CES 2016: Day Four

Kind of a short report today. The Sands Convention Center was where the fitness stuff was, and a few other odds and ends.

First up, the Vie Share headphones pictured above. The idea here is to have a completely open headphone where sound approaches you ears as it normally would from speakers. It's also got some wireless features that allow you to share music with others. It was a prototype.

The sound was...well, about what you'd expect from looking at it: really thin. They said they were working on it. The ear pad (I'm not sure what to call it) was actually much more comfortable than I expected. I think physics may get the better of this idea. I doubt they'll ever make it sound any good. Good luck, guys.

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Oh man, these are cool! Makerbloks are magnetically connecting electronic circuit components for kids to learn electronics. Check out their home page—which is more fun than a bowl full of volume controls—or their Kickstarter page for deeper info on these pretty amazing blocks.

I know you're 42, but go ahead and pre-order one for yourself and get started learning electronics...you know you want to. I won't tell anyone.

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Here's a perfect example of why this report is so short: Nineteen times out of twenty these kinds of products suck, but you gotta keep looking and listening to as many weird little headphone gadgets as you can because every once in a while you turn up a nugget. The Bedphones ($59.95) actually sound pretty good given their size and shape, and come with some solid ergonomic advantages. Unexpectedly, even to me, I'll be doing a full report in the coming week.

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The Bragi Dash ($299), billed as the world’s first wireless smart earphones, made big news a year ago when their Kickstarter campaign raised over $3 million on a $260k ask. I was told it had 26 sensors in it to measure and allow control for all manner of things. Yeah man, full report coming.

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Had my video camera not crapped out I would have done a report on the new 99 Classic ($309) from Meze headphones, which sounded markedly better than the previous model to my ears. Also available from Meze are two in-ear models, the 11 Deco (now on sale for $47.40) and 11 Classics ($79). Samples will be on their way soon for measurement and a good listen.

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Founder of Iron Maiden Steve Harris and Onkyo have teamed up to produce the nearly untypeable ED-PH0N3S ($299). Looking suspiciously like the delightful Onkyo ES-FC300 ($149) I reviewed, though in garish plastic death metal cartoon livery, I have to say they sounded pretty good. I'd go with the FC300 at half the price, but then I'm not a metal fan.

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Along with the introduction of the AK320 ($1800), a new player positioned in the middle of the range, Astel & Kern's flagship AK380 ($3500) that normally come in an aircraft grade Duralumin gunmetal gray chassis, has just gotten that much more sexy with an optional solid-copper body. I'm told the copper is clear-coated for a long lasting luster, but personally I'd prefer it uncoated to allow a patena to develop. A&K representatives tell me the copper-bodied version does sound a little more relaxed. This piece of lust-worthy audio kit will set you back a cool $4000.

I didn't even ask how much this VR chair costs.

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Full CES 2016 reports start in earnest Monday! See you then.

COMMENTS
barun432's picture

Did you get a chance to play with any other DAPs like the Onkyo DP-X1, Pioneer XDP-100R Questyle QP1R etc?

mike138's picture

"Founder of Iron Maiden Ed Harris and Onkyo..."

Should be Steve Harris. Eddie is the fiendish looking bloke on the covers of their albums.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Fxt. Thanks!
GNagus's picture

This could work, but it may require larger drivers, perhaps more than one driver per ear, and more power.

gixxerwimp's picture

Thanks for these daily reports, Tyll! They really give a good feel for what it's like to be at the show. Totally appreciate the effort!

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