By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Port Washington, N.Y. — The premium U.S. headphone market jumped 21 percent in sales in 2013, The NPD Group said, spurred in part by a rise in fitness-related features.
Premium headphones, which are models that cost $100 or more, surpassed $1 billion for the year. The stereo headphones market, meanwhile, grew 11 percent to $2.3 billion in 2013.
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.
The headphones world is a never-ending source of news, be it unremitting product introductions or company efforts to stand out in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowded market. Here’s a roundup of just a few things announced this week. For even more news, see the Nov. 18 issue of TWICE or the headphones section of TWICE.com.
Oxnard, Calif. — Scosche expanded its headphones offering with the addition of the LobeDope model, available in six colors.
The on-ear headphones have 40mm drivers and a polymer construction with a flexible headband. They’re priced at $34.99 with an in-line remote and mic, or $29.99 without.
The design is meant to invoke Scosche’s hometown Southern California culture. Colors include Surf, Bubble Gum, Sundown, Envy, Brush Fire, gray and black. They’re currently available.
San Francisco — SOL Republic furthered its partnership with Motorola on Tuesday with the launch of SOL’s first wireless headphones.
As with other SOL headphones, the drivers for the Tracks Air can be detached from the headband, enabling users to swap headbands in different colors. The Tracks Air will feature specially designed headbands and won’t be operable with SOL’s non-Air headbands.
Delray Beach, Fla. — KidzSafe, a brand distributed by rapper 50 Cent’s SMS Audio company, debuted a new line of headphones designed to protect children from damaging sound.
The MyDesign Do It Yourself (DIY) line features over-ear and ear bud models, both of which have decibel-limiting technology. The sound will not reach more than 85dB, according to the company, said to be a safe level of noise for children.
It’s never a slow moment in the headphones category.
The 2013 CanJam will be at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver this week, the fifth annual gathering of audiophiles hosted by Head-Fi.
Stamford, Conn. — Harman International expanded its JBL brand of headphones with the formal debut of the Synchros line on Wednesday.
All five Synchros models make use of JBL’s new LiveStage signal processing technology, said to recreate a warm, natural feeling, as well as the company’s PureBass technology.
Miami Beach, Fla. — Muzik said it is readying a pair of headphones that will enables users to share music directly from the headphones.
The company also said it plans to unveil a full line of smart audio products, but further details weren’t available. The headphones and audio products are said to be part of the company’s “Social Smartware” intentions, which it described as “the seamless connection of consumer electronic devices, content and social media platforms to make music instantly discoverable and shareable in an effortless way.”
Solon, Ohio –– CAD Audio is rolling out new custom color options for its flagship Sessions MH510 headphones.
The company said the new line is in response to "numerous requests from artists, producers and users."
The new Sessions MH510GD headphones in gold/white are now available, and will be followed to market by chrome/white, high-tech gray/white and pink/white color options.
Sessions headphones are currently available in black, white/red, black chrome and black/orange designs.
Los Angeles – Audyssey has developed audio technologies that headphone suppliers can use to optimize the sound output of specific headphone models connected to smartphones and tablets.
The technologies also maintain perceived bass response that would normally be lost at lower listening levels.