Odds and (the) End(s) Part 2 – CES 2015

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Manley has been on the audiophile map as a tube amplifier manufacturer for quite some time now. The US-based factory is housed on the west coast and ships internationally. The room at the Venetian showcased their products in an eye-catching “art as art” setup.

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While fine details on the new Fiio player are still a bit elusive, the new X3k was on display in the South Hall next to the rest of the iPod-inspired lineup of high resolution DAPs from the company.

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B & O Play had their new touch sensing wireless headphone called the BeoPlay H8 on hand at CES. The $499 bluetooth headphone features track and volume section on the outer right aluminum ear cup which can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX. The headphone claims 18 hours of use from its 800 mA battery and charges in 3 hours. The headphone delivers sound compliments of a 40mm dynamic driver. B & O Play also had some lighter fare called H2 for $199 that featured a 40mm driver, but with a wired 3 button remote/microphone connection. The H8 should become available in the next few weeks.

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The new headphone from Audio-Technica is called the ATH-MSR7. The $249 retail headphone features new 45mm “True Motion” dynamic drivers and a “triple vent system” to help with sonic clarity.

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The new urban headphone from Beyerdyamic is called the Custom Street. As a follow up to the bass adjustable [Custom One Pro], the team at Beyer has moved even further into the theme with the launch of an externally customizable headphone that comes with 16 design covers that you can swap out. Tonal shaping is still available for those who like a little versatility in the frequency response and you can even share your tunes with one other friend by connecting a second cable to the bottom of the headphone. The Custom Street hits the street in a few weeks and should retail for $199.

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Even though its a bit of an outlier in hifi, a small crop of waterproof headphones did pop up at the show. The Audio-Technica SonicSport line is IPX5 waterproof certified and was on display in a small enclosure being constantly doused in water from a fountain. The relatively inexpensive headphone line retails between a mere $59.95-$35.95, pocket change by audiophile standards. The ATH-Sport 1IS model costs $39.95 connects to smartphones with in-line mic and control buttons. I was able to get my hands on a sample of the 1IS so expect to see some impressions on the site in the near future. I’m excited to see what a $50 pair of in ears can do these days.

[Odds and (the) End(s) Part 3 – CES 2015]