Enhancing Conversations: Sennheiser’s Solution to the Cocktail Party Effect

sennheiser conversation clear plus
March 15, 2024

Human hearing is a fascinating construct. It perceives acoustic signals and forwards them immediately to the brain for processing—it is even able to extract individual sound sources from a mixture of competing ambient noise. 

The ability to extract individual sound sources from a mixture of competing ambient noise is known as the “cocktail party effect”, is also called selective hearing: people are able to specifically follow a conversation even when others around them are talking at a similar volume.

sennheiser cocktail party effect

Many people can no longer hear selectively

What at first sounds like a given, is actually quite challenging for a lot of people; it is difficult to understand the other person next to the humming coffee machine, dialogues in films and series seem to be swallowed up by the sound effects, and conversations in larger groups only work with the utmost concentration. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “hidden hearing loss” and makes it difficult to follow conversations in loud environments, yet the impairment cannot be detected during a standard hearing evaluation.

Navigating the auditory challenges posed by noisy environments can often feel like an uphill battle for individuals grappling with hearing issues. The frustration of repeatedly asking others to repeat themselves can chip away at one’s confidence, leading to a sense of embarrassment and inadequacy. Moreover, the strain of trying to decipher speech amidst a cacophony of background noise can be mentally exhausting, leaving individuals feeling drained and disheartened.

This struggle to stay engaged in conversations and social interactions can foster a sense of isolation and disconnect, exacerbating feelings of loneliness and alienation.

Addressing the Noise Problem

Sennheiser, a leading audio technology brand specializing in the capture and reproduction of studio-grade audio for nearly 80 years, has studied the topic extensively to understand exactly what the problems of affected people are, and how technology can offer effective solutions.

The result is a special earphone focuses on conversations with other people while doing all of the other things a consumer expects from a listening device—and the name could not be more fitting: Conversation Clear Plus.

sennheiser conversation clear plus

Better speech intelligibility in noisy environments

The completely wireless Conversation Clear Plus has cutting edge digital signal processing (DSP) to constantly analyze the wearer’s environmental noise and drastically reduce it–all while enhancing the dialogue happening right in front of the user.

The directional, beam-forming microphones focus on speech, and when combined with that advanced DSP and active noise cancellation, lift conversations out of the din in real time. A clearly perceptible contrast is created in the ear between relevant and irrelevant noise sources, making it effortless to follow a conversation.

On a technological level, the compact earphones—which are a sleek and ergonomic earbud, help bridge the gap back to good selective hearing.

In addition to a battery life of nine hours, which is extended to up to 27 hours using the pocketable carrying case, Conversation Clear Plus features a noticeably ergonomic design that promotes long-lasting wearing comfort. Depending on their needs, users can choose between different modes and find the sound experience that best suits them; talking to friends, watching a movie with the family, or talking on the phone with their grandchildren.

The voice quality experiences a significant improvement in virtually every situation.

Earbuds for a better quality of life

With Conversation Clear Plus those with hidden hearing loss can finally enjoy time with friends and family without any worries and have good conversations.

Demonstrably better voice quality

“The Sennheiser Conversation Clear Plus supports the dynamic lifestyle of our users: it offers them the opportunity to easily follow conversations even in noisy environments,” commented Clara Beck, Directory of Category Management Hearing. 

“An independent study has shown that 95% of users experience a significant improvement in voice quality when using the product*.”

*Conversation Clear Plus Performance Study, FORCE Technology, 2022

Easy to set up and operate via app

Thanks to the step-by-step instructions in the Conversation Clear Plus app, setting up and using the earphones is incredibly easy.

Three distinct listening modes simplify customizing the sound experience. For instance, in “relax mode,” users can determine the amount of background noise they prefer to hear. Additionally, “Communication” and “Streaming” modes automatically optimize speech clarity for personal conversations, phone calls, or video watching.

sennheiser conversation clear plus app

The devices are compatible with both Android and iOS devices, including tablets, for setup and/or operation. Users can adjust all features using straightforward tap gestures, allowing them to keep their phone in their pocket and fully immerse themselves in the moment.

The devices work with Android and iOS devices—even tablets, for setup and/or operation. You can also adjust all of the features with simple tap gestures so you can leave your phone in your pocket and just enjoy the moment

With Conversation Clear Plus, enjoying clear, personalized sound has never been easier.


About the Sennheiser brand

We live audio. We breathe audio. Always and anytime. It is this passion that drives us to develop audio solutions for our customers that make a difference. Shaping the future of the audio world and creating unique sound experiences – this is what the Sennheiser brand has stood for for more than 75 years. While professional audio solutions such as microphones, conference systems, streaming technologies and monitoring systems are part of the business of Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG, the business with consumer electronics products such as headphones, sound bars and voice-optimized hearables is carried out by Sonova Holding AG under license operated by Sennheiser.


Source: Sennheiser

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