By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
After making its International CES debut with its first branded high-end headphones, Phiaton has added its first active noise-canceling model, the PS 300.
Brought to market by South Korea-based Cresyn, which has supplied finished audio products and components on an OEM basis for 49 years, the new PS 300 NC headphones are targeted to high-end audiophiles. They feature a patented noise-cancellation technology called Valves of Heart Sound Technology (VHST) that is said to provide deeper, richer low tones than most compact headphones.
The technology utilizes check valves that precisely control airflow in and out of the speakers. This, in combination with a rear enclosure and closed-ear design, creates an occlusive effect for superior noise reduction, according to Cresyn senior research engineer Kay Jung.
Jung explained that when the headphones are worn, the ear pads contract, exerting pressure on the front of the speakers. The VHST technology reduces the air pressure, transforming incoming noise into reversed phase signals, canceling the unwanted noise. The headphones also feature an adaptive acoustic impedance control for frequency balance and bass response. A bass control switch is located on the bottom of the headphone housing.
A rechargeable lithium-polymer battery provides up to 18 hours of listening time and an extra rechargeable battery is included, as well as a cradle charger that can also run off a USB port. A user can still listen to music, without noise-cancellation, if the battery runs out.
The headphones weigh 5 ounces and come in black with champagne trim. They include an adjustable headband, an audio cable with mute button and a portable protective carrying case.
Also included: a 6.3mm stereo gold-plated plug adapter and dual-plug tip for use with airline entertainment systems, adapter clips and an audio cable.
The PS 300 NC is available now for a $299 retail at www.phiaton.com.
Phiaton president James Balk said the company is still in negotiations for retail distribution but the headphones are expected to be available on Amazon.com in the near future, following the roadmap of the company's previous offerings, the MS 400 and MS 300 models that were on display at CES.
Other online outlets are expected to include Buy.com, Crutchfield and Newegg. Phiaton has also held discussions with D&H regarding distribution to brick-and-mortar specialists.
For now, Balk said, the company would like to limit itself to select online vendors and smaller specialty retailers to maintain a high-end identity.
Marketing head Hyo Lee said the company intends to build brand awareness by taking advantage of viral marketing through Web sites and technology blogs as well as social networking platforms such as MySpace and Facebook.
Currently Phiaton offers three other traditional headphone models, a sound-isolating earbud SKU and portable iPod/MP3 player speaker dock.
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.