Taking Headphones Technology To The Next Level

SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones

SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones

When you think fitness accessories, you will think good quality earphones and heart rate trackers. There you have it! Combining the two might just take fitness technology to the next level!

Rapper 50 Cent has partnered with Intel to come up with the SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones, a sweat and water resistant headphones that also includes a continuous heart rate sensor. This pair of headphones does not have a built-in battery. Instead, it draws power from your phone’s audio jack.

On top of all that, these headphones track the basic statistics such as pace, distance, elevation, and calories burned and can send the data to the easy and popular RunKeeper app through your smartphone.

This headphones is the first of its kind with a close contender in the LG HM Earphone which offers a heart-rate-monitor-and-headphone combo. The LG HM Earphone connect to a small data-processing device that is worn on your arm or waistband. This device then transfers your workout data to the free LG Fitness Tracker App or Lifeband Touch Fitness Tracker over Bluetooth®.

The BioSport In-Ear Headphones is perfect for anyone looking to break a sweat and track their progress without the extra gear. The SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones is now available on Amazon at $149.95.

Introducing Beats by Dre Powerbeats2 Wireless

If you have conquered the headphones world what else can you do? Well go wireless of course! That’s what Beats have done with the new Powerbeats2 Wireless. It is a Bluetooth earphone with some fanciful LeBron James-branding for pure marketing purposes.

Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless

By being wireless these earphones are targeted at the health minded gym goers. Designed with the sweaty ears in mind, it is sweat and water resistant with battery lasting a good 6 hours.

Sound-wise do not expect it to be the last word in smoothness and transparency. You want it to power past loud background music and noise. So punchy mids and thunderous bass is built into its guts. So you are not expected to listen to Beethovan’s Violin Concerto with these.

The Powerbeats 2 Wireless earphones are available in the ubiquitous Beats color schemes of black, red or white. Design is well thought out. The earbuds are connected by a flat cable that rests comfortably behind the neck. Stabilization fins tuck behind the top of the ear for a secure fit, while the lightweight earbuds fit well inside the ear-canal. Pairing the Powerbeats2 with a Samsung Note 3 and an iPhone 5s was done easily with the help of LEDs that indicate pairing status and battery level.

If you are looking for a good companion to go to the gym with it will cost you $199.95.

More info from Beats by Dr Dre


Beats Announces New Solo2 Headphones

While in the heat of a takeover discussion between by Apple, Beats announced an updated model for the hugely popular Solo HD. The new headphones are simply called Solo 2 are supposed to be more dynamic with a wider frequency band.

Beats Solo2

With redesigned drivers we hope that the bass boominess of its predecessor will be transformed to a sound that is closer to the original source and more comfortable for extended use. Audiophiles should give this a listen.

The new Solo 2 looks quite similar to the old design. Tweaks have been made to make it more comfortable. The easily foldable frame of the headphone is now more curved giving it a custom-fit feeling. The earcups have been ergonomically angled out to complete this natural fit, with pivots for optimal comfort. Generally it looks more solidly built with thicker headbands and bulkier than before. It comes with a color-matched remote cable, allowing you to adjust volume, select tracks and even answer calls.

The Solo2 headphones are now available for preorder for $199.95 and are available in attractive colors of pink, blue, gray, black, white and red.

Apple is Buying Beats by Dr Dre For $3.2 Billion

Apple is in the final stages of planning to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion according to this report. The company is behind the popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones founded by rapper Dr. Dre and the music executive Jimmy Iovine. Not a bad exit strategy for a new company that’s just 6 years old. If this deal goes through this would be the biggest acquisition in Apple’s history. But with $159 billion in its coffers I guess they are not going to feel a pinch.

Beats by Dr Dre Headphones

The deal would also include the new Beats Music streaming service, which was introduced earlier this year as a competitor to Spotify and Pandora. The Beats service makes millions of songs available for streaming over the Internet. Together with iTunes store this would definitely be a game changer in how Apple serves its media hungry customers as they will have two huge platforms together in which to capture the music downloads market.

Annual sales of Beats products, which also include speakers and other audio items, have been estimated at more than $1.5 billion.

Apple Patents Improved Headphones

Apple EarPods

Apple EarPods

Apple has filed a new patent application for its earbuds. The new patent describes earbuds with a built-in mic that can automatically detect user voice activity and tune a series of built-in micas to optimally pick up their speech and cancel out any background noise.

Using “beamforming” micas that can redirect themselves towards the source of the user’s voice, this advanced design promises improved sound quality from headsets with built-in mics.

We are certainly looking forward to these improved earpods!

Oppo Debuts The PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones

Oppo Digital is best known in the video (and audio) world for their high-performance universal players that plays all the disc formats available. They are ubiquitous for those who want a no holds barred player. And at reasonable prices too. Over the years Oppo players have been considered industry standards well received by consumers and reviewers alike.

It thus comes at a surprise to us that their latest product announcement involves a product that does not spin a disc! But then it is also not surprising either given that this market segment is so hot it is exploding through the roof and everyone wants to be in the act so as not to miss the bandwagon. We are of course talking about headphones! And Oppo recently announced that they will launch the PM-1, a Planar Magnetic headphone that will rival the best in the industry no less.

Oppo PM-1

And also not surprisingly Oppo have produced something pretty unique to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd. The planar magnetic driver is an exclusive design and unique among the current planar magnetic headphones on the market with many years of research by chemical and material scientists, according to Oppo. It uses an FEM optimized magnet system with very high energy Neodymium magnets. The magnets are arranged concentrically and positioned evenly to distribute a symmetric magnetic field. The magnetic system and conductor patterns are optimized for maximum driving force and consistency over the radiating area. The double-sided diaphragm has 7 layers of extremely thin materials, each doing a specific job to ensure not only good performance but also reliability.

Oppo has not announced the price yet. We will endeavor to do a full review as soon as the PM-1 is released.

You can get more info from Oppo Digital’s product release.

Sony Unveils Premium Range In-Ears And Headphones

Sony recently unveiled a slew of headphones that will give some competition to rivals in the heated headphones market segment. First up is a pair of premium in-ear headphones which are designed in collaboration with acclaimed duo ‘Hurts‘.

Sony XBA-H3

Sony XBA-H3

Sony audio engineers collaborated with singer Theo Hutchcraft and guitarist Adam Anderson to develop high end in-ears that showcases Sony’s innovative Balanced Armature (BA) technology hybrid with conventional dynamic drivers to produce the Sony XBA-H1 and XBA-H3. These miniature Balanced Armature drivers feature a light diaphragm which is very responsive to upper-and mid-range tones making them sound more transparent and crisp, while the dynamic drivers deliver bass that makes a fuller soundstage. The bass hits hard with enough low end rumble and complements the warm mids and highs. They do not come cheap though. The XBA-H1 retails at $149.99 and the XBA-H3 is $349.99.

Also launched are some new headphones in the MDR-10 range. They comprise the MDR-10R standard headphones ($199.99), MDR-10RNC noise canceling headphones ($269.99), and the MDR-10RBT Bluetooth wireless headphones ($249.99). These headphones are designed to be more lightweight and portable.


Sony engineers identified that the 30-40Hz sub-bass region is most critical in getting the sound right as that is the signature of current music genres and developed an enhanced Beat Response Control design for the new MDR-10 headphones. It features a closed back design for maximum isolation and with enlarged air vents for deep bass response. The driver is a 40mm HD unit that delivers a wider frequency range. The MDR-10 headphones are designed for hours of comfortable listening with pressure-relieving ear cushions, for a supportive, wrap-around feel. The cable is also re-designed with grooved serrations on its surface. The detachable cable provides an innovative design that eliminates friction between cable surfaces and reduces the incidence of frustrating tangles.

Source: Sony Press Center

Grado Headphones Get Price Cut

Grado SR80i On-Ear Headphones

Grado SR80i On-Ear Headphones

Grado fans can now look forward to a price cut! Grado’s UK distributor Armour Home announced recently that its entire range of headphones will be receiving a price cut.

The Grado SR80i open-back headphones which won a What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision Award this year are now £35 cheaper. While these headphones might not be for public use, its pure sound quality and reasonable price tag wins you over in a second. While its performance is top-notch, this pair of headphones does come with an open-backed design that leaks music so much that people might think it is a ringtone.

These headphones sound awesomely detailed, musical, natural and simply beautiful. These are perfect for home listening but you would certainly think twice about taking them onto the train with you.

Thinksound Unveils First On-Ear Headphones

Thinksound On1 Headphones

Thinksound On1 Headphones

US headphone manufacturer Thinksound has finally unveiled its very first pair of on-ear headphones. Thinksound prides itself in manufacturing headphones that are assembled primarily from renewable, recyclable resources such as wood and aluminum and feature PVC-free cables.

The all new Thinksound On1 is said to have taken three years to develop. It features a 4cm driver that is housed in sustainable wood earcups designed for a larger soundstage, deep bass extension and clear high frequencies.

Also found in the box are two sets of detachable, Kevlar-reinforced cables – a standard 1.5m one and another with a built-in mic and single button for smartphone control. Users will also find a cotton carry pouch for storing the headphones and its accessories.

Stay tuned for the full Thinksound On1 headphones review.

Nutz Launches New Range of Headphones To End 2013

Nutz Pro Headphones

Nutz Pro Headphones

New kid on the block, Nutz, has announced a brand new range of luxury headphones. Nutz has been in the market for only a year and looks to combine affordable luxury, fashion and innovation for headphones that suit everyone.

Nutz’s new range consists of six models consisting of both headphones and earphones. The Nutz Pro headphones are its flagship model and come in wired or wireless options. They also feature memory foam earpads and come in no less than 13 colors.

The Nutz Sportz earphones on the other hand, work in-line with iOS devices with its built-in microphone and are suited for running.

Others in the range include the Nutz Budz that are entry level noise-isolating earphones, Nutz Gamer that are designed for Xbox 360 and PS3 users with Bluetooth connectivity and entry level headphones, Nutz Khans.

Focal Spirit Classic Headphones In “Hot Chocolate” Announced

Focal Spirit Classic Headphones In "Hot Chocolate"

Focal Spirit Classic Headphones In “Hot Chocolate”

Focal has long known to design, develop and manufacture high fidelity loudspeakers and drivers, bringing audiophiles ultimate listening pleasure.

Audiophiles can look forward to its newly announced Focal Spirit Classic headphones in a very pretty “Hot Chocolate” finish. Aimed at real music fans, these headphones were made for many hours of use, sporting very comfortable memory foam earcups and a soft ergonimic headband.

Not only does the Spirit Classic headphones look good and feel good on the ears, it sounds good too, delivering a detailed mid-range and linear top end for clear, open sound. Brushed and anodised aluminium with titanium/mylar transducers ensure there is no distortion in sound reproduction.

Travelers will love the anti-coil cable that includes call management controls and the selection of adapters.

The price has not been announced yet. And we can’t wait to get our hands on it already!

Bowers & Wilkins Releases First Over-Ear Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Over-Ear Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Over-Ear Headphones

British audio manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has finally unveiled its latest and first pair of high-end over-ear headphones, the Bowers & Wilkins P7 over-ear headphones.

These headphones feature ear pads encased in leather with a dual-cavity construction that helps them mould to the contours of the user’s head. All the moving parts are also constructed using brushed and stainless steel.

The P7 features a new drive unit, modeled on traditional hi-fi speakers, but with more space to let the diaphragm focus on generating sound. These headphones also features a lighter voice coil that is made from an aluminium-copper compound, allowing the drive unit to move more freely for better high frequency performance.

While these headphones won’t come cheap, they are certainly worth listening to.

Latest Headphones From AKG

AKG, one of the oldest headphone brands, does not stop innovating and designing for the ever changing preferences of the listening public. These days headphones are the in-thing for the young and upwardly mobile to show off their exquisite taste and design.

Not to be outdone by the latest trendy brand names like Beats by Dre, Skullcandy and Jay-Z , AKG ‘s latest range of headphones rose to the challenge with some cool designs that we hope do not sacrifice on AKG’s transparent and natural sound quality.

AKG has always made great looking headphones like the reference K702. But the new AKG K545, K845BT, and K323XS headphones set a new tone for AKG going forward. New colors are explored. The K545 has four color options – black, white, black/turquoise and black/orange. It has large 50mm drivers  in a closed-back design with enhanced acoustic dampening. This allows it to deliver a full bodied and more controlled bass response. Frequency response is touted to range from 20Hz to 20kHz.

AKG K545

AKG K545

Building on their forward looking mantra, AKG also jumps into wireless designs with the K845BT Bluetooth headphones. The K845BT has the same internal drivers as the K545s, but add Bluetooth connectivity by way of NFC (short for Near-Field Communications) for one-touch pairing with your smartphones. iOS users can easily set up pairing with the K845BT. The leather ear cushions also house all the controls you need to play and navigate through your music library. The K845BTs will come in black or white. It is powered by a Lithium battery which provides up to 8-hours of usage and charged via a mini USB to USB charging cable.

The K323XS are in-ear headphones and come in four bright colors in addition to black and white, and each is available in single-button models with a microphone for Android users as well as a three-button control mic for track navigation and volume control on iOS devices. AKG recognizes the noise-isolating value of a well fitting ear-tip. The K323 will come with four sizes that will give you that comfort without the drawback of long-term ear fatigue.

For more info: AKG press release

Sony’s All New Walkman WH Series : Headphone, MP3 Player, Speaker

Sony WH Series

Sony WH Series

Sony has been hitting consumers with plenty of new products recently and the newly minted WH series is its latest additions to the Walkman line-up – the Walkman MWZ-WH505 and NWZ-WH303.

These two headphones are set to provide the 3-in-1 Walkman experience, packing a set of speakers, built-in digital music player and traditional headphones into a single unit.

The higher end NWZ-WH505 comes with a 16GB music player while the WH303 comes with only 4GB, giving users space enough for over 4000 songs without the need to plug these headphones into any other device.

Wondering about the speakers in them? These headphones comes with xLoud tech speakers and with a flip of a switch, these headphones become loudspeakers that come with Virtualphones (VPT) surround sound.

Keep a look out for the full review of these nifty headphones!

Customize Bose QC15 In Any Color You Want

The top selling Bose QC15 noise cancelling headphones has just gone hip. You can now customize the QC15 according to your taste. It doesn’t come free though. For $100 more than the regular mundane version you can have yours customized using the online ‘Design Tool’. You are given many options and colors to choose. With a few clicks of the user friendly design tool you can change the color of the bracket, spacers, headbands, ear cups, domes etc. Here is an example of a quirky design:

Custom Bose QC 15


And here are how some of the finished products look like:Customized Bose QC15

The finished products certainly look unique and fashionable. Whether it justifies the additional 33% increase in price is a matter for you to decide.

If this is what you want you can go to Bose’s online design tool here to customize your own unique headphones.

A New Flagship From Shure -The SE846 Sound Isolating Earphones

The long awaited Shure flagship earphone is finally here. 5 years in the making, the Shure SE846 features several revolutionary design concepts that raise the bar for hi-end earphones.

Shure SE846 Earphones

Shure SE846 Earphones

The first logical step is for Shure to move to a three-way configuration. They have even gone one step further with a four-driver design, and also incorporated a low-pass filter design to dedicate the low-frequency drivers into the role of a “true subwoofer”, as Shure calls it. This has to be an industry first. Expect deep low-end performance without sacrificing clarity or detail of the mids and highs.

Another innovative feature is the removable nozzle. This feature, along with the detachable cables, extends the life of the earphones, which is a good thought considering its cost. 3 nozzles are provided so you can have the option of customizing the frequency response according to your taste – balanced, warm, or bright. What a novel idea indeed!

It is also built like a tank, according to Sean Sullivan, Shure’s Product Manager for Earphones. This close up shows the built quality and attention to detail that Shure has incorporated into the tiny enclosure.

Shure SE846 close up

Shure SE846 close up

The Shure SE846 lists for $999.99 and you can pre-order it at Amazon.

Related Link: The Making of the SE846: An Interview with Sean Sullivan

Ultra-Durable Status Headphones From Klipsch

Klipsch Status Headphones

Klipsch Status Headphones

Looking for a pair of ultra-durable noise-isolating headphones? Look no further than the Klipsch Status Headphones that was unveiled at the IFA consumer-electronics fair last week.

Despite the many headphones to choose from, the Klipsch Status headphones stand out with its extremely durable and light material – “Grilamid” which is said to be indestructible.

These headphones come with an ergonomic fit and 3-button remote for full music control and a directional mic for hands-free crystal clear phone calls.

Choosing The Right Headphones – Earbuds, On-Ear or Over-The-Ear Headphones

Headphones have been around since the 1970s. These were large cans that sit around the ear and provide an alternate way to listen to music instead of through speakers. Things changed when “music on the go” became hip with the arrival of portable music players in the 80s, most famously – the Sony Walkman. This signal the arrival of smaller headphones and in-ear headphones.

The portable music took another giant leap with the debut of the Apple iPod in 2001. It came with a pair of sleek white earbuds and the popularity of earbuds or in-ear headphones skyrocketed.   Suddenly, earbuds were all the rage for listening to music on the go.

Today, things are changing again. Over-the-ear headphones are becoming popular again and are becoming a fashion statement.

So which is the right one for me? A lot depends on your needs. They all have their pros and cons.

If you are constantly on the go and will be listening for long periods, earbuds or in-ear headphones will be better. They are light, easy to grab and go, and do not mess with your hair. Most earbuds are not as good sounding as over-the-ear headphones, but higher end models like the Sennheiser IE800 puts an end to that debate. If your lifestyle involves outdoor activities and going to the gym often earbuds would be the perfect choice.

Earbuds or In-Ear Headphones

Earbuds or In-Ear Headphones

But for really deep bass and heavy rock, nothing beats over-the-ear headphones (or circumaurals). These headphones have bigger drivers and thus are able to deliver deep bass that earbuds can’t do. Being larger they are less portable but recent models like the Beats Studio are light enough and makes a fashion statement too.

Over-The-Ear Headphones

Over-The-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones (or Supra-Aurals) like the Beats Mixr cover your entire ear surfaces but don’t seal them completely. These are more comfortable than over-the-ears and feels less hot for extended use.

On-Ear Headphones

On-Ear Headphones

If you travel by air often or work in a noisy environment, you may want to consider noise canceling headphones like the Bose Quiet Comfort 3. These are generally more expensive but they provide a relief from the constant drone of aircraft engines or the noisy environment you are in.

Stylish NCredible NTune Headphones From Monster

If you are looking for a pair of stylish headphones with attitude the latest Monster NCredible NTune is something that will fit the bill. Designed by entertainer extraordinaire Nick Cannon, the NCredible NTune packs an audio punch with astonishing good looks. Aimed at the younger set, it comes with a host of trendy colors – midnight black, cherry red, frost white, cobalt blue, juice orange, candy green, candy red, candy blue, candy tangerine and candy purple.

Monster-ncredible-ntune headphones

These mid-priced headphones are not big and the plastic headband bends easily, which is ideal for the young and mobile music lover. The tangle-free cables is convenient for dumping it in the bag when in a hurry on the move.  It has a built-in ControlTalk remote so you can answer calls without missing a beat.

Design-wise these on-ear ‘phones are comfortable even for extended listening.  The vinyl ear-pads are  soft and comfortable with very little sound leakage . Be aware that these are bass-heavy cans that are more suitable for hip-hop, dance, rap, Salsa and the like. Jazz and Classical lovers look elsewhere. But with the right music the NCredible NTune will rock your socks off.

Skullcrushers – Vibration You Can Wear

Bass-heavy headphones are the fad right now. Skullcandy has taken this up a notch with the ‘Crusher’. These headphones not only does deep bass, it lets you feel and hear it too.

Rather than trying to fake deep bass with DSP (digital signal processing), the SkullCrushers use an individually powered bass extension driver to let you feel the vibration. The new ‘Sensation55’ driver vibrates according to the deep bass in the music – delivering its “Bass You Can Feel” tagline.

Skullcandy Crusher

Audio-wise do not expect natural, well-balanced, timbre rich sounds. But the experience when you have music with rocking deep bass is something to behold. The new Crusher draws its bass inducing power from a battery powered amp hidden in the ear cup. The bass sensation slider is conveniently placed on the left ear cup. This allows you to adjust the vibration levels to your preference. You can even turn it off completely to hear music minus the powered bass boost. A good option to have if you want a respite from head banging bass to the rich string tones of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The Skullcrusher is made mostly of plastics to make the price affordable. It is made foldable with a detachable cord which makes it very portable. This is a unique pair of headphones. If you feel you are missing that oomph in your music this might just be something you want to try.

Source: Skullcandy

Beats Studio Headphones Gets A Makeover

All New Beats Studio by Dr. Dre

All New Beats Studio by Dr. Dre

It has been 5 years since the original Beats Studio headphones was launched, kicking off the stylish high-end headphones market. In 2 weeks’ time, Beats Electronics will be launching the all new sleeker Beats Studio headphones and we can’t wait to get our hands on them!

The new headphones are said to be lighter and sleeker than the original and feature a built-in rechargeable 20-hour battery a red rubber gasket that creates a great seal for sound and to keep sound from going out. The headphones are also said to be curvier, giving everything a sense of style and feel.

Users will also be able to use the headphones without music playing and without a cable to cancel noise while the headphone’s adaptive noise canceling will kick in when music is playing, to prevent outside clatter from interfering with your listening.

Other features include 5 small lights beneath the power button to show how much battery life remains and an option to charge the headphones using a micro USB cable that is plugged into a computer or an included adapter plugged into a power outlet.

We certainly cannot wait for these Beats Studio by Dr. Dre to be released! Stay tuned for the full Beats Studio by Dr. Dre review.

You Want Bass? Check Out Sony’s Extra Bass Headphones

Rock music without bass is like sitting on a chair with 3 legs. If heavy metal and hard rock is your thing Sony has the right cans for you – the Extra Bass headphone series comprising of the new Sony MDR-XB920 and MDR-XB610. These headphones are huge. If you want deep bass you can’t you can’t escape from the physics of sound.

Sony MDR-XB920 Headphones

Sony MDR-XB920 Headphones

The Sony MDR-XB920 is an update of last year’s XB900. They look more stylish and come with a strong dash of colors – silver with black or silver with red for the XB920, while the XB-610 comes in silver with white and silver with orange. The ear pads are made of urethane foam that is quite comfortable and helps to reduce the ambient noise, but because it is such a tight fit, the rubbery material will cause heat to build up and your ears will sweat after about 30 minutes. So these are not for long term listening, especially when you are listening to heavy metal at elevated volumes. The headphones can be conveniently folded and packed away in your bag. Be aware that these will take up quite a bit of space.

Soundwise the differences between these and last year’s models are subtle. The bass is deep and strong but not overly boomy. Sony has struck a nice balance between slam and musicality, offering detailed resolutions to both mid and highs. The overall sound signature is tilted towards the 80Hz bass region giving you a strong kick when you are listening to tracks with lots of mid to low bass content.

The option of detachable, tangle resistant cables in the new models is a nice feature. You can choose between using a cable with or without an in-line remote, and Android users can use the Sony Smart Key App to program the function of the button on the remote.

Sennheiser Momentum Headphones Now Come in Pretty Colors

Headphones are big business nowadays. The battle is in the young and hip Gen Y segment where style, design, and pretty colors make a fashion statement. So big names have their marketing and design divisions cracking their heads on how to penetrate this segment and grab their attention. Speed and timing is key as it is highly competitive and highly contested.

It is no surprise that Sennheiser updated their Momentum line of on-ear headphones with their first ever color range upping the headphone specialists’ style credentials. A lot of thought and research have been done to create these new Momentum headphones and their choice of colors in pastel shades of pink, blue, green and cream to complement the latest fashions. According to Sennheiser’s press release, the materials are chosen to provide maximum comfort for extended listening on the move. The headband and earpads are finished in Alcantara, a specialized material loved by yacht and automotive upholsterers for its unique combination of softness, durability, and breathable comfort. The earpads are designed to isolate ambient noise. We do hope that audio quality has not taken a back seat with the strong emphasis on design. High tech brushed stainless steel sliders complete the luxurious and stylish look. The detachable cable with in-line remote and mic for Apple iDevices is a nice touch.

Sennheiser Momentum Headphones

Sennheiser Momentum Headphones

See how renowned photographer Alexander Gnädinger worked with three established fashion bloggers from different countries to create personal portraits reflecting the colors and the style of the new MOMENTUM Headphones:

We hope to get a review done when it is released in a few weeks. Official pricing is £169.99. The US price has not been confirmed.

Headphones That Will Turn Heads

Frends Layla Headphones

Frends Layla Headphones

In 2003, Skullcandy introduced colorful, stylish headphones to a dull, monochrome market. 10 years later, Keir Dillion and his 6-man team at Frends are taking the headphones market by storm with premium headphones for women that are treated more like designer handbags.

Frends’ bestseller, the Layla headphones, boasts specially engineered audio drivers and are wrapped in soft leather to prevent the dreaded hair-snagging. They are also accented with hand-polished, antiqued metals and packaged in textured, cream-color boxes that resemble clutch purses.

Frends products have hit Apple stores and Best Buy since 2012 and the company believes that once people see fashion and electronics in a new way, it will open up a massive category for growth in consumer electronics.

What To Look For When Shopping For Noise Cancelling Headphones

Shopping for headphones these days is certainly no easy feat. Plenty of models boast noise isolation and noise cancelling but there are some that do it at the expense of audio quality while others do little more than crank up the volume to drown out the noise. Here’s what to look out for when you’re shopping for a pair of noise cancelling headphones.

Step 1 : Decide on the type of headphones you desire before shopping. There are many different types of headphones these days, from earbuds to earpads to full-sized headphones that fit around our entire ear. When looking for noise cancelling headphones, most folks would opt for the full-sized headphones as it helps lend a passive hand to active noise cancellation. For noise isolation, earbuds would be ideal.

Step 2 : Be ready to pay a premium for good noise cancelling headphones. While you don’t have to empty your wallet, most active noise cancelling headphones have their own audio processor and its build quality, internal drivers all add to the cost.

Step 3 : Try on the headphones you wish to buy and toggle their noise cancellation system. Make sure you get a good snug fit in, on or over your ears. If you are with a friend, get them to talk to you at different distances to see if you can hear them or make them out. Try the headphones out, not just for the noise cancellation effect but also for how your music will sound like.

Step 4 : Check the battery life and warranty and look around for reviews. Reviews aren’t just for the headphones but also of the company’s customer service policies. Battery life is important so you will have a few extras on-hand on your next flight or in your desk at work.

Knowing The Difference Between Noise Isolating And Noise Cancelling Headphones

Shopping for headphones or earbuds to minimize external noise? These can be especially useful when you want to focus on your music or block out unwanted sounds. What then is the difference between noise cancelling and noise isolating? We find out more below.

Noise isolating headphones create a physical barrier to block out noise by creating a good seal between your ear and the headphone while earbuds block out noise with a snug fit. These headphones/earphones create the strongest comfortable seal around your ears or ear canal so that the only thing you will hear is your music.

Noise cancelling headphones, on the other hand, use digital signal processing (DSP) technology to actively cancel out the sound waves from ambient noise. These headphones have an internal microphone and audio processor that “listens” to the sound around you and plays an opposite sound to cancel it out. The best of these noise cancelling headphones eliminate noise from your surroundings and better still, offer you some peace and quiet even it there is no music playing.

Most importantly, both these noise isolating and noise cancelling headphones aren’t for wearing when you’re up and about. If you need to hear your surroundings for safety, these are a bad idea!