When it comes to most crowdfunded campaigns, backers hope that their pledges successfully produce and ship the product(s) designed by the creators. But everyone once in a great while, you'll find a project that is tailor-made to the requests of consumers. Trinity Audio Engineering has just launched a fresh Kickstarter campaign to create high-end in-ear monitors (IEMs) for active individuals, all because of the collective comments and feedback during its previous success.
Plantronics, well known for communication headsets and Bluetooth earpieces, has been showing more of its casual, active lifestyle side over the past year. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro, BackBeat Fit, and BackBeat Go 2 have been targeted at consumers looking for portable audio gear. But with the market so saturated these days, it takes more than Bluetooth wireless to turn heads. We get some quality time with Plantronics’ latest BackBeat Sense headphones to see if the added features truly make a meaningful difference.
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.
We were mighty impressed with V-Moda's Crossfade M-100 closed back headphones when we reviewed them just over two years ago. Wouldn't it be great, though, if we could just unplug the bright orange cable with inline mic/controls and enjoy the same spacious soundstage and top notch signature with wireless freedom? The successfully-crowdfunded BTunes plugs into the audio input jack on the headphone cup and gives Bluetooth superpowers to previously wired-only cans. One of the first very limited batch of production units made its way to Gizmag, and wireless music has been on the menu ever since.
Audio-Technica is probably best known for its headphones, such as the ATH-M50 professional studio monitor headphones and the slightly more consumer-oriented ATH-M50x model. But not everyone wants to wear something you’d find in a DJ’s backpack, which is where the more street-ready ATH-MSR7 headphones come in. We've spent some time with our ears wrapped in the units to see how they perform.
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.
Binaural recordings use two microphones to capture sound in the same way it is captured by human ears. The spatial depth of the resulting 3D sound is often impressive, but it can only be fully appreciated when wearing headphones and the recording process tends to be reserved for professionals as it usually involves a dummy head with a microphone placed in each ear. A German company called Binauric is looking to bring binaural recording to a wider audience with its OpenEars Bluetooth in-ear headphones that feature a microphone in each earpiece.
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.