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Headphones

Music lovers can waste many hours and huge sums of money searching for a pair of headphones to match a certain style or preferred sonic signature, only to have to put them to one side and start again just to join the groovy wireless in-crowd. If those premium cans are the kind where the audio cable can be unplugged, however, then the Spiro X1 will allow them to be transformed into Bluetooth ear candy.

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Though open high definition headphones like Sennheiser's wonderful HD 598s or the mighty HD 800s can offer greater spacing and a more natural airy feel than closed-back designs, they can't really be used in anything but the quietest of environments so listening on the move is simply not an option. The German audio brand says that it's new HD 630VB headphones offer hi-res music lovers a balanced, airy and audiophile-grade listening experience with the benefit of effective passive noise isolation.

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When it comes to trusted audio equipment names, few match the reputation of industry stalwart Bose. Since the company first dipped its toes into the tranquil waters of noise-cancelling gear in 2000, it's over-ear QuietComfort headphone line has evolved to become recognized as some of the best in the business. So how well will its latest offering, the QuietComfort 25's, live up to this legacy? Read on, as we try Bose's newest cans on for size.

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Noise canceling headphones can be pretty handy if you're trying to catch some shut-eye on a plane or bus. But with their hardened earpieces and stiff bands, most aren't all that great when you're in need of a solid night's sleep. London-based startup Kokoon has designed a pair of headphones equipped with electroencephalography (EEG) sensors and an emphasis on comfort, designed to keep you snoozing until the early hours and then wake you up with feedback on just how well you slept.

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Though some headphone designs cater for replacing comfy foam earpads that have lost their memory or audio cables that no longer let the music flow, when a driver unit packs up it's usually time to hit the stores again for a new pair. With the launch of its TMA-2 headphones today, Danish audio design firm AIAIAI is offering another way. If users want to try out different drivers, they can just buy the component and swap out the existing ones. Likewise for headbands, earpads and cables. The modular headphones have arrived. Read More
When a high-end audio maker announces a new product, a high price tag is almost guaranteed to accompany its release. Indeed, NuPrime Audio's amps, preamps, DACs and heaphone amps are usually found in the four figure range, but not its new uDSD. The high resolution digital-to-analog converter and headphone amp will retail for under two hundred bucks. Read More
One of the least exciting pieces of technology on a smartphone is the 3.5 mm audio jack. There's not a lot of room to make changes there, but Magzet is aiming to do some innovating by turning any audio jack into a magnet connector. It's a simple change, but one that promises to make plugging in audio devices easier, and a whole lot cooler. Read More
Miami startup Next Galaxy is turning to crowdfunding to finance Ceekars 4D. The smart headphones are designed to bring a new level of immersion to virtual reality, gaming and other media through haptic feedback and a more immersive sound technology. Read More
The speakers on many smartphones can be painfully lacking in detail and bottom end, and really start to distort when the volume is pushed to levels guaranteed to annoy fellow commuters. Listening to music with the help of the built-in headphone jack will almost certainly offer an improved sonic experience, but high quality? Probably not. External headphone amps can help to increase the quality of mobile music devices, but (with some notable exceptions) these can add significant bulk to your pocket. A tiny new headphone amp named Uamp is making a bid for production on Kickstarter and, though small in size, its makers reckon that portable music lovers are in for a clearer, louder and richer listening experience. Read More
Oppo Digital has added a new pair of planar magnetic headphones to its existing PM-1 and PM-2 models. At just over 10 oz, the company claims that the stylish PM-3 cans are the world's lightest closed-back planar magnetic headphones, while also holding the promise of audiophile-pleasing performance without the audiophile price tag. Read More
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