By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Klipsch, Scosche, Monster and V-Moda were among the manufacturers that announced they are developing headphones with integrated controls on the earphone cord for the third-generation iPod Shuffle.
The new Shuffle, announced earlier this month, features Apple's VoiceOver feature, which can speak song titles, artists, playlist names and battery status.
The Klipsch headphones will give users the ability to play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist with the press of a button, said Klipsch.
The headphones are expected to be available this summer for $99.99. A Klipsch spokeswoman said additional details will become available in the next few weeks.
Scosche's noise-isolating Increased Dynamic Range (IDR) earphones will also enable users to play, pause, adjust volume, skip tracks, navigate playlists and hear the name of the song and artist with the press of a button.
Scosche said it is currently developing three earphone models that have an integrated control surface: the IDR350M, IDR450M and IDR650M. A miniature microphone built into the back of the control surface is designed to let users record voice memos on the latest iPod Touch, iPod Nano and iPod Classic 120GB.
The headphones are expected to be available this spring and range in price from $49.99 to $99.99.
Scosche said it is also developing an inline control adapter kit that allows consumers to use any standard set of headphones and use all of the advanced features of the third-generation iPod Shuffle. The inline control also allows users to plug their shuffle into any vehicles auxiliary input and maintain full control of the iPod, the company said.
Monster announced its intention to integrate control functions for Apple's new third-generation iPod Shuffle with VoiceOver into its headphone models.
The company said it will add on-cord control to its Beats by Dr. Dre line of high-definition headphones, its Turbine In-Ear Speakers line as well as other upcoming models.
Monster will also introduce an adapter for adding VoiceOver control to any headphone model.
“Monster's iPod products are all about helping users maximize their musical experiences,” noted Kevin Lee, marketing strategy and business development VP. “We created our entire headphone line because we truly believe that sound matters to the enjoyment of music. We're thrilled to be able to complement the new iPod Shuffle with easy-to-use control features built into our headphones so customers can enjoy the high-quality Monster audio experience they've come to expect.”
Finally, V-Moda said it is developing a line of headphones that are compatible with the new Shuffle. The Audio Volume Control (AVC) headphone line will complement the iPod Shuffle as well as the latest generation of iPods and Macbooks, which already support the in-line playback and volume control functionality, said the company.
The first AVC headphone will be available in the second quarter of 2009, while V-Moda's other AVC products, including on-ear and DJ headphones, will be launched later in the year.
There have been some questions about the ability of third parties to develop headphones for use with this Shuffle because of a proprietary chip. For more information, see www.TWICE.com. TWICE's attempt to contact Apple were not returned at press time.
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