It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. That time in January just a few days after New Year’s when thousands of tech enthusiasts and innovators flock to Las Vegas to exhibit their best new products hitting the market in 2018. Keep up to date on the latest in our “CES 2018 Headphones New Releases, Exhibitors, Predictions” article which will be updated regularly.
*Newest Info Under “New Releases” Below
CES 2018 Headphones New Releases, Exhibitors, Predictions
Dates & Locale
CES 2018 will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It will run from January 9-12 with an expected turnout of over 4000 exhibitors and 800 companies over 2.6 million square feet. Now that’s a convention!
Headphones are always big players at CES. Last year saw the unveil of top notch cans like Focal’s diamond-encrusted and gold-plated Focal Utopia Tournaire worth $120,000. Klipsch revealed the launch of their Heritage line which is just hitting retailers. Audio Technica also had a field day, releasing over 15 new headphones including the Bluetooth Digital Sound cans DSR7BT and DSR9BT. Sennheiser teased the Ambeo Smart Headset and the PXC 550 while Beyerdynamic showcased Xelento. It was a big year last year, so I’m expecting nothing but the best this go ’round.
Google definitely has plans to be a big part of CES this year. Traditionally, the Cupertino-based company stays pretty quiet during CES, but this year they’ve already dropped some major hints in and around the convention center that they are here and ready to rumble. “Hey Google,” the signature phrase of Google Assistant has built a huge installation outside the CES parking lot complete with a replica of the company’s slide housed at the Mountain View office. The company has also placed “Hey Google” on the local monorail and billboards around the city. Alexa integration was a huge part of last year’s show and this year Google is looking to change that… or so it seems. I’m assuming there will be major announcements of new integrations involving Google Assistant, most likely into some headphones and maybe a few TVs. That makes me excited since I love my Google Mini.
In terms of technology, I think this year will feature a lot more truly wireless earbuds. Right now consumers are looking for wireless headphones, but wireless earbuds have started to emerge on the market with many companies still competing to be a truly functional pair. Apple may have figured it out, but many companies are still working on it. This will be their chance to hit the ground running. Also, bone conduction headphones have made their way to crowdfunding platforms, but most aren’t available to consumers. There also aren’t too many consumers privy to these sort of cans anyway. CES would be the perfect chance to spread the word about these type of headphones.
Nuheara launched two completely new pairs of truly wireless earbuds and and an upgrade of their original model. The fresh take on Nuheara IQbuds provides better performance and battery life for users – extending the life span to 20 hours of music playback and hearing processing to 40 hours. IQbuds Boost provides a personalized hearing experience for listeners. These buds feature Ear ID technology, which creates your unique hearing profile by evaluating the users own hearing. Ear ID then automatically calibrates IQbuds Boost to optimize the audio for your distinct hearing profile. LiveIQ is the first intelligent truly wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling. It allows users to quickly tune the world out with an enhanced listening experience integrated with Nuheara’s leading ANC tech. Nuheara IQbuds are currently available for $299 while IQbuds Boost ($200) and LiveIQ will be made available in March 2018 and Summer 2018, respectively.
I’m a fan of Audeze so I’m stoked to hear they have just launched a new addition to their iSine series of open-back in-ear headphones. The iSine LX costs a mere $200 and offers a clear, accurate, and nearly distortion-less sound (0.1% @ 100dB). LX comes equipped with over-ear hooks to secure the buds and includes a detachable cable. Thanks to this feature, those interested in converting their audio signal through a DAC can purchase the LX with a Cipher Lightning cable. It uses an integral DAC and amplifier to deliver stellar audio and enhanced audio quality. The Cipher Lightning cable also features an in-line remote and mic that can be used to take calls, navigate your playlists, pause and play your music, in addition to accessing Siri. Audeze iSine LX will retail for $199 and cost $60 more for the Cipher Lightning cable.
Chord Qutest is a new DAC coming to you from one of the best makers in portable DAC-amps, Chord electronics. Qutest as a “pure DAC” in that it does not contain headphone amplification or rechargeable batteries. It is designed solely to improve sound quality in the home. Qutest is replacing 2Qute. It improves upon the old model with a precision-machined exterior from solid aircraft-grade aluminium billet. The circuit board is said to be better protected and in a position that deters from external vibration. Qutest features 2 – 384kHz BNC coaxial inputs, 1 – 192kHz optical input, 1 – 768kHz USB Type B Input, and 1 – RCA output.
Bang and Olufsen
Bang and Olufsen unveiled upgrades to two pretty stellar models. The Beoplay H8i and H9i are similar to their predecessors, as in they are still wireless noise cancelling headphones, but have been optimized to provide a longer battery life and “overwhelm you with precision, power, and detail.” The headphones are still very pretty with a aluminium brush ear cups and lambskin leather earpads, but the charging port has been switched to USB Type C. This ups the run time on the H8 from 14 to 30 hours with the H8i and the run time of the H9 from 14 hours to 18 hours with the H9i. Yippee! The H8i and H9i retail for $399 and $499, respectively.
Audio Technica launched an exciting new wireless and noise cancelling headphone along with a slew of other wireless devices. The ATH-ANC700BT features intuitive touch and swipe controls for navigating your playlists, taking calls, and controlling the volume built into the ear cups aside from 40mm drivers that reach a frequency response between 5 Hz-40,000 Hz. It is also said to provide noise cancelling better than its competition because this headphone doesn’t pick up some of the soft buzz that users hear when they listen to noise-cancelling buds. When engaged in both ANC and Bluetooth technology his headphone will run for up to 25 hours. Audio Technica ATH-ANC700BT will be available March 2018 for $199.
They also released a wireless in-ear bud with Pure Digital Sound technology called ATH-DSR5BT Pure Digital Sound. The buds are fit with highly responsive Dual-Phase Push-Pull D/A Drivers to receive the digital signals directly from the chipset which enables the headphones to reproduce sound with a wider dynamic range. Audio Technica ATH-DSR5BT supports up to 24-bit/48kHz signals and will be available Spring 2018 for $399.
Other new wireless headphones are additions to the Solid Bass, Sonic Sport, and Sound Reality lines. These headphones include The Solid Bass ATH-WS990BT with active noise cancellation ($249) and ATH-WS660BT ($149), Sonic Sport ATH-SPORT70BT ($129) and ATH-SPORT50BT ($69), Sound Reality ATH-CKR75BT ($149), ATH-CKR55BT ($99), ATH-CKR35BT ($69) and the over-ear ATH-S200BT ($79) and in-ear ATH-CK200BT ($69) for anyone looking for different styles and price points launching on varying dates from now through March 2018.
Sony released a few new headphones at CES including a new wireless line-up and a rehash of an old favorite. Sony MDR-1AM2 is said to be lighter than its predecessor while following the stellar sound direction of the MDR-Z1R. The headphones are fit with 40mm HD driver units and aluminium-coated liquid crystal polymer diaphragms for playback up to 100 kHz frequencies. It will be available in Spring 2018 and retail for $299.
Sony also released new wireless in-ear headphones which includes a truly wireless model called the WF-SP700N, a traditional wireless model called WI-SP600N supporting a 6-hour battery life, and another wireless model called WI-SP500 that supports an 8-hour battery life. The SP700N and SP600N are equipped with noise-cancelling technology, a water resistant frame with an IP rating of IPX5, as well as Sony’s EXTRA BASS sound. All three models are compatible with Son’y Connect app. Check out more info on Sony’s CES 2018 headphones new releases here.
House of Marley
House of Marley unveiled three new products as part of their sustainable audio designs. In a plastic driven market this line prides itself on incorporating consciously-harvested cork, recycled, non-toxic silicone and up-cycled fabrics made from hemp and recycled plastic bottles. Uprise headphone is a new HoM wireless earbud designed for an active lifestyle. It features a water resistant rating with IPX5 to withstand jetting water. It is said to be durable, comfortable, and of course, sustainable. These buds feature REGRIND recycled, non-toxic silicone and wood fiber composite resin. the in-ear form factor allows for a stable, custom fit, with a minimal hanger or fin fit options. Uprise will be on sale in June 2018 for $99.99. HoM also released two wireless speakers; No Bounds Speaker and No Bounds Sport Speaker. The No Bounds Speaker is a sustainable, dust and water-proof speaker (IP67) made for an active lifestyle. It is designed using lightweight, recyclable cork and can pair to two devices at once. It supports a 10-hour battery life and seems like it’ll rival the JBL Clip 2 at a fair price of $69.99. It’ll be available in April 2018. The No Bounds Sport Speaker provides 360-degrees of sound in frame that is similar to the JBL Flip 4, IMHO. The No Bounds Sport Speaker supports a 12-hour battery life and a waterproof frame. It is also comprised of REGRIND cork and REWIND up-cycled fabric for those with an active lifestyle. This speaker will be on sale for $119.99 in May 2018. Check out House of Marley’s CES 2018 headphones new releases here.
KEF will be previewing their LS50W Nocturne Edition wireless speakers before it’s official U.S. launch (January 15) during CES 2018. These speakers are a special collaboration between KEF and Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. Inspired by the circular arrangement of time, the exterior features a structured, architectural-type pattern with musical notes and symbols. Also, the speakers glow a beautiful hue of blue-purple.
Cleer Inc. is unveiling three new headphones (a fitness bud, truly wireless earphone, and an over-ear wireless noise-cancelling headphone) at this year’s CES all based on Qualcomm CSR8670 and CSR8675 Bluetooth Audio System-on-Chips. The fitness bud is called EDGE Voice. It is water-resistant (IPX5) and a shock proof body. Drop it off a building or spray it down with a hose and it’s still good to go. EDGE Voice is integrated with Qualcomm CSR8670 and Sensory TrulyHandsfree Voice Control technology which enables wireless connectivity, embedded flash memory, integrated touch sensors, and superior audio quality as explained by Qualcomm. For this specific headphone, that means this headphone is wireless, delivers top notch audio quality, The earphones are built as an over-ear hook design to secure the wireless buds over your ears as you move from workout to workout. It also has built-in heart rate monitoring and Alexa integration. ALLY True Wireless Headphone houses Qualcomm 8670 technology just like EDGE voice, as well as noise-cancelling technology. This TWS earbud retains some of the finer features of the EDGE Voice like, a water-resistant frame with an IPX5 and Alexa integration. Cleer promises that this headphone will provide up to 4 hours of wireless playback which is on the better side of most TWS earbuds which average about 2.5 hours. ALLY includes a rechargeable case that holds an additional 10 hours of playtime. Cleer is also launching an over-ear wireless noise-cancelling headphone called FLOW. This can supports Qualcomm CSR8675 which integrates aptX and AAC support. You can learn more about these codecs here, but basically they aptX ensures high quality, CD-like playback from your Android device. AAC does the same for iOS devices. FLOW is said to run for up to 20 hours of music playback while providing exceptionally low distortion and detailed, accurate sound across lows, mids, and highs. FLOW is a commuter headphone so it’s also designed with a collapsible frame for easy transport and storage. EDGE Voice and ALLY are expected to ship Spring-Summer 2018, retailing for $169.99 and 129.99, respectively. FLOW will ship sometime before the end of March 2018 and retail for $289.99. check out more info on Cleer Inc’s CES 2018 headphones new releases here.
Samsung is expected to release three types of wireless speakers that project directional sound at this year’s Las Vegas tech show. The Samsung S-Ray (Sound-Ray), available in mini speaker, a slightly larger handy speaker, and neckband, use directional sound waves (unlike our every day speakers) to project sound only in the direction each speaker is facing. This means an individual standing right next to you shouldn’t be able to hear your music. The company hopes to free up your hands and ears while promoting safety with their new clip-on and wearable wireless speakers according to a promo video that featured figures riding bikes, doing yoga, playing video games, shopping, and even browsing a museum gallery without disturbing others.
LG, who recently announced their partnership with Meridian Audio, will also be in attendance. Meridian is a leading audio company creating audio solutions that range from digital pre-amps and stereo systems, to loudspeakers and wireless streaming solutions. LG, on the other hand, basically dominates CES with amazing OLED and 4K TV’s worth money.This pairing is sure to lead to an interesting unveil at CES 2018. The company is expected to unveil an 88-inch 8K OLED TV. Whoa! You’ll have no need to go to the movies ever again.
Sennheiser is expected to showcase the IE 800 S. The new buds aren’t available for sale just yet, but pre-orders can be made with the company as well as their authorized retailers. The headphone is similar to the IE 800, but has been finer tuned and tweaked for a more comfortable fit while employing a dual-chamber absorber system (D2CA) to reveal even the finest nuances of sound. Check out more information on Sennheiser CES 2018 headphones new releases here.
Nuheara will also be in attendance. This company has a stellar pair of truly wireless earbuds on the market complete with touch sensors. For a company that’s on the rise, CES is the perfect stage to showcase their new goods and earn new patrons and partnerships. I met the Nuheara reps at Manhattan’s CE Week and from there had the pleasure of listening to the buds I had heard so much about. I can’t wait to learn what they have in-store for us. We will keep you posted.
Lenbrook International will also be present with their brands Bluesound, NAD, PSB Speakers, and Bang and Olufsen. Bluesound will allow you to immerse yourself in audio while trying out Bluesound PULSE SOUNDBAR and FLEX surround sound combo. NAD will showcase NAD HP70 & PSB M4U 8 Wireless Active Noise Cancelling HD Headphones, and the M4U TW1 True Wireless Earphones. Attendees will also get to preview the updated NAD D 3020 V2 Hybrid Digital Amplifier, now with phono input. As for Bang and Olufsen, guests will be able to try out a spread of new headphones and wireless speakers.
*Continue to check back. As we receive more info from our inside sources we will be updating this article.
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