LAS VEGAS — Audiofly has been busy since we last visited them at CES two years ago. This year they’re finally ready to ship their long-promised AF140, albeit with a radical redesign, and are introducing the quad-driver AF180. The Aussie crew also showed us the over-the-ear set of cans they’ve been working on.
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LAS VEGAS — Shure has hit the extremes lately in terms of how much they think music lovers are willing to pay for headphones and earphones, but their latest in-ear monitors cost just $50.
The new SE112s are just half the price of Shure’s previously cheapest IEMs, the SE215, and only $20 more than Apple’s iconic, earbud-ish EarPods. It’s quite a change for Shure: Earlier this year, the company came out with the ultra-high-end, $1,000-plus SE846 canalphones. And their exotic, carbon-fiber SRH1540 headphones arrived just a few months ago at a robust $624.
I was all ready to write a sarcastic post about the Splitter, a little box that allows independent volume control of the two pairs of headphones you jack into it. After all, sharing a music track is something spontaneous – adding a specialist piece of hardware into the mix seems a little like quickly clipping your FitBit to your pubes before making love.
But then I thought about traveling, and movies.
Surprise: These cans aren’t quite the flashy, youthful boombasts their outward appearance suggest (yes, that’s a good thing). And, surprise: There’s much more here than simply a nod at the term “active noise cancellation.”
SMS, which is helmed by Rapper 50 Cent, jumped into the headphone game just shy of three years ago. At that time the lion’s share of attention was directed toward their wireless Sync cans, which stream music via the somewhat uncommon Kleer technology. But that doesn’t mean the rest of SMS’s broad, diverse lineup should be ignored, and that assertion is well-supported by the performance — and, yes, dash of flash – of the wired, active noise-canceling Street by 50 ANC headphones.
Apple EarPods are sleek and gorgeous. For most people like me though, they fallout all the time. Moshi has released its new Mythro earbuds that promise to stay in-place while still sounding good at an affordable price, so we’ve decided to put them through the ringer to see if they’re a suitable cheap earbud alternative. While we’re at it, we also take a look at Moshi’s first ever iPad charger, the IonBank 10k. It’s light, white, and sleek all over, but does it have enough juice to make it worth carrying around? Check out our findings below:
Audio-Technica has far, far too many models of in-ear earphones to count. I mean, literally — I tried counting them and gave up due to exhaustion and severe dehydration (I stopped at about 20, which makes me a wimp and means I should probably drink more water).
So why are they adding six more models (which the company is calling their “SonicFuel” series) to the mix? And why do they bear an uncanny resemblance to Monster’s iSport earphones, right down to the swiveling ports and massive flange? Whatever the answers to these questions might be, the new sets, at $50-$100, are in just about the right price-range for holiday gifts; and if the fit really is identical to what we experienced with the iSPorts, they’re probably really comfy.
Every time I think I’ve found my favorite pair of gaming headphones, Steelseries sends me another one to try out.
Works With: Mac, iOS, Android, PC, Gaming Consoles
This time, it’s the H Wireless series, a fantastic, well-designed headset that connects via optical or analog inputs to provide stunningly good Dolby sound without wires. You can, of course, connect an iPhone or iPad to the box, as well, getting a quality sound to walk around the house with.
Seriously, these are my new favorites.
Atlas Carbon Headphones: Compact Design And Clean Sound For The Budget-Conscious Audiophile #BlackFriday [Deals]
I’ve had a chance to test a number of headphones throughout the past year, and have grown more fond of the more traditional “over-ear” headphones during that time. As a regular podcaster – and as the person who edits those podcasts – having little to no bleed from outside sources has become increasingly important.
That said, I don’t want to spend a fortune on headphones, either. I want decent sound quality, the ability to wear them for a couple of hours comfortably, and compact portability. The Atlas Carbon Headphones by MEElectronics offer all three, which is rare. I was provided with a set to put through the paces, and was very happy with the results. (And Cult of Mac Deals just so happens to have the Atlas Carbon Headphones for 35% off the regular price – just $65 – during a very limited time offer. This promotion, however, is available only to continental USA customers.)
The ClipR is a little disk that turns any headphones into a set of Bluetooth headphones. Or, to be more accurate, it turns any 3.5mm jack cable into a Bluetooth-enabled jack cable.
And it has a clip, so you can tuck that cable neatly away.
If Cult of Mac ever created an award for “Most Prolific i-Gadget Maker,” there’s little doubt it would eventually end up in a cabinet at iHome’s headquarters (or possibly more accurately in a cabinet at their parent company, SDI technologies, which also owns New Balance and Timex).
Of the four new gadgets iHome has just revealed, the two we’re highlighting are a set of Bluetooth headphones endowed with the unimaginative moniker of iB85 Bluetooth Wireless Foldable Headphones and the somewhat more interestingly named iB12 Sport Earbuds with LED Safety Flasher — though the latter’s name is perhaps only more interesting simply because it combines the words “Safety Flasher” and “Earbuds.”