Las Vegas — 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.
Sony updated its flagship EX series of ear bud headphones with a new reference standard, the MDR-
EX700LP. They feature lightweight magnesium housings, a multilayer diaphragm for better audio reproduction and seven sizes of hybrid-silicone ear buds to give users a more comfortable and secure fit, the company said. They ship in March for about $300.
The company also extended its line of noise-canceling headphones to five with a lighter model that shifts excess weight from the headband and earpieces by putting the battery pack onto the cord of the headphone. The MDR-NC40 headphones have an open air design that is said to distribute pressure evenly across the outer ear, and pressure-reducing urethane cushioning that is said to prevent user fatigue during long stretches of wear. Available in March for about $100, the headphones fold into a case the size of a softball to fit easily in a carry-on bag or briefcase.
The company also updated the lower end of the EX line with new form factors and color options. The MDR-EX75 ear bud headphones, ($50 in black, white and silver) sport a new cylindrical shape for a more comfortable fit, the company said.
MDR-EX55 ear buds (in two-toned pink, royal blue, white and black, $40) use silicone for the entire spherical housing to increase comfort. MDR-EX32LP ear buds ($25) now come in pink or blue with white accents, solid black or solid white.
Sony’s first children’s headphones, model MDR-222KD, are designed for the smaller, more sensitive ears of kids eight and older. The smaller size headphones reduce the maximum volume delivered through the open-air earpieces compared with similar adult headphones. The single-side cord design reduces cord tangle, Sony said. They ship in April for about $15 in black or cotton-candy pink.
The new Active Style collection features slim design headphones in five different form factors made of moisture-resistant black silicone rubber with orange-red accents.
The model MDR-AS20J headphones fit around the outer ear with an ear bud that sets inside the ear canal. The MDR-AS40EX features a convertible ear hanger that transforms the headphones from over-the-ear to a traditional ear bud style.
The collection also will include more traditional headband style headphones (model MDR-AS100W), behind-the-neck ear bud headphones (model MDR-AS50G) and behind-the neck open air headphones (model MDR-AS30G). The headphones will range in price from $20 to $100.
“I believe this is the most robust collection we’ve introduced to consumers, and we’re offering wonderful color and style options for anyone between eight and 98,” said Andy Bubala, director of audio accessory products for Sony Electronics.
Also new, MDR-G75LW behind-the-neck headphones ($50) have a retractable cord and a collapsible neck band for stowage. Available in black, they use urethane cushioning in the earpieces for added comfort.
Sony’s MDR-G45LP headphones ($15), have a flexible behind-the-neck band and a four-foot, single-side cord with black ear caps. A step-up, the MDR-G55LP ($25), features interchangeable colored caps in pairs: black with red or white with gold.
Sony’s MDR-E11LP ear buds are available in blue, orange, white and black for about $13. A step-up model, the MDR-ED12LP ($15), adds a bass booster to the same 16mm driver. They come in metallic finishes of red, blue, gold and silver.
MDR-E10LP ear buds ($10) will be available in March in pink, red, pastel green, pastel blue, violet, gray, white and black.
And finally, MDR-E828LP/SLV headphones use Sony’s acoustic twin turbo circuit for enhanced bass response and a silent cap to prevent sound leakage. They are available in black and silver for about $10.