San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
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.
Olympia Soundbug, an audio device that turns any hard, smooth surface — such as a tabletop, door or window — into a sounding board for music or voice, is available from Wave Industries.
Developed as a portable alternative to headphones or speakers, the Soundbug can be used with MP3s and portable CD players. The Soundbug plugs into the standard 3.5mm headphone socket of any device, then a suction cup push ring attaches it to a glass or metal object such as a filing cabinet, desktop or window.
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.
Billed as the “ultimate in noise-canceling equipment,” the new Solitude headset, from Outside the Box, is said to offer an “unparalleled” 18 decibels of active noise cancellation. The maker claims the audio fidelity of this headset is almost indistinguishable from the Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones, for $100 less at retail.
Bose has made available second-generation noise-canceling headphones through its direct channels.
The QuietComfort 2, at $299, has ear cups that fold flat for easier storage, the incorporation of DSP technology and battery into the earcups rather than in an outboard box, and the addition of equalization across the audible spectrum to enhance perceived sound quality.
Headphones for listening to portable audio have rapidly caught up with the high-quality consumer electronics products they are designed to accompany.
Hand in hand with technological advances in portable CD and MiniDisc players, headphones have moved from early small and light open types that lose low-frequency bass notes, to ear bud models and closed units that encircle and fit snugly on the ear.
Gemini Industries is introducing a new line of Philips-brand headphones, including five "stylish" pairs targeted at young innovators and professionals. Launch is set for the end of the second quarter.
Focusing on an "on the go" lifestyle and a trend toward portability and mobility, the headphones are ideal for use with MP3 players, laptops and portable CD and DVD players.
Unwired Technology has introduced its fold-flat, single-channel R1H-B22FO and dual-channel R2H-B22FO wireless headphones that has a swivel mechanism which allows them to fold flat for “effortless” storage in vehicle seatbacks and compartments.
The infra red headphone is fully compatible with single- and dual-source IR systems and offer interference-free sound for mobile entertainment.