San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
A backlash of sorts to the era of compressed digital audio was evident at International CES as more headphones manufacturers showed high-end models in an attempt to restore fidelity in the age of portability.
The roster included the the first headphones offered by speaker supplier Klipsch (see story, below).
Sennheiser introduced two lower-priced cordless headphones at CES called the RS 110 and RS 120 wireless open dynamic stereo headphones, which offer a new look and new technology.
Both gray-black, lightweight units offer "superb" sound quality of 22-19, 500Hz response, with total harmonic distortion held to 0.7 percent, unexpected in lower-priced models, said the Old Lyme, Conn.-based company.
The Double Agent headphones from Skull candy enable headphone wearers to carry their music with them.
The wireless headphones feature an SD card slot, so music lovers can listen to their collection without an iPod or MP3 player. The Double Agents come in three colors: yellow/white, brown/orange and black matte.
They will be available June 1 for a $79.95 suggested retail. They will come preloaded with songs, according to the company.
Panasonic has introduced a trio of noise-canceling headphones that negate sound waves to dramatically reduce extraneous background, primarily low-frequency sound, helping to make life easier on the ear. The noise-canceling function can also be switched off when the user wants to converse or listen to external sound.
Panasonic's noise-canceling headphones come in three configurations — an ear bud, open air-type and monitor style.
JBL is partnering with Roxy, a brand of Quiksilver, to create hip, portable audio products and accessories, starting with co-branded headphones in fashion colors.
JBL, which is expanding its role in portable audio and accessories, said the new headphones will launch during the second quarter of 2009. No details were offered on new JBL/Roxy portable products.
Sony unveiled a full slate of 20 new headphones including a redesigned flagship reference ear bud model, a lighter-weight active noise-canceling SKU, its first children's model and an Active Style line of non-slip silicone rubber headphones for sports enthusiasts.
Ultrasone introduced its Edition 8 headphones last month. These high-end, closed-back headphones feature the company’s S-Logic Plus technology, which is designed to provide “an impartial acoustic feeling that allows the listener even more of a spacious tonal perception,” the company said.
New features — such as upgraded listening clarity — are driving the headphones category, while, at the same time, fashion elements — such as style and color — continue to make inroads into consumer buying decisions.
Technological advancements, such as noise cancellation, remain at the forefront in determining headphones purchasing decisions, but shape and shade also have taken on significant roles in helping consumers determine which products move out the door.
German headset manufacturer Beyerdynamic is rolling out several headphones this month at International CES, held here Jan. 8-11. It is the first time the company is introducing products at CES in more than 20 years, it told TWICE.
The MMX 2 is billed by the company as a robust and light gaming tool that operates via USB port. It includes volume controls for the headphones on the mini inline serial USB converter box and a mute button for the built-in microphone.
A robust feature set at a very sharp price point proved a winning combination for Sony, whose MDR NC6 headphones topped unit sales of active noise-canceling headphones for the 12 months ending in May.
Starting out at a suggested price of $59.99 when it debuted in late 2004, and now widely available at a street price less than $45, it is the least-expensive model on the list except for the Philips HN060 ear buds.