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Sennheiser unveils $3,000 glass-covered headphones for hardcore audiophiles

JP Mangalindan
Chief Tech Correspondent
The Sennheiser HD 820 arrives this summer, retailing for $3,000. Source: Sennheiser

Sennheiser announced on Monday at CES 2018 its priciest headphones yet — a pair of $3,000 glass-covered portable headphones aimed at the hardcore audiophile.

Arriving this summer, the HD 820, is a pair of wired $3,000 headphones that go over your ears and according to Sennheiser, serve up “astonishingly transparent sound” that sets a “new benchmark in sound quality.” That’s thanks to a set of glass covers, on the left and right headphone cups that help keep unwanted sound vibrations to a minimum.  

“Usually, high-end headphones require an open-back design, which has placed limits on where you can enjoy true audiophile sound,” said Axel Grell, portfolio management consumer at Sennheiser. “The HD 820 is a game changer that delivers exceptional sound while insulating the listener from their environment.”

Only time will tell whether the headphones are built to last. But the glass covers are made with Gorilla glass, the same type of scratch- and shatter-resistant glass found in many smartphones, tablets and laptops. According to Gorilla glass maker Corning, its glass can withstand drops of up to five feet or so, up to 80% of the time.

As for whether the HD 820 merit that price tag and such bold claims, we’ll report back once we’re able to get some hands-on time with them later this week.

Sennheiser’s CX 6.00BT ships later this January. Source: Sennheiser

On the other end of the spectrum, the German audio company also unveiled the CX 6.00BT. Launching later this month for $100, these Bluetooth headphones go in your ears and hang around your neck much like the BeatsX, which cost $50 more. They also let you control music and calls with a three-button remote.

“We have created the CX 6.00BT to deliver everything you need to enjoy excellent sound on the go,” said Nan Chen, a Sennheiser product manager.

To that end, Sennheiser promises that the CX 6.00BT will provide clear, detailed audio with solid oomph in the bass department. And for those who like watching YouTube videos and Netflix movies on their phones, tablets or laptops, Sennheiser also claims there won’t be any weird audio lag issues while using the CX 6.00BT — an issue that plagues some older, cheaper headphones from different audio makers.

The CX 6.00BT should last about six hours in-between charges, which is just about average for headphones of this kind. But at least Sennheiser promises charging them should be a fast affair: charging them via USB, for instance, gets you two hours of juice in just 10 minutes.

JP Mangalindan is the Chief Tech Correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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