Sennheiser Flex 5000

SUMMARY: This is a transmitter and receiver set from Sennheiser that uses digital wireless technology to turn your wired headphones into a wireless TV listening system. It has a Speech Intelligibility feature that reduces background noise, making it easier to understand what is being said during TV shows and movies.

PROS: Easy to set up, easy to use, allows freedom of movement so you can still listen to a show or music when you leave the room that has the transmitter.

CONS: Some find the earbuds that come with this system to be uncomfortable. So if you don’t already have a good quality, comfortable set of headphones, you may have the additional cost of getting better headphones.

Design

The Flex 5000 was introduced in the spring of 2017, so it is one of the latest TV listening systems that Sennheiser has put out. The design is a little different than previous models of listening systems aimed at the hearing impaired to improve the TV watching experience. The Flex 5000 is focusing more on using wireless technology and trying to make the system more comfortable to use. The basic design is a transmitter that plugs into your TV and a small, lightweight, wireless receiver that you attach to your headphones, this allows you to move around easily while using the system.

The transmitter is a long, rectangle shape and the bottom of the transmitter has a docking station that you will use to charge the receiver. When you are ready to use it, you just plug your headphones into the 3.5 mm jack on the small receiver and turn it on. The receiver has a clip on the back side that you can use to attach to your clothes or you can place it beside or into a pocket.

Sound Quality

The best thing about this new design is the improvement in sound quality compared to previous models. The Flex 5000 has clearer sound and clearer speech than older designs due to the speech intelligibility enhancement button on the receiver that will automatically reduce background noise and and improve speech.  This feature is especially effective when dialogue is being drowned out by background noise.

Comfort

The only downside to the Flex 5000 appears to be the MX 475 in ear style earphones that come with the system aren’t comfortable for everyone. They are fine for many users, but if you don’t like the in ear style you can use other headphones that are more comfortable for you. Most users find the small, lightweight receiver (weighs approx approx. 33g) to be very comfortable and easy to attach to clothes or put into a pocket. The receiver is also great because it has volume control and the button for better speech intelligibility, that is easy to access and to adjust on the receiver.

Battery Life

The Flex 5000 uses an integrated rechargeable battery. The battery life is about 12 hours per charge and it takes around 3 hours for it to charge fully. If you forget to charge it, you can do a fast charge where 30 minutes of charging will give you 2 hours of operating time.

Features

There are a lot of key features to the Flex 5000 TV listening system. First the ability to turn your headphones into a wireless TV system that you can adjust through the small receiver is one of the most notable things about this device.

The sound technology that is used, including the different profiles for TV, movies or music, and the Speech Intelligibility function are tremendously beneficial for users with hearing loss, allowing you to customize the sound to what works best for you.  

It also has volume and balance controls, and a LED light to display battery status so you always know when you need to recharge.

Finally the wireless range is a whopping 70 meters, so you will never miss any dialogue if you have to leave the room.

Value

Realistically, if you have hearing loss and need a solution to hearing your TV properly you are looking at spending between $100 and $300 for a good quality system that will do the job and last for a number of years. The Flex 5000 costs approximately $200, so it falls right into the midpoint of price options. I think this is a fair price for this type of system and for the quality you are going to get from a top brand name like Sennheiser. The only issue that may come up if you don’t already have a good pair of headphones and you don’t like the earphones that come with the set, is that you may have to invest a bit more money into new headphones. That will obviously end up pushing the price up a bit.

Set up and ease of use

The Flex 5000 comes with the transmitter and a small receiver that you plug the headphones into. This system also comes with a 3.5mm aux cable, a digital optical cable, a pair of MX 475 Sennheiser earbuds, the power adapter, a quick start guide and the instruction manual. The box also contains power adapters for Europe, the U.K., and Australia.

The setup is very easy, all you have to do is take the transmitter out of the box, plug it into a wall socket and plug the right cables into your system, (check your quick start guide for the instructions that work for your TV set up).  Once the receiver is charged, all you need to do is plug your headphones into the receiver, select the on button then you should start hearing the new and improved sound from your TV being transmitted into the headphones.

Warranty 

The Flex 5000 comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts and labor .

Overall

The Flex 5000 is a great new addition to TV listening systems that can help individuals with hearing loss hear the TV and music more clearly. It is easy to setup, has much better sound and technology than older models of listening systems, and it is compatible with almost any TV setup going.