Sennheiser collaborates with Fraunhofer IDMT to create the new RS 195, the first high quality wireless headphones to tackle age-related hearing loss

Press Release /

Oldenburg/Wedemark. Audio specialist Sennheiser has developed new wireless headphones with the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT. The RS 195 compensates for age-related hearing loss through personalized sound adjustments that can be adapted to each user’s preferences and individual hearing levels.

The Sennheiser RS 195 headphone with transmitter.
© Sennheiser

The wireless headphones can compensate for hearing limitations while also delivering high audio quality. The user can optimize the sound quality and speech intelligibility to reproduce every detail of their favorite TV programmes and music. To achieve this, Sennheiser worked with Fraunhofer IDMT, which has developed signal processing strategies based on hearing aid technology for use in consumer electronics. As well as providing technical expertise, researchers conducted comprehensive user studies to ensure that the RS 195 is totally geared to the needs of people with age-related hearing loss.

Better intelligibility for age-related hearing impairment

“Everyone has their own sound preferences for speech intelligibility. Individual sound adjustments therefore benefit everyone. Moreover, from the age of fifty onwards, many people begin to experience hearing loss. The transition to impaired hearing is very gradual,” explained Dr. Jan Rennies from the Project Group for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT. “Studies of participants in the 50+ group with age-related hearing loss have shown that the signal processing we have integrated significantly increases speech intelligibility.”

As well as adjusting sound quality, the headphones automatically optimize the volume and manual readjustments therefore are no longer required.

Individually adjustable sound

The RS 195 transmitter also serves as a charger and has numerous settings, so that the sound can be customized to each user’s preferences. In addition to TV noise suppression and switchable modes for speech and music, the device has seven presets options with different sound profiles. These profiles compress, accentuate or reinforce the high, mid and bass ranges, while also compensating for individual hearing loss.

“This means that the sound is not just louder, but can be adjusted to the specific needs of each user,” says Annegret Meyer, Vice President Sales Europe Hearing Care at Sennheiser Electronic GmbH and Co. KG. “Users with impaired hearing no longer have to forego the pleasure of excellent sound quality across the entire frequency range.”

Moreover, it is possible to modify the balance between the right and left stereo channels. Thanks to user controls on the headphones, both volume and presets mode for voice and music can be controlled directly by the user.

The RS 195 has been available since January 2015.