NEW YORK — Early fall is typically a rousing season in the headphones category, as the IFA and CTIA shows converge and as manufacturers frenetically unveil models they intend to ship in time for the crucial holiday selling season. This year spared no exceptions, with September seeming to welcome near-daily announcements of headphones in all configurations, designs and styles.
The timing of the new Apple devices will serve as an extra shot in the arm to the category, with retailers well aware they can up their iPhone attachments sales with new headphones.
What follows is a selection of some of the new models that were announced and others that began shipping recently.
Sony’s MDR-XB950BT Bluetooth headphones boast 40mm drivers with an Electro Bass Booster. The Bluetooth wireless streaming is accompanied by NFC technology and a 20- hour battery life. Suggested retail is $199.
Bose will seek to recapture its leadership atop the headphones heap with the next generation of its QuietComfort headphones. The QuietComfort 25 feature microphones inside and outside of the ear cups to measure ambient noise, which then send the noise measurements to an exclusive digital chip for noise canceling, according to the company. The headphones can be powered for up to 35 hours on one AAA battery. Black and white versions are currently available for $299, and consumers can customize colors for $399.
Sennheiser’s Urbanite headphones, which feature a folding construction with aluminum and steel hinges and sliders, are geared toward millennials. They come in an array of designs, such as sand, denim, plum and Nation (shown), and carry a $199 price. An over-sized version, Urbanite XL, will be available.
The Momentum in-ear headphones from Sennheiser feature a polycarbonate and stainless-steel build meant to ensure durability and robustness. Several sizes of ear cushions are included. They will be available in the fourth quarter for $99.99.
The Harman Kardon Soho headphones now come in a wireless configuration. This Bluetooth and NFC on-ear model has a leather and stainless-steel body with 30mm drivers and touch-sensitive controls on the ear cups. Suggested retail is $249.
The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 headphones have updated components and drivers — they now mimic the company’s P7 headphones — and an improved inline remote/mic control compared with the first-gen P5. The drivers feature a suspended diaphragm, designed to result in more accurate sound reproduction. Suggested retail is $299.
Roam introduced a limitededition version of its Ropes earphones to benefit Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Every sale of the orange Roam with SU2C Ropes will result in a $100 donation to the charity by Roam, through Dec. 31, 2015. The headphones, which feature a distinctive around-the-neck design, carry a $299 price tag.
Urbanears’ updated Plattan ADV headphones feature a washable headband, interchangeable cable, 40mm drivers and a hinge that’s designed to automatically adjust to a user’s ears and head. As for the sound? Well, it’s “richer than your dirty grandpa,” if you go by Urbanears’ word. They’ll be available Nov. 18 for $60.00.
The entry-priced SonicFuel ATH-AX1iS headphones from Audio-Technica are offered in a range of colors: black, white, red with black trim, blue with black trim, and gray with green accents. The overear model features 36mm drivers, swiveling ear cups and a $39.95 price tag.
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