Tagged With headphones

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Beats' new headphones are Bluetooth, but better. You don't even have to touch your phone to pair them, battery life is twice as long as previous generation. And they're Beats, so if you buy them then you're instantly the coolest guy in the room. But what do they actually sound like?

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Once in a while, a company takes all the good bits from its previous products and puts them together in a new one, one that hits the mark just right. Sony's newest headphones have all the noise-cancelling smarts of older MDR-series headsets, add a bunch of genuinely useful extras, and bring the fight to Bose's best QuietComforts with superior sound quality both wired and wireless.

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I am listening to music at all times. Always. I've missed whole memos of verbal information and dodged countless potentially life-changing conversations. I've been the guy in a bar with headphones on. And carrying me through this blissful solitude was a pair of indestructible $10 corded earbuds that I knew to sound only kind of good. Wireless earbuds usually market themselves towards the sporty, sweat-prone types, and I'd yet to find a pair that could also help me tune out the world 24 hours a day. That's still not the case, but the Jaybird X3 comes pretty damn close.

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Back in September, Apple promised us that AirPods would be released at the end of October. Well, it's the end of October. Where the hell are our AirPods? Not in your ears, that's for sure.

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To the surprise of exactly no one, Apple's new generation of iPhones will not include a standard 3.5mm headphone input. The decision signals the demise of an audio port that's been used for more than 100 years — and honestly, it's about time. The death of the headphone jack is a very good thing. Hear me out.

16

Over the past few years, Sony has repositioned itself not as just a middling peddler of TVs and Blu-ray players and home audio gadgets like soundbars and Bluetooth speakers, but also the mass market leader in high resolution, super high quality personal audio devices. It's something the company has had credentials in since the original '70s Walkman, which genuinely revolutionised portable music in a way that wasn't equaled until the iPod.

Now, in 2016, at the 70th anniversary of Sony, the latest Walkman is the pinnacle of quality. That has culminated in a digital audio player that will cost you $4299 in Australia — and that's before you buy an equally high quality and equally expensive pair of headphones.

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When Bluetooth headphones first hit the market in the mid-2000s, it was a good idea to steer clear. The sound was discernibly worse. Connection problems were abundant, and they were expensive. But a decade later, consumer research firm NPD Group says that Bluetooth headphones have finally outsold their wired competition in the US.