Sennheiser is a name most audio enthusiasts are already familiar with, though it's not all that often that the German maker of audio gear specifically targets gamers. Now with the help of Io-Interactive (part of the Square Enix group and creator of games like Hitman and Kane & Lynch), Sennheiser has gamers directly in its sights with its new G4ME ZERO and G4ME ONE headsets.
Gaming peripheral maker Razer wants to hammer your head with its new family of Hammerhead in-ear headsets made from aircraft-grade aluminum. They come in two versions, the Razer Hammerhead and Hammerhead Pro, both with 9mm neodymium drivers, advanced passive noise isolation, and interchangeable ear-tips with bi-flanges. The Pro model adds an omni-directional microphone with an in-line remote for phone-call control.
Phiaton shows off its Moderna and Bridge headphones.
After spending some time at the Munitio booth, we took a stroll over to where Phiaton was situated to see what new audio products it brought to CES. Phiathon was eager to show us its new Bridge headphones with a perforated leather design, machined aluminum construction, and a cable that can attach to either earcup.
Munitio makes the only 'bullet' we'd ever want to take to the head.
Usually when there's a bullet plugged into someone's ear, they're not getting up, at least not until they respawn. A company called Munitio, however, has built a pair of bullet-shaped earphones that aren't lethal. If you're familiar with the company, you know the referenced earphones as the Nines, which are shaped like tactical 9mm bullets. Munitio's relaunching the Nines with added features for mobile devices, and the company also shared a brand new product with us at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The Sennheiser brand is one that's well known in the audio community, and one we're plenty familiar with, having reviewed a handful of Sennheiser earphones and headsets through the years. In a weird sort of way, Sennheiser could take it as a compliment that its brand has sparked a booming counterfeit market, but really the company is just pissed and out for blood.
Westone Laboratories recently introduced what it claims is the world's first universal fit earphone with four balanced armature drivers.
"Four balanced armature drivers and a three-way crossover network deliver breathtaking clarity and realism," the company says. "Just as important, we were sure to keep our highest standards of ergonomics and comfort only found in the industry with Westone’s True-Fit technology. The dual bass, single mid and single high frequency driver system is the most dynamic sound available in a universal fit earphone."
The Westone 4 comes rated at:
Sensitivity: 118 dB SPL/mW
Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 18 kHz
Impedance: 31 ohms
Only serious audiophiles with deep pockets need apply. The Westone 4 will sell for $449 when it ships in the first quarter of 2011.
One of the latest concepts floating around on Yanko Designs' website is a DIY Earphone System with replaceable earbuds. The idea is pretty simple: user replaceable earphones plug into a central module with media controls. When the earbuds stop functioning, as they're prone to do, you just plug in a new pair.
We see some potential here, but only if manufacturers get on board with cheaper headphones. For something like this to be worthwhile, you would have to assume that the major expense lies in the central module, otherwise this isn't much different than buying a complete set of earphones to replace the ones that broke.
And that's where we see things falling apart. A cheap set of earphones only runs a few dollars at Walmart, so how much could this concept really save you? And when you're talking about higher end earphones, you're paying for the speaker technology, not the control module.
Maybe we're overlooking something here, and that's where you come in. Other than the ability to plug two sets of earphones into a single central module, do you see this idea as a bust, or is there some great potential that we're missing? Hit the jump and sound off!
Sennheiser's probably best known for its line of high-end earphones primarily for listening to music on the go, but the company also offers a line of gaming headsets. That line got a little larger today with the introduction of a handful of new units, including the new flagship PC 360.
The PC 360 is the followup to the PC 350. It combines open-air speaker technology with a noise canceling microphone into a headset that's purportedly comfortable to wear with "velvety-soft ear pads and large ear cups."
There's also the PC 163D with virtual 7.1 channel, 360-degree audio, the slightly larger PC 333D also with virtual 7.1-channel sound that adds Dolby Headphone technology into the mix, and the PC 330 G4ME featuring closed acoustics with a flip-up design similar to a DJ's headset.
The PC 360 ($300), PC 163D ($210), PC 333D ($240), and PC 330 ($160) are available now.
Zound Industries, makers of the, um, Coloud / Hello Kitty headset, has partnered with Marshall to develop a pair of Marshall branded cans for your skull.
Marshall specializes primarily in amps of various sizes, and as far as we can tell, the Marshall Headphones will mark the company's first foray into headsets.
"Nothing has been compromised when expanding the Marshall heritage of big stage performance to the individual enjoyment of good music," Marshall said. "These headphones are conceived from Marshall’s time-tested fundaments of performance and endurance, designed to thrive on daily use and to render music the way it was meant to sound, no matter what your flavor is. The greatest of effort has also been put into the aesthetics, making the headphones ooze of that iconic Marshall look."
Other than a partial sneak peek at the design, Marshall is keeping tight lipped about its upcoming headset, which is slated to launch on November 15, 2010.
If you scoff at the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for a high-end set of headphones, then you're probably not going to pony up $2,749 for Ultrasone's new Edition 10 open-back headset. We didn't inadvertently mash an extra number on our keyboard, folks, these headphones run just shy of three large. Just what exactly constitutes a $2,749 pair of headphones?
"The outer ear cup is finished with galvanic Ruthenium plating and with a Zebrano wood inlay, which is coated with eight layers of clear lacquer for protection," the German headphone maker explains. "The Edition 10's inner ear cup, as well as the head-pad, is adorned with reddish brown Ethiopian sheepskin. This type of leather is known for being the most supple leather available, achieving the maximum level of comfort and sound isolation."
So there you have it -- part of the markup is due to the "supple leather," plus a gaggle of other marketing bullets, like Titanium plated drivers, Kevlar coated cables, and a hand-crafted Zebrano wood headphone stand housed in its own wooden box.