a.m. with our financial journalists. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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