Headphones As Hot As Ever This Summer

By Lisa Johnston On Jul 2 2012 - 4:01am

NEW YORK — There are no lazy days for headphones manufacturers, not even in the summer.

Multiple manufacturers used this year’s Consumer Electronics Association Line Shows event to promote their new models, while others needed no such excuse to take the wraps off their latest products.

Phiaton unveiled the Moderna earphones and Bridge headphones at the Line Shows, a multi-day event held here this week.

Its Moderna earphones feature 14.3mm drivers and a genuine carbon graphite fiber body that is engineered to be lightweight and durable. They have a multi-tune acoustic design with a dual-chamber and five tuning points that are meant to optimize airflow, Phiaton said, as well as a double-shelled body that helps contain sound and minimize reverberation. Availability is scheduled for August; suggested retail is $150.

Other features include the company’s signature half in-ear design, a tangle-free oval-shaped cable with built-in mic, and a black and red leather carrying case. Frequency range is listed at 10Hz to 27kHz, with an impedance of 32 ohms and sensitivity of 100 dB at 1kHz.

The Bridge headphones, meanwhile, have 40mm drivers with a foldable design; tangle-free, cloth-wrapped cables with inline mic; and dual-chamber structure and multi-tune acoustic design. Frequency range is listed at 15Hz to 22kHz, with an impedance of 32 ohms and sensitivity of 100 dB at 1 kHz.

Pricing isn’t set yet; they will ship in November.

Coby added to its Jammerz line with the introduction of the Jammerz Gamers, models CV470 and CV480.

Both feature 40mm neodymium drivers, swiveling ear cups, and adjustable boom microphone with in-line volume control.

The CV470 ($14.99) has a 3.5mm stereo plug and microphone jack, while the CV480 ($19.99) has a vibration motion sensor and USB connector. Both have a frequency range listed at 20Hz to 20kHz with a impedance of 32 ohms and sensitivity of 108dB. They will be available this month.

Quarkie, a new manufacturer in the market, introduced its first headphones, the Dark Matter line.

The in-ear headphones feature a non-traditional design with some having snake-eye-inspired aesthetics. Seven models are available: Yellow Viper Head, Green Viper Head, Snake Eyes, Cat Eyes, Chameleon Eyes, Purple Gemstone and Rusted Bolt.

They have 13.5mm drivers with aluminum voice coils and neodymium magnets. As a result, Quarkie said, they have low distortion, wide bandwidth and enhanced transient response. Other features include in-line mic and controls, cloth-covered cables, and four sets of foam ear buds. Suggested retail is $99.99; they ship this month.

Finally, Fanny Wang, came by the TWICE offices for a sneak peek of its first ear bud model, the Wang Buds.

Tim Hickman, Fanny Wang CEO, said that although many manufacturers were focusing on in-ear models, the company wanted to reinvent the ear bud since many consumers do not like having something inserted into their ear canal. Wang Buds feature two separate drivers, one 10mm and one 14.mm. They will come in three colors at first — red, black and white — for a $79.99 suggested retail. They will ship in August.

The company is exploring the option of offering special reduced prices and/or colors for the Wang Buds on Kickstarter.com.

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