Wings Magazine

Sennheiser introduces revolutionary headset

July 25, 2011, Oshkosh, Wis. - At EAA Air Venture Oshkosh, audio specialist Sennheiser is presenting the S1 Digital, an innovative aviation headset with fully adaptive digital noise cancellation.

July 25, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

NoiseGard™ / digital noise canceling technology accurately analyzes the surrounding situation at the push of a button to achieve uniquely superior results in noise cancellation. The premium headset features high wearing comfort – with adjustable contact pressure for the ear cups and a special comfort zone for glasses –, as well as a Bluetooth interface and clear voice transmission with a user customizable treble boost function. The headset is rounded off by a stylish design by BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

NoiseGard™ / digital adaptive noise canceling technology
“The new Sennheiser S1 Digital is in the truest sense a quiet revolution in the General Aviation Headsets product segment. It is a pilot’s headset with fully adaptive digital noise cancellation and many user customizable features,” explained David Dunlap, Director Sennheiser Aviation. For the pilots, this means that the headset no longer uses fixed filters and assumed values like conventional ANR systems but can continuously be optimized for changing noise conditions, for example during take-off and when cruising altitude has been reached. In this way, the S1 Digital offers optimum protection for the pilot’s hearing.

By pressing the Smart Update button integrated into the ear cup, the adaptive NoiseGard™ / digital circuitry measures the spectrum and intensity of surrounding noises and applies individual filters that are perfectly adapted to the situation. “At the core of the new noise canceling technology is a particularly powerful digital signal processor,” explained Jörg Buchberger, Business Segment Manager Aviation. “This processor generates a filter algorithm that specifically reduces the dominant
noise proportions.” Fully adaptive noise cancellation is additionally supported noise proportions.” Fully adaptive noise cancellation is additionally supported by excellent passive noise attenuation.

Safe and reliable communication
The new S1 Digital was specially developed for use in single-engine and twin-engine propeller planes and helicopters. Its high speech intelligibility optimizes communication in the cockpit and with air traffic control (ATC). As a person’s perception of higher frequencies begins to diminish in their mid-thirties, the S1 Digital has a three-stage treble boost that is separately adjustable for each side and which focuses on speech. In addition, pilots can adapt the sound pressure level individually to their own hearing ability. As in all Sennheiser headsets, the Peak Level Protection feature reliably protects the pilot’s hearing against volume peaks above 110 dB. The boom microphone also helps to ensure clear intelligibility. It compensates for surrounding noise and guarantees clear speech transmission with a frequency response of 100 to 10,000 Hz.


Audio quality and operating comfort
The name Sennheiser has been synonymous with top-quality audio for more than 65 years. And the S1 Digital is no exception. It not only offers the best sound quality for cockpit communication, it also offers superior sound when used for listening to music. The headphones have a frequency response of 20 to 16,000 Hz. Using a Bluetooth interface on the control unit, the headset can be connected for example to an MP3 player, a computer or a mobile phone. “To bring out the best from the different audio sources, the headset has two separate audio mixers for communication and music,” said Jörg Buchberger. “The ATC signal and mobile phone are reproduced with a narrower band for high speech intelligibility, whereas music is played with a broader bandwidth to provide an excellent sound experience during the flight.”

External devices are conveniently controlled via an intuitive interface. If the mobile phone rings, the music is interrupted, an LED on the control unit flashes and the pilot is given an additional audio signal in the headphones. Calls are taken simply by pushing a button. The ATC signal is always given priority. If Bluetooth and NoiseGard™ / digital are used simultaneously, the headset has an operating period of more than 25 hours.

The design of the headset was developed by Sennheiser in cooperation with BMW Group DesignworksUSA. Special emphasis was placed on functional details that positively influence the flying experience. A completely new feature is the headset’s individually adjustable contact pressure. “Pilots can now adjust the contact pressure of the ear cups in three stages between five and seven newtons. This enables them to find the perfect balance between a comfortable fit and optimum passive noise attenuation,” explained Jörg Buchberger. Also new are the ear cushions with a soft, flexible zone for the temple arms of glasses to provide extra comfort when wearing (sun) glasses. The design is rounded off by the attractive shape of the headband and ear cups that is reminiscent of the sweep of a wing.

The S1 Digital headset comes complete with a carrying case, a belt clip, a windshield, a cable clip, a user’s manual and a quick-reference guide, and will be delivered to Sennheiser’s worldwide sales partners beginning in July.


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