Headphones at IFA 2018: What’s New and What’s Hot?
Headphones are a dime a dozen, and distinguishing one pair from another can be tough when there are so many options out there.
But a few companies at IFA 2018 managed to catch our interest with their new and upcoming headphones. Here are some of the best headphones releases and announcements you might want to know about.
While the Panasonic HTX80B over-ear wireless headphones (available on Amazon) have been out since earlier this year, they deserve a mention. Not only is the minimal retro style pleasing to the eye, but they’re incredibly comfortable to wear.
Unlike many over-ear headphones, the HTX80B’s cups are large enough that they don’t press on your ears, and the band is so light that you barely feel them on your head. On a full charge, the headphones last about 24 hours of active use.
But most importantly, the passive noise isolation works well. I could barely hear anything around me as I listened to music on a modest volume in the midst of an active venue.
While the build quality is great, the audio quality is par for the course, so it may be tough to justify the price. If style, comfort, and passive noise isolation are what you need and you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of sound for it, consider the HTX80B.
The Panasonic HD605N was the company’s main headphones showcase. It comes with three active noise cancelling modes, both wired and wireless connections, and a “cover to silence” gesture for when you want to talk to somebody.
Cover both cups with your hands to stop audio playback and pause active noise cancellation. Whether you’re studying for an exam or commuting on a train, you won’t have to remove the headphones if someone wants to ask you something.
And while it’s easy to switch between Low, Medium, and High noise-cancellation modes at the press of a button, I couldn’t quite tell the difference between them. They all worked just fine and created a pleasant listening environment.
Audio quality is great thanks to its 40mm HD driver and anti-vibration frame. With noise cancellation enabled, the HD605N lasts about 20 hours of active use—and every 15 minutes of charging provides 2 hours of audio playback.
The Panasonic HD605N is available on Amazon starting today.
Launching on September 17 for $ 180, the Skullcandy Venue expands Skullcandy’s line of premium headphones with active noise cancellation and built-in location tracking with Tile technology.
While noise cancellation is enabled, you can simply press the Monitor Mode button to pause and listen in on your surroundings. Pretty standard for modern noise cancellation headphones.
But the built-in Tile tracker caught our interest. All you need is the Tile mobile app to track down your headphones in case they’re ever lost or stolen—and it works even when the battery is dead.
Google Assistant integration is also worth noting: when the Venue is connected to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, you can double-press the designated button and interact with Google Assistant through the Venue’s own microphone and speakers.
The wireless Venue lasts up to 24 hours with active noise cancellation, and recharges at a rate of 5 hours of audio playback for every 10 minutes plugged in.
Pre-order now on the Skullcandy website.
We’ll be updating this post with more products as we encounter them.
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