By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Headphones of all shapes, sizes and varieties were recently introduced, with models created for both the land-dwelling and water-dwelling music listener, as well as those who prefer to remain tethered and those who wish to listen to their music unencumbered by wires.
JVC introduced a high-end model to its line of in-ear headphones. The HA-FX300 features an aluminum evaporation diaphragm, an internal dual-metal structure and aluminum housing.
The aluminum evaporation diaphragm used in the HA-FX300 reproduces high-frequency detail more accurately than conventional cellulose or polymer-based diaphragm designs, said JVC. The headphones feature the company's Bi-METAL structure — the drive unit is housed in a stainless-steel base wrapped in a high-specific-gravity brass ring to eliminate vibration and energy loss.
It also features aluminum housings, designed to reduce resonance, and the use of OFC (oxygen-free copper) to minimize transmission loss in the 1.0 meter friction noise-reduction cord.
The HA-FX300 comes with an iPhone-compatible plug, three different-sized silicon rubber earpieces, memory-foam earpieces and a carrying case. It's offered in red, black and bronze for a $99.95 suggested retail.
San Diego-based H2O Audio began shipping its H3 waterproof headphones with third-generation speaker technology. The technology features 10dB great sound output than the original H2O Audio underwater headphones, improved bass response and improved sound out of water.
The neck band is adjustable, and the convertible headphone design allows users to detach the sport band for use as everyday ear buds. It also features a reactive coiled cable that moves with the user during use, said the company, and eliminates cord tangles.
The H3 have a $49.99 suggested retail.
Mad Catz Interactive announced the AirDrives and AirDrives for Kids interactive earphones. The earphones are based on the company's InAir personal audio technology.
The water-resistant AirDrives are designed with an outer-ear design that makes use of directional sound, reportedly enabling users to remain alert and socially engaged while providing a distinctive listening experience, said Mad Catz. The patent-pending technology is designed with sound quality, overall comfort and long-term ear health in mind.
AirDrives have a $99.99 suggested retail, and $69.99 for AirDrives for Kids have a $69.99 suggested retail. They are currently shipping.
The Earpollution D-33 noise-isolating ear buds from iFrogz come with three different-sized ear fits and a travel case. They are offered in green, orange, pink and yellow/black, and feature an output sensitivity of 112 db +/- 3 db at 1 KHz, as well as a 10mm driver for "rich clean bass and sound," said the company.
The D-33 retail for a suggested $29.99.
CTA Digital introduced the Jellybean ear buds. The 3.5mm plugs are designed to be lightweight and feature stereo sound technology and an extra long cord. They comes in four colors — blueberry, red strawberry, snow white and black licorice — and have a $9.99 suggested retail for a four-pack.
Four sets of headphones debuted from Scosche. The HPNC noise-canceling headphones are deisgned to eliminate noise "for best possible sound quality," said the company. They retail for a suggested $79.99.
The IUHP6 hi-fi ear buds ($39.99) feature three comfort-molded sizes, a full range of acoustic reproduction, a "non-tangling" 4-foot shielded audio cable, and a frequency range of 18Hz to 20Hz.
The IUHP3 sport headphones ($19.99) come with the "non-tangling" cord, measuring 3 feet and 5 inches, and are designed to be worn over the ear or under the ear when wearing glasses. They offer a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz, a maximum input power of 30 mW and a impedance of 16 ohms.
Scosche also introduced the IUHP2 ear bud headphones, which retail for a suggested $14.99. They are designed to support all audio players with a 3.5mm headphone jack. All models are currently available.
For the Bluetooth-loving crowd, iLuv introduced three different varieties, all of which enable users to listen to music wirelessly, as well as answer or make calls wirelessly. All three also come with integrated remote-control functions.
The i222 noise-cancellation Back Phone headset features embedded DSP for noise and echo cancellation, 300 hours of standby time, a communication range of 33 feet and continuous listening time of eight hours. Retailing for a suggested $149, the i222 come with a wireless stereo behind-the-neck headset, wireless audio transmitter, USB power adapter and spare ear cushion. It is currently available.
The i202 stereo ear clip headphones feature a swivel and ear-clip design. Standby time is 200 hours, with continuous listening time and continuous talktime up to 14 hours. Currently available for a $129 suggested retail, it comes with tje wireless stereo ear-clip headset, wireless audio transmitter, USB power adapter and USB cable.
Finally from iLuv, the i903 noise-cancelling headset with Bluetooth features "highly effective noise-canceling circuitry," said the company. Audio devices without Bluetooth can connect to the i903 by using the included wireless audio transmitter. The continuous listening time is eight hours, while the continuous talktime is nine hours. The communication rangs stands at 33 feet. For $199, the i903 comes with the wireless noise-canceling headphones, wireless audio transmitter, USB power adapter, USB cable, mini-USB-to-3.5mm cable, dual-prong plug adapter and a carrying pouch. It is currently available.
Late last month, iSkin announced the release of its Cerulean F1+TX stereo Bluetooth 2.0 audio accessory for the iPod. The F1 and TX were previously sold separately, but they are now bundled together and designed to work with the latest iPod models (video-capable Nano, Touch and Classic) and the iPhone.
The Cerulean F1 combines a stereo Bluetooth earphone with a mono mobile headset, and it pairs with a TX-equipped iPod and can be simultaneously connected to a supported mobile phone —automatically switching to headset mode upon incoming phone calls and resuming music playback when done, said the company. Controls that allow the user to adjust volume, cycle through tracks and pause playback are included.
The F1+TX has a $189 suggested retail and is currently available.
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