By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Able Planet has unveiled a high-fidelity multimedia headset for PC gamers that is designed to protect users from hearing loss caused by extended use of headphones and high volume levels.
Able Planet's new PS500MM features patented Linx Audio technology that the company said can help to preserve hearing by allowing users to lower the volume to safer listening levels while still receiving a full and rich audio sound. Linx alters the audio signal to enhance sound quality and increases the intensity of high-frequency harmonics to improve the intelligibility of speech. It was originally developed for those with mild to severe hearing loss. All Able Planet products are based on the micro-technology.
“We designed this innovative new headset specifically with PC gamers in mind,” said Able Planet's chairman and CEO Kevin Semcken. “Gamers tend to spend significant periods of time playing online games, and such extended play of rich multimedia sounds puts a cumulative strain on the ears this can cause hearing loss and fatigue. Our technology minimizes this risk so that users no longer have to turn up the volume just to be able to drown out background noise.”
With noise-cancellation technology built directly into the microphone for improved sound clarity, the headset measures about 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches by 2 inches and weighs less than 3 ounces. The headset has oversized, extended-wear leather ear cups, an adjustable headband, a USB wireless adapter and two 3.5mm jacks. An identical version, but with a 2.5mm jack for the Xbox gaming console, will also launch in the fourth quarter.
Able Planet cited a study published last month by the European Union's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks that found that 5 percent to 10 percent of personal music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss, if they listen to a personal music player for more than one hour per day each week at high volume settings for at least five years. The EU has implemented a safety standard that restrict the noise level of headsets for personal devices to 100dB.
The PS500MM will be available in mid-December at a suggested retail of $99. The headset ships with a soft carrying pouch.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.