Sennheiser has unveiled its new S1 Digital headset, which it will use to challenge the dominance of Bose at the top end of the GA headset market.
Launched this week at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the German-made Sennheiser S1 Digital headset couples groundbreaking technology with visionary design. Sennheiser worked with design professionals at BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA to tweak the Digital S1’s design. DesignworksUSA specialises in design consulting for premium products in the transport and mobility sectors, with a strong focus on commercial airlines and business jets.
“Safety, excellent speech intelligibility and comfort for fatigue-free listening are our top priorities,” Jörg Buchberger, Business Segment Manager Aviation for Sennheiser, explained of the Digital S1. “We had a lot of completely new ideas for the headset which we wanted to implement together with an experienced partner. We found the perfect one in BMW Group DesignworksUSA.”
The design of the S1 Digital ensures an optimum fit and a high level of comfort. The pilot can regulate the contact pressure of the ear cushions via a small sliding control on the headband to find the optimum balance between comfort and a suitably tight fit.
Another new feature is the special comfort zone on the ear pads: the cushions are particularly soft around the area of the temple arms of glasses. “That is not only a comfort feature,” Buchberger explained. “This zone enables the headset to keep ambient noise out even better. Noise attenuation is excellent.”
In addition to the replaceable ear cushions, there are also two soft pads for the headband that avoid contact for the more sensitive central part of the head. The headband itself has an inner metal band made of spring steel that ensures a consistently good fit on different head shapes and works with a lower contact pressure than many other headsets. The special ear cup shape and the inclined axis of the headset further improve passive noise attenuation.
DesignworksUSA also paid particular attention to the headset’s control unit, which features high-contrast lettering and LEDs for night flights and is said to be ergonomically sound. The control unit features separate volume controls for each ear.
There are controls for the volume (separate for each ear), NoiseGard on/off, mono/stereo operation, muting on/off and all Bluetooth transmission functions. The unit offers wireless connection to mobile phones and an audio source via Bluetooth. It also has two AA batteries to power the electronics of the fully adaptive NoiseGard digital noise cancellation system, which can also alternatively be powered by the on-board power network.
“We have created a powerful, dynamic design that emphasises performance, reliability and technical innovation of this headset,” BMW Group DesignworksUSA President Laurenz Schaffer concluded.
The S1 Digital headset comes with a carrying case, belt clip, windshield, cable clip and a user’s manual and is available locally through Syntec International.
For complete technical data on the S1 Digital click here. While it's yet to be confirmed, the RRP for the S1 Digital is at this stage expected to be AU$1299.
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