By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The headphones category was buzzing this week as several manufacturers announced new products.
SMS Audio, the audio company helmed by rapper 50 Cent, said it’s now shipping the Street by 50 active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones. Details include 40mm drivers and memory-foam ear cushions. Playtime is a reported 70 hours via the lithium-ion battery, and they can still operate even without ANC.
Brian Nohe, president of SMS Audio, spoke with TWICE a few months ago while the company was readying the headphones. He said the targeted audience for this model is a “younger, Millennial [or] Gen X-er who is certainly a business person, but they’re not wearing a polyester suit and a soup-stained tie and a briefcase.”
He also noted, “We feel like we will be competing against Beats as much as we compete against Bose.”
Astell&Kern (an iRiver brand) announced the AKR01 in-ear monitors. They have balanced armature drivers with a proprietary driver unit, stainless-steel housings, a flat cable and a variety of ear pads. Suggested retail is $199.
V-Moda unveiled its first headphones accessories: a detachable boom mic and a 12-foot coiled cable. The BoomPro mic is geared toward gamers or VoIP users; it features a bendable arm and can clip to a user’s shirt. The CoilPro cable has Kevlar reinforcement, and can reportedly withstand more than 1.2 million bends. Both are available for $30 suggested retails.
And although it didn’t happen this week, it is still worth noting: Beats by Dr. Dre announced last week it has updated its Studio headphones. The model was tuned using new digital software, and it also features lighter and stronger materials, according to the company.
SMS Audio's Street by 50 ANC headphones:
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