And now there are three. Sennheiser’s popular HMEC 460 ANR and HMEC 466 headsets have been joined in the lineup by the new HMEC 461. What’s with all the numbers? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you: The previously announced HMEC 460 follows Sennheiser’s normal practice of offering an inline control module with three wires coming out of it—headphone, microphone and power. The power cord can be hard-wired into the aircraft using an XLR plug. Or the headset can run on internal batteries, two AA cells. The new HMEC 461, just introduced, does away with the XLR plug, meaning that it’s a batteries-only affair. The HMEC 466 uses a six-pin Redel connector for ship’s power, headphone and microphone connections; it is intended to be hard-wired into a specific aircraft.
All variations share basic features. Sennheiser’s NoiseGard reduces low-frequency noise “by about 90% in the cockpit”. The inline module includes volume controls, ANR on/off and a 3.5mm jack to connect an external audio source, and a 2.5mm jack to connect to your cell phone. The headsets are said to weigh 13.1 ounces (less the control module) and will run 30 hours on the two AA batteries.
The HMEC 461 is available now for an MSRP of $877. (Street prices are running $90 less.)
For more information, visit Sennheiser’s website.