Optoma has today released the BE6 earphones, its fourth since acquiring the NuForce brand late last year, and its first wireless models. The stylish bullets are reported smaller than Bluetooth market leaders and are being aimed squarely at mobile music lovers with an ear for quality. Gizmag was sent a pre-release pair for review.
While basic earbuds will get the job done, many eventually choose to upgrade their audio with something that both looks and sounds better. If you happen to have an appreciation for precision-machining and fine material, the latest from Master & Dynamic may catch your fancy. The ME05 earphones feature 8-mm Neodymium drivers encased in a solid brass body with a hand-finished shine.
For the last few years, RHA's earphones have gone from great-sounding blasters for the budget conscious to top notch high resolution audio throwers like the impressive T20s we reviewed back in July. Fast approaching its fifth anniversary, the company now feels that the time is right for a move beyond earphones and gave a glimpse into its near future vision with a still-in-development DAC/headphone amp on show at IFA 2015. Gizmag dropped by the RHA booth for a quick look.
Back in May, British headphone maker Reid Heath Audio (RHA) announced a new pair of in-ear headphones that debuted something called DualCoil dynamic driver technology. The company had managed to install two independently-powered dynamic voice coils on a micro ring magnet, one to handle lower audio frequencies and the other to take care of the higher end. The T20s promised a true-to-life reproduction and support for high resolution audio. We got to plug in for some hi-res, and lo-res, listening.
Over the past few years, California-based Phiaton has earned much recognition for a headphone lineup that embodies modern styling, quality audio, and tends to pack in more features than the competition. Combined with very affordable price-points, it’s easy to understand their popularity. We check in with Phiaton’s all-new BT 100 NC earphones to see if they up the ante for mobile-friendly convenience and all-around use.
The convenience of a wireless Bluetooth connection over the snarl of headphone cables is obvious, but some manufacturers are still sticking with the tried-and-true wired approach. One such company, Zipbuds, had created zipper-styled, tangle-resistant earphones and has launched the Zipbuds Slide, which feature a zipperless zipper.
A California startup is seeking funding through Kickstarter for Dot, the "world's smallest Bluetooth headset." The device reportedly measures only 13.8 by 21 mm (0.54 by 0.83 in), weighs just 3.5 g (0.12 oz), and smashed its modest funding goal only one hour into the campaign. Its diminutive size, however, comes at the expense of battery life.
Back in April, Denmark's AIAIAI announced a new headphone line that allowed buyers to customize their preferred sound and look by swapping out components. Los Angeles-based Torque Audio has a similarly modular outlook to headphone design and has hit Kickstarter to try and bring its new flagship headphones to release. The t402v models feature a proprietary bio-cell diaphragm and will come with supra-aural and circumaurul ear pads that can be tuned for bass response.
Hong Kong-based Zorloo headed to Indiegogo earlier this year to crowdfund some next generation earphones that integrated a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amp into the inline controller. By the time the campaign closed on February 22, the campaign had attracted over US$85,000, nearly four times the funding goal. Now, after a slight production delay, backers are starting to receive their Z:ero in-ear headphones and the company's Andy Ho sent Gizmag some to try out.
For its first foray into a crowded earphone space, PSB Speakers is aiming straight for the audiophile jugular with a combination of hybrid dual-drivers and its own Roomfeel technology. When the source audio signal reaches each M4U 4 in-ear monitor, the lower frequencies are directed to a dynamic driver while the higher end head for a balanced armature driver. This hybrid system has allowed the company's designers to add back the acoustic signature of a typical listening room for greater space and true-to-life presentation of recorded music.