Before we get into this review, you can view our testing process guidelines by heading here. It outlines how we test the headphones, and what we typically look for.

The Specifics

Who: Sennheiser.

The product: Ambeo Smart Headset - available in all-black (from the Apple Store only) and all-white.

What comes in the packaging: Ambeo Smart Headset, ear adaptor set (S, M, L), carry case, and a quick start guide.

What are they selling us: "The Ambeo Smart Headset is the world’s first intuitive, compact, and mobile 3D sound recording headset. Its earpieces are fitted with omnidirectional microphones that capture the sounds in your environment just like your ears would. This makes the Ambeo Smart Headset the ideal new tool for vloggers and other content creators, who want to dazzle their audience with audio just as immersive as their pictures. Especially because the resulting 3D recordings can be enjoyed through any pair of stereo headphones and make you feel like you are actually there listening live. Using Apogee’s proprietary PureDigital technology, the Ambeo Smart Headset integrates seamlessly with Apple iOS devices – and, of course, it delivers high-quality Sennheiser sound."

Things We Liked

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset

I was half-expecting the Ambeo Smart Headset to be all gimmick and a serious lack of audio power, but thankfully Sennheiser have made sure the heart of the product is solid. You get a very even soundstage for your money, with a nice amount of bass. But if it's not to your liking out of the box, then the Ambeo Smart Headset app allows you to tweak the EQ, which is a nice touch.

The active noise cancellation is well above what I was expecting, but it's the situational awareness and speech enhancement that really wins out. Called 'Transparent Hearing', you can toggle through 3 different levels: Natural, which does what you'd expect it, Amplify, which essentially boosts people's voices, and Reduce, which does the opposite. And we're not talking about the music you're listening to by the way, but the people around you. Noise Cancellation is great when you wanna really lose yourself in your favourite album, but not so much when you need to be aware of your surroundings, like when you're out running. The way the Ambeo Smart Headset blends audio is really quite impressive.

So we've figured out that these headphones do a pretty great job at being headphones, but what about the thing that you're here for - the binaural recording? Well, it's addictive. Using two microphones (one on each earbud), you can create incredibly rich, 3D recordings - something that needs to be experienced. So hell, here's a video for you to check out (put headphones on):

The promotional bumpf mentions "vloggers" as a target for binaural recording, and it's hard to disagree with that statement, especially for vloggers creating travel videos. You really get a sense of depth with recordings made using the Ambeo Smart Headset - something that would really benefit anyone looking to capture the atmosphere of a place.

Things We Didn't Like

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset

There's not a lot that I disliked about this product, apart from the design, which doesn't seem to match the premium nature of the functionality. It's not so much the Powerbeats-esque loop design, but more the finish. It does look nicer in all-black - which you can pick up from Apple stores - but it still feels like a bit dated. And speaking of Apple, these headphones are iOS only, as they draw power from the Lightning connector - this means you're restricted to iPhones (all the way back to the iPhone 5), iPads (back to the iPad mini 2), and the iPod touch (6th generation). So if you're an Android-head, you're out of luck.

Is It Worth The Money?

If you're looking to get into binaural recording, and at the same time looking for a good set of headphones, then the answer is yes (assuming you have an up-to-date Apple product). You get an impressive amount of recording tech packed into a small unit, while also getting a solid pair of headphones. The issue Sennheiser might have on their hands is that without the fallback of being an audiophile-level pair of headphones - which you might expect if you spent a penny short of £260 - then making the jump might seem like a risk. Here's hoping that enough people do just that.

You can purchase an Ambeo Smart Headset by heading here. It retails for £259.99.