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Headphones Category Welcomes 2010 Newcomers

The headphones category started 2010 off with a bang, with several companies beginning the new year with new introductions.

Vizio used International CES, held in Las Vegas earlier this month, to announce it was entering the headphones category with the introduction of two products: a pair of wireless headphones and a pair of headphones that feature Bluetooth connectivity.

The VHP100 wireless home-theater headphones with iPod dock have an over-the-ear design and feature active noise cancellation. The base station doubles as an iPod dock, and the headphones are said to support High Definition Wireless Audio (HDWA).

Features include lithium-polymer battery, USB charger and hard case. Suggested retail is $299.

The VHB100 Bluetooth headphones feature a microphone so they can be used for both home audio listening and cellphone communication. Technology includes SRS Wow HD and SRS CircleSurround for enhanced audio quality and SRS Bluetooth PureSpeech for voice clarity.

The VHB100 also include a 3.5mm jack for non-Bluetooth connections, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Suggested retail is $99.99; they’ll be available in March.

Vizio said these products can be used to create a “Vizio Wireless Audio Eco-System” in a home, letting consumers listen to content from multiple audio devices anywhere in a home.

Philips recently came out with several models, including the SHE6000/28, which have a “reflected-speaker” design that’s meant to create a surround-sound effect.

Features include a 24K gold-plated plug, neodymium magnet for bass performance and sensitivity enhancement, 13.5mm speaker driver, four sizes of rubber caps and a storage pouch. They will be available in March for a $24.99 suggested retail.

Containing in-line remotes with microphones and volume control, the SHH9756/28 earphones and SHH9506/28 foldable headset shipped last month.

The SHH9756/28 feature gel housings, noise isolation and a carrying case. Suggested retail is $69.99.

The SHH9506 (also $69.99) have 40mm speaker drivers, a closed design, headband padding and ear cushions.

Ultrasone introduced its Edition 8 Palladium closed-back headphones boast the company’s S-Logic Plus technology, which is said to result in “an impartial acoustic feeling that affords the listener the utmost spacious tonal perception.”

The outer ear cups, embossed with a ceramic inlay, are designed with palladium, a material that is meant to increase durability and limit tarnishing. Each Edition 8 headphone is individually stamped with its own serial number and comes in a leather storage bag.

Features include an impedance of 30 ohms, 40mm titanium-plated drivers, a frequency range of 6HZ to 42,000Hz, and an SPL of 96db.

“We wanted to incorporate the finest materials into the Edition 8 Palladium to create an extraordinary headphone, satisfying the connoisseur who demands a fashionable design merged with high-quality function,” said Paul Taylor, president of Ultrasone, in a statement.

Suggested retail is $1,699. They’re currently available.