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CES 2010 Audio

By Terry Currier

CES 2010 - Video of many exhibitors     Audio     Computer-to-TV     Medical     Networking     Printers     Projectors     Power  

Blue Microphones
Announced the availability of the Yeti, the first THX® Certified microphone. It is the  ultimate USB microphone for professional recording. This is the first microphone to offer the qualityBlue Microphone Yeti and range of versatility to produce the best quality recordings in a wide range of situations, including podcasts, vocals, live or event recording, interviews, broadcasts,  instruments, bands and more. The Yeti features:

The Yeti features driverless installation and works with both PC and Mac. The MSRP is $150.

The Eyeball 2.0 features a higher-quality lens and 2-megapixel camera, it is a plug-and-play Webcam with professional-class, digital audio. The camera-off privacy position allows the HD lens to retract into the microphone unit and the Webcam is easy to position thanks to its unique design and rubber monitor adapter. Available now for an MSRP of $80.

Creative Technology
Announced the PCI-E Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi® Titanium HD and USB Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD, PC audio with the first discrete audio card and USB digital audioCreative Sound Blaster card system to include THX TruStudio PC™ audio technology.

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD

X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor for PCI Express slots. Combines captivating industrial design with audiophile grade Digital to Analog Converters (DACs) and components to produce a 122dB signal-to-noise ratio, the highest SNR ever produced by a Creative sound card. A replaceable Op-amp is also a distinguishing feature allowing users to customize audio output with coloration that is refined to their personal tastes. Works with Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD

Designed as a high definition USB audio solution for notebooks and desktops it features audiophile-grade recording and playback. It is the only USB digital audio system that includes an analogue phono input, as well as standard audio inputs, enabling users to effortlessly convert analogue audio from their record albums or cassette tapes into MP3, AAC, FLAC and other digital formats. The systems comes with Media Toolbox, a comprehensive software package, including an advanced noise reduction program that easily remove unwanted clicks, crackles, hums, pops, rumble and other sound imperfections from the tracks after they have been recorded, substantially improving the audio quality for playback.

THX TruStudio PC is specially designed to bring the same great audio experience found in live performances, films, and recording studios to the PC. THX TruStudio PC Surround provides immersion control to enhance the natural sense of audio depth and spaciousness by creating virtual surround sound channels. Stereo content or multi-channel content played over stereo speakers and headphones will sound as if it is coming from all sides while voices remain centered in front and original balance and timbre is preserved. THX TruStudio PC Crystalizer restores the natural dynamic range that is lost when iTunes and MP3 music get compressed. This makes the music sound as good as the artiste originally intended, and adds an enhanced level of realism for movies and games.

THX TruStudio PC Speaker fills in the missing low frequency tones and gives the extra impact for a better entertainment experience. THX TruStudio PC Dialog Plus enhances the voices in movies for clearer dialogue, allowing the listener to hear the dialogue over the rest of the soundtrack and over ambient noise in the listening environment.

The Creative Sound Blaster Titanium HD is priced at $200US and is available now. Sound Blaster X-Fi HD is priced at $100US. 

The new JVC HA-NC260 headphones combine outstanding sound quality with advanced noise-canceling and isolation technologies to provide a superior listening experience. It’s  noiseJVC headphones cancellation circuitry includes feedback technology that constantly monitors the noise cancellation process. As a result, the headphones eliminate up to 90 percent of extraneous background noise. This makes them a fine choice for enjoying music, and also for minimizing distraction by environmental noise in order to relax or concentrate more effectively.

To further block noise each earpiece employs a dual housing structure for an extra sound  insulation layer. Secondly, JVC’s technique for attaching the headphone’s smooth memory foam cushioned ear pads to the housing helps isolate background noise. For the best possible sound quality, the new headphones use a 40mm Neodymium driver in each earpiece.

It features a volume attenuator for in-flight use for those instances where the volume from the aircraft entertainment system is uncomfortably loud. The headphones use a single 1.5-volt AAA battery for powering the noise cancellation circuitry. A single AAA-type alkaline battery provides power for up to 50 hours of continuous noise canceling use. They will be available in March 2010 for $200.

For those who find that color-coordinating their headphones with the day’s outfit doesn’t quite cut it anymore, JVC offers a new, more adventurous option for the fashion-obsessed – animal print inner ear headphones. The new JVC HA-FXP3 comes in four popular animal print patterns: Dalmatian, leopard, zebra stripe and pink zebra stripe. A secure, comfortable fit is assured with three different sizes of silicon earpieces supplied: medium, small and extra-small, reflecting the smaller average size of women’s ears. Snug-fitting headphones are not only less likely to fall out, they also provide better isolation from outside sounds, and minimize sound leakage. Available now for $20.

Harman Kardon
The GLA-55™ offers audio luxury for the high-end consumer. It is a two piece speaker system for computer, MP3 player and home entertainment use. Combining numerous proprietary technologies to provide the highest audio quality it delivers with astonishing bass and clear accurate sound in any direction. Harmon GLA-55 speakers

From the facets of the bass reflex enclosure and custom copper tubing, to the powerful bass of its Atlas woofers and crystal-clear highs of the CMMD® tweeters. The system delivers with a powerfully tuned digital audio path; the clean and compact digital amplification coupled with DSP (digital signal processing) equalization efficiently provides the systems transducers with cool-running power. For added bass response, the subwoofer output allows connection to most standalone subwoofer systems. Touch-sensitive volume controls provides an easy user experience; touch both volume controls simultaneously to mute the audio output and touch again to un-mute. From the chrome base to the fully visible audio engine and port, the clear diamond like design leaves no detail unrefined.

The CMMD drivers provide accurate high frequencies while capable of low frequency extension to four octaves compared with traditional powered tweeters. The Atlas AL driver is capable of nearly 1” peak-to-peak travel for tight, accurate bass reproduction. This desktop pairing provides a full rich frequency response from the lowest bass to highest highs. Available in clear with chrome accents for a suggested retail price of $1,000.

Click here to see video of booth

Unlike other in-ear earphones, the Ultimate Ears 700 earphones use a custom-tuned dual-armature microdesign that features two high-fidelity channels per ear for highly accurate sound reproduction in a compact design – each earphone is smaller than a dime. The Ultimate Ears 700 earphones include an assortment of soft-silicone and Comply™ foam ear cushions so you can choose the fit that’s best for you. And the comfortable, custom fit provides passive noise-isolation of up to 26 dB, allowing you to get fully immersed in your tunes.

Chrome-finished “Jamz” high-performance in-ear headphones, is combining astounding audio performance with unprecedented affordability. Monster’s new headphone line also includes the super compact, entry-level “Lil’ Jamz™ as well as the new Mobile Jamz™.  Monster earbuds

Key to the high-performance audio of Jamz is their 100% solid metal construction. In addition to making them virtually indestructible, the patent-pending machined-billet metal housing cancels unwanted vibrations for the purest sound imaginable. Additionally, Jamz’ bright scratch- and corrosion-resistant chrome finish is a more durable surface than anodization, plastic or paint and ensures that the headphones maintain their attractive styling and brand new look.

To further enhance audio performance it comes with 24k gold contacts for maximum signal transfer and corrosion resistance. A rugged cable strain relief system protects the cable and withstands heavy-duty use, and a cable management clip controls and keeps weight off the headphones, ensuring they stay in the user’s ears.

The custom-designed eartips provide the superior isolation needed to  shut out the outside world. In addition to the added comfort, the eartips remain snugly in the ear, even while the user is active.

Mobile Jamz offer users several breakthrough features and functionalities that set new standards for on-the-go media management and more. The included Monster® Mobile Media Drive, for instance, includes a 2GB microSD™ Card and USB Adaptor. This allows users to load all their favorite music and photos directly from their PCs and move the content to their music phones. And thanks to its pre-loaded Monster Mobile Media Manager Software, the process is simple, quick and intuitive.

With its included Y-Cable “Chat Adapter,” Mobile Jamz can also be used to easily make for free calls and video chats on Skype, as well as access any other online voice and video chat application and more. Users simply use the Chat Adapter to plug into their PC or Mac’s headphone and mic ports, and speak through the crystal clear ControlTalk™ microphone.

Jamz in-ear headphones will be available for the following suggested retail prices:

Jamz – (SRP: $120, $1505 with ControlTalk); Lil’ Jamz” (SRP: $100, $120 with ControlTalk); Mobile Jamz (SRP: $149.95, includes ControlTalk).

Also announced were Turbine Pro™ Copper In-Ear Speakers™. Designed to provide listeners with a slightly pronounced low-frequency response, geared toward audiophile listeners who prefer extraordinarily punchy, impactful bass. They also expanded their line of “SuperTip” sound-isolating eartips made out of a specially engineered foam material.

Knowing that professionals and travelers often abuse their gear, the company offers a one-time Lifetime Replacement Guarantee – even if users break the headphones themselves. With its all metal construction and robust strain relieve, Monster believes Turbine Pro is one of the most durable in-ear headphones ever made.

Monster Turbine Pro Copper In-Ear Speakers are available for a suggested retail price of $400 per pair or $430 with Monster’s ControlTalk™ headphone cable, which can be used with iPhone™ and iPod® for music playback control as well as to take hands-free calls with iPhone and many smartphones. Monster Turbine Pro Gold In-Ear Speakers are currently available for a suggested retail price of $300 per pair or $330 with ControlTalk.

Altogether the 22 new earphone models, designed specifically for use with portable players, offer a first-class audio experience. Sennheiser earbuds

The new earphones for audiophiles come in three different styles: the MX 980 is a classic earphone with a secure fit. The CX 980 ear-canal phone can be adjusted for a custom fit by using different sized ear adapters. Its snug position in the ear canal delivers amazing attenuation of background noise. Using individually adjustable ear clips, the OMX 980 provides a stable, comfortable fit in any situation. All three models, which have a MSRP between US $2560 and US $340, feature a volume control integrated into the cable. For uninhibited listening enjoyment, the cable can be attached directly to your clothing with a clip matching the design of the earphones. The new earphone jack enables you to connect your earphones to audio sources in either a straight or right-angled configuration. The included in-flight audio adapter offers the same flexibility and never gets in the way when connected to the on-board entertainment system. Delivery includes a pouch for the headphones, cable clip and IFE audio adapter.

For those who appreciate balanced stereo sound and dynamic bass, Sennheiser offers four new models with elegant, dynamic designs. These models carry an MSRP of between US $90 and US $170. The MX 880 stereo earphones enhance music on the go with powerful bass thanks to a high-performance transducer system. The CX 870 and CX 880 reproduce outstanding sound directly into the ear canal, guaranteeing a perfect fit and exceptional attenuation of ambient sounds. The CX 880 also features a volume control integrated in the cable. The ergonomic OCX 880 features a custom in-the-ear fit via the supplied ear adapters, while flexible ear clips provide additional stability and support.

For music lovers who value cutting-edge design, as well as high-quality acoustics. These new earphones, which have an MSRP of between $20 and $70. The MX 270, MX 370, MX 470 and the MX 580 are classic earphones that deliver full-range sound with powerful bass thanks to high-performance neodymium magnets. The CX 270 and CX 280 ear canal phones also offer satisfying portable audio experience: the CX 270 features enhanced bass, while the CX 280 provides balanced audio reproduction. The OMX 180 and MXL 570 each score points for being exceptionally comfortable. Flexible ear clips enable the OMX 180 to be individually adjusted to your ears. The MXL 570 comes with a practical lanyard cord, enabling you to remove the earphones without the risk of losing them.

Combining the convenience and quality of digital music with top-of-the-line equipment, the clear and balanced sound of ZAGGbuds™ lets gadget lovers get the most out of their devices. The upgraded features o­er customers an exceptional audio experience that is an excellent value for the cost.Zagg earbuds

The premium length, tangle-free cord from earlier versions has been given a improved, durable, polyurethane coating, which comes in bright, dazzling colors. Multiple sliders provide cord management and greater listening convenience. ZAGGbuds™ can be worn with a custom slider alignment called “Hangin’ Tight,” which keeps the buds around your neck, even when not in use.

Note prices stated are rounded up.

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