The hearing health sector is filled with innovation. As a curious audiologist, I’m always pursuing the latest and best hearing technology.
Recently, I came across Sennheiser's Conversation Clear Plus and had a chance to test them myself.
This handy hearing tool offers speech enhancements to make understanding words easier.
And let’s face it, understanding speech in a crowded room is a feat even for those with normal hearing. Intrigued, I couldn't wait to dive into this review and uncover the truth about this innovation.
I put the product through the paces for over a month and even put it into a audiologist test box. Keep scrolling for my full review.
An Audiologist's Review of Sennheiser's Conversation Clear Plus
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The (Noisy) Background Scene
Picture this: You're at a lively party surrounded by friends, and amidst the boisterous chatter, and your adventurous friend captivates your friend circle, spellbinding everyone with tales of recent escapades to the Grand Canyon.
The crowd hangs onto her every word and you're excited to catch every detail. But alas, the party is in full swing, and the boisterous noise fills the air, making it quite a challenge to focus on lipreading in the dim light.
A clever joke must have been cracked because the entire room erupts with laughter and contagious smiles. But, amidst the cacophony of background noise, the punch line gets lost and now you can't help but feel a tad left out.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone—and this is where Sennheiser's Conversation Clear Plus could be a helpful tool (more on that below).
The Technology That Cuts Through the Noise
At first glance, the Sennheiser Conversation Clear may seem like your typical noisecanceling earbuds. But what sets them apart? Read on to explore the fascinating features of this device.
Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus as a Hearing Aid
The Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus—while not FDA-approved as an over-the-counter hearing aid—can be better classified as a hearable, meaning it’s more than an earbud but not a hearing aid.
Curious to learn more about its adjustment capability and applications for those with hearing loss, I tested it in a hearing aid test box.
What I found is that Conversation Clear Plus does an exceptional job reducing background noise but it isn't great at meeting specific prescriptive targets.
That shouldn't be a surprise since Conversation Clear Plus does not have an onboard hearing test or sound equalizer to match specific hearing loss profiles.
Conversation Clear Plus is a powerful tool to reduce background noise, but I can confirm that it is not intended for use as an OTC hearing aid.
Longevity is important, so here’s an overview of the product’s battery life:
- The device boasts a robust battery lasting 10 hours on a full charge. (FYI: That's twice the battery life of AirPods.)
- The charging case also holds a charge, providing an additional 27 hours of battery life.
Personally, I rarely wear this device for more than two hours at a stretch, so the battery is more than sufficient and I charge them only once a week.
Of course, if you're a power user, you might need to charge them up more frequently.
At first glance, these earbuds may seem like your typical noise-canceling headphones. However, they are designed to fit snugly in your ears, with ear fins to keep them securely in place and occluding ear tips for that immersive sound experience minus surrounding noise.
Don't get me wrong; they're not exactly the tiniest earbuds out there. If you're after discreteness, these might not be your cup of tea.
However, the compact charging case is sleek and easily slipped into a bag or purse for travel.
Bluetooth Connection Method
These earbuds connect to your iPhone or Android phone using Bluetooth, which makes it incredibly convenient for hands-free phone calls or listening to music on the go.
But, these earbuds aren't just your average audio accessory. They're on a mission to decode conversations (like that story about the Grand Canyon) in noisy places.
How? Through the magic (and science) of noise cancellation. These devices use a combination of passive sound-blocking ear tips, active environmental scanning, and beam-forming microphones to deliver optimal audio clarity and cut-out noise.
When the noise level changes around you, the devices pick up on it and adjust accordingly. You can even fine-tune the sound to your exact liking with the user-friendly Sennheiser app.
🙌 "Hearing Enhancement" Feature: A standout feature of the Conversation Clear Plus is its ability to provide hearing support with smart AI technology. While it's not intended for those with significant hearing loss, this device can be tailored to your preferences if you struggle in noisy environments.
Additionally, Sennheiser offers a user-friendly app that allows you to adjust your device's settings.
How is the call quality?
Now, let's talk about the call quality.
When using the Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus for phone calls, the sound quality for the person on the other end of the line was usually good. Although, there were times when I had to manually select the earbuds for audio routing, as they didn't always come up as the default option.
Comfort is always essential in any device you wear for an extended period. The Conversation Clear Plus is designed for long-term use, and I found it comfortable to wear for a few hours at a time.
However, as with most earbuds, I don't want to wear them all day. The earbuds come in three sizes and are made from comfortable silicone that won't hurt your ears.
Plus, they fit snugly in your ear, so there's less chance of them falling out.
Does Conversation Clear Plus Live Up to the hype?
Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag.
Let's face it, dealing with background noise can be a real challenge.
However as someone who has struggled with background noise, these earbuds helped quite a bit.
There is an adjustment period when it comes to wearing them due to the occlusion, but the sound quality became second nature in about thirty minutes.
The beam-forming directional microphones are definitely a plus. When someone was talking in front of me, I heard them crystal clear.
But if I turned my head and they were behind me, it was a different story and I couldn't hear them as well. So, it's a bit of a trade-off.
Who is the intended user?
This product is ideal for anyone who struggles in background noise but doesn't want to wear a hearing aid all day. Although this product is in the same price range as some OTC options, it surpasses them in noise reduction capabilities.
I recommend this device for people who struggle only in noisy situations and have either normal hearing or, at most, some mild hearing loss.
It's incredible how much this device can reduce background noise.
Price and Retailers
These earbuds come with a hefty price tag of around $849.95.
While they offer a decent music listening experience, they may not meet the standards of true audiophiles. The true Conversation Clear Plus selling feature is background noise management.
👉 Where to Find Them: You can find these earbuds at your local Best Buy, directly from Sennheiser's online store, or other retail locations.
Overall, I'm impressed with the Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus. It's a versatile device that offers a wide range of features and benefits.
The fact that it both provides situational background noise support and functions as a Bluetooth headset is a plus, and it's a definite plus for anyone struggling with speech understanding in noise.
The noise-canceling features, comfortable design, and long battery life make this device an excellent investment.