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Record 3D Audio with Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Surround Earphones

Sennheiser has really done it this time. Somehow, the company has managed to squeeze the ability to record and play back live 3D audio into a pair of stylish but unassuming earphones. All you'll need is the earphones and a smartphone with a Lightning or USB Type-C connector.

Set to launch sometime in the second half of 2017, the Ambeo Smart Surrounds (for a yet to be disclosed price) are Sennheiser's first commercial product featuring the company's 3D-audio-capturing technology.

Key Specs:

  • The Ambeo Smart Surround earphone can record and playback binaural audio using your iPhone or iDevice.
  • The Smart Surrounds' earhooks hide two high-quality microphones. 
  • 3D audio files recorded on the Smart Surrounds can be listened to with any pair of stereo headphones.
  • The audio created with the Smart Surrounds deliver a more immersive sound.

MORE: Best Headphones and Earbuds for Enjoying Music

Why Should You Care:

The Ambeo Smart Surround earphones let anyone with a compatible smartphone and a creative streak to make their own videos with immersive binaural audio.

First Impressions:

While I'm usually not a fan of earbuds, the Ambeo Smart Surrounds fit comfortably in my ear. During a quick demo, I got to listen to the earphones' handy work in a range of situations, including fireworks in Las Vegas and a street beatboxer in London. As the accompanying videos played, I could clearly hear changes when the people recording the video turned their heads toward or away from the main audio sources. It's an impressive feat for such a small pair of earphones.


With virtual, augmented and mixed reality on the rise, I've seen a lot of attention put into the visuals, but not the audio. That started to change with the Ambeo Smart Audio earphones. Now mainstream audience can start making their own immersive content, which can only help the emerging immersive audio industry.

These might look like your run-of-the-mill earphones, but Sennheiser's Ambeo Smart Surrounds are anything but. Packing a pair of high-quality microphones in each earhook, the earphones are capable of capturing 3D audio that can be listened to with the Sennheisers or with any pair of stereo headphones.

It's the company's first consumer product featuring this highly innovative technology. The audio recorded with the Smart Surrounds is full, detailed and incredibly immersive.

For more innovations in audio and the tech world at large, stay tuned to Tom's Guide.

Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.