In about a week some of the biggest names in tech will flock to Berlin, Germany to showcase (and hopefully unveil) their best products at IFA 2017 (Internationale Funkausstellung). So we’re going to fill you in on all that’s to come, especially IFA 2017 Headphones.
New Releases IFA 2017 Headphones, All the Other Cool Tech Hitting Berlin
The gigantic trade show that spotlights the best consumer electronics and home appliances will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from September 1-6. This particular show is known for launching new products and this year is said to be bigger and better than ever, “provid[ing] a unique and even larger stage for innovation” by including “startups, research laboratories, universities, and companies from IFA NEXT.” So what should you look forward to?
Sony’s new headphones are all wireless models, with the first being an over-ear model, a wireless neckband, and truly wireless earbuds. Their new over-ear model, called the Sony WH-1000XM2, builds upon the excellent characteristics of the MDR-1000X along with the addition of atmospheric pressure optimization (so the headset can be used in-flight) as well as a surround sound feature for a more immersive listening experience. Also, this iteration can run between 30 – 40 hours. Sony WI-1000X is a wireless pair of buds connected to a neckband integrated with some of the functions found in the over-ear WH-1000XM2 that can run for up to 10 hours. Both headphones can be used with the Sony Connect app to further customize the aforementioned features. The final wireless headphone is actually a pair of truly wireless earbuds, called WF-1000X. These buds are built with active noise cancellation and can run for up to 3 hours. These headphones retail for $349.99, $299.99, and $199.99, respectively.
Update: Audio Technica
The Japanese audio company released a few new wireless headphones, including an over-ear version of the SR5BT, called the ATH-AR5BT. It reaches a much wider frequency response range than the on-ear version and will be available in a variety of colors. It’ll be available in November for approx. $236 USD. Word on the street, is AT is also releasing three wireless in-ear buds: ATH-CKR75BT, ATH-CKR55BT, and ATH-CKR35BT. The models differ from one another by driver size, frequency response range, various codecs, and price. These wireless in-ear models will go on sale in October.
Update: Bang and Olufsen
Ahh, finally established brands are making their presence known in the truly wireless market. Bang and Olufsen has just launched their Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless earbuds at IFA in Berlin, obviously landing on our IFA 2017 Headphones article. Their new buds that resemble a piece of jewelry (nestled in a top grain leather portable charging case) are designed showcasing the signature polished B&O look with an aluminum ring surrounding the flat exterior surface integrated with touch controls. The surface can be used to make calls and adjusting your music. The housings, in addition to being dust and shock proof, are ergonomically shaped to fit comfortably in your ears for a few hours. They’ve got a run time of up to 4 hours of playtime at a moderate sound level for each charge. The case that doubles as a charging station on the go, will give you 2 additional charges providing you up to 12 hours total on the go. Beoplay E8 will be available October 2017 for $299 (2-year limited warranty included) from Bang and Olufsen.
B&O also released a new OLED TV that is bound to astound. The 4K TV called the BeoVision Eclipse is built with a paper-thin black glass screen mounted into a aluminum 3-channel 450 Watts integrated sound bar. It’s quite a beauty. BeoVision Eclipse is also more than a TV. You can put that sound bar to use as a wireless speaker. That being said, some of the best audio streaming technologies including Apple AirPlay, Bluetooth and Chromecast were built-into the system so you can play directly from your device. This high-resolution and luxe television-speaker combo is available in two different sizes, 55 and 65 inches, and will cost $10,990 and $15,990, respectively.
Sennheiser has released three new headphones, in addition to Ambeo headset (below). The Momentum and CX series have been upgraded with two wireless neckbands called Momentum Free and CX 7.00BT. The Momentum Free is said to provide the signature Sennheiser sound over Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX codecs for a solid connection and CD-like quality for a 6-hour run.
The CX 7.00 BT features Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX codecs and NFC pairing while supporting a 10-hour battery life. It is modeled as a wireless upgrade to the CX 5.00. Both headsets possess flex neckbands with buttons integrated onto the ends of those bands. They are expected to retail October 2017.
The third headphone is an upgrade to the now discontinued IE 80, called the IE 80 S. It’s got a new look and better sound, according to Sennheiser. The IE 80 S is expected to hit the market in September.
There’s a new pair of truly wireless earbuds in town and they are by JBL. The buds are called JBL Free and they tout a 24 hour run time, though the buds themselves hold 4 hours and the charging case supplies an additional 20 hours stored in a smart charging case. The face of the entire bud acts as a single multifunction button to switch back and forth between track and take calls. When it comes to sound, the earbuds play your music in stereo, but automatically switch to mono when you take a phone call for a more natural call experience. The entire body is ergonomically shaped with a splash proof exterior at IPX5. JBL Free will is currently available for pre-order for $149.95 and expected to ship Tuesday November 14, 2017.
The German company just launched their new customizable wireless headset. Aventho Wireless, as it’s being called, features special hearing technology from Mimi Hearing Technologies while also empoying Tesla transducers o provide users with customized hearing profiles enginnered over high-performance Telsa transducers in a portable frame. Aventho will also feature touch controls in the right ear cup and a 20 hour battery life olpeatingoer Bluetooth 4.2 technology. If you’re at IFA check it out or wait until Aventho hits the market in October 2017 retailing at approximately $533.60 USD.
iFi will be hanging out in Berlin later this week and they’ll be unveiling the iFi iGalvanic3.0 for computer-loving audiophiles. The portable unit was designed to better your listening experience via comp by breaking ground loops, avoids noise coupling in high-speed USB transfers to provide you with some of the best audio.
P.S. iFi advises pairing iGalvanic with iDefender3.0 and iPower for a supreme listening experience. They’ve set-up a pre-launch bundle deal totaling $368. This means the iDefender3.0 and iPower are thrown in for $19. Once this offer ends, the retail price of the iGalvanic3.0 will return to $349 (ex-tax). The special deal lasts until September 10.
Sennheiser will officially launch their new Ambeo Smart Headset at IFA 2017. The white hooked headset looks like a pair of futuristic minimalist style earbuds, but the entire unit is actually a binaural microphone. It can record sound and play it back the way we actually hear, in a 3D space, rather than a vertical projection we get from standard buds. The experience is pretty cool. While I feel these buds still need to find their place in the market, I think Sennheiser is baking on the innovators the create the space for it. Which could very well happen after the official release at IFA. No word on the price as yet, but based o;n the technology it’ll probably be a few hundred dollars. It’s expected to officially ship in Fall. Our full review of the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset is here.
Samsung’s launching a new smart watch on the market called Gear Sport. It acts as a smart tracker and fitness wearable. The watch features a 1.2 inch AMOLED display with 360 x 360 resolution. The face is a digital watch and its quite nice. The entire watch can be submerged in water up to 50 feet, but no diving is advised. However the watch can be synced with the Speedo On app for tracking swim activities. Users are also able to monitor their health and diet goals from their phone while tracking progress from their wrist. The watch can also be used as a training guide as it features 60 different workouts. In addition, the watch is apparently smart enough to make timely suggestions about when you should workout. If you’re sitting in traffic, not a good time, however seated in an airplane, definitely a good time to do some stretches from your seat. I find that particular feature very interesting. Samsung Gear Sport Watch was launched at Berlin’s Tempodrom today. No word on the price or official ship date.
P.S. The watch straps and interfaces are interchangeable.
JBL is not releasing a headphone (to my knowledge), but rather a new speaker that pays homage to the boomboxes of the 80’s. The portable speaker, appropriately titled Boombox, looks like a JBL Xtreme with a hard-grade handle built onto the top allowing one to easily pick up and rest on their shoulder. The new Bluetooth speaker is said to support a 24 hour battery life. Like its predecessors, Boombox is water resistant, built with Connect+ technology to sync with other Connect+ enabled speakers, and doubles as a power bank for up to two devices at one time. JBL Boombox will launch early fall and retail for approximately $515.
British bass-boosters, Pump Audio, will make their way to IFA 2017 to promote their entire line. They’ve held a few Kickstarter campaigns, to which all were successful. Pump Audio prides themselves on bring the bass for all those EDM, hip-hop, and straight up bass heads out there. I’ve sampled their spread of earbuds and headphones to find deep, yet controlled. If they’ve piqued your interest read one of our Pump Audio reviews here. Not sure if Pump will be unveiling anything new, but it’s definitely a good chance to try their line.
While that’s ll I know for headphones and portable audio I will be updating this article as the date approaches as there are a ton of other headphone companies attending and one of them is bound to drop something new. Other IFA 2017 Headphones exhibitors include Philips, Bang and Olufsen, Urbanista, and Sudio Sweden.