The Best Of 2015's Consumer Electronics Trade Show For Music Lovers
Every year, techies near and far descend upon Las Vegas, Nevada for one of consumer electronics’ most anticipated events of the year, the Consumer Electronics Show. Formally known as International CES, the event is a massive trade show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. CES showcases over 3,600 exhibitors and atracts more than 150,000 attendees who hail from upwards of 140 countries. In other words, this event is a huge deal, creating a global stage for exhibitors to flaunt how they each set the bar for technological innovation.
In the midst of prosthetic arm prototypes and futuristic concept cars, exhibitors also had a great deal of music-related gadgets to showcase. So, we’ve compiled some of the best in audio technology that CES had to offer.
The Dash (Bragi)
Having won the CES 2015 Innovation Award, The Dash is one incredible piece of technology. The Dash is ‘The world’s first completely wireless, smart headphone system,’ according to Bragi, the German firm responsible for its creation.
Combined with Bluetooth technology, the wireless earbuds fit snugly in your ear, relieving your head of any extra bulk or wiring that is standard with your run-of-the-mill headphones. These are essentially two microcomputers, as they have the ability to store 4GB of music in their tiny frame. What’s even more astounding is their ability to monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels using two LEDs.
BeoPlay H8 (Bang & Olufsen)
Despite the ocean of startups flooding the CES, audio giants Bang & Olufsen did more than stay afloat with their debut of BeoPlay H8. These headphones are a mere 9 oz, and have up to 14 hours of battery life with Bluetooth and ANC. H8’s most attractive feature is the touch gestures that allow the listener to control what they are listening to by swiping and pressing their finger against the earpiece.
The ease of use and added function of touch gestures will tempt you to ditch your Beats by Dre for these highend headphones.
French start up, Devialet, likes to refer to their speaker as a “sound center.” The Phantom utilizes ADH intelligence, which Devialet describes as “a super powerful microprocessor hybridizing digital and analog technologies, which purifies and magnifies the audio signal.” It produces up to 105 dB with 3,000 watts using Heart Bass Implosion, and its shape is intentionally void of any sharp edges in order to retain the integrity of the sound waves produced for as long as possible.
Yahoo’s review of the speaker mentions how the Phantom is based on “analog/digital hybrid architecture,” and produces sound that is free of any distortion within the speaker. The amount of crisp sound this speaker puts out is enough to get rid of bulky speaker systems for one that is sleeker and a lot less complicated to handle. Fun fact: the Phantom is a result of 77 patents and 10 years of work.
Although it can also act as a portable battery by connecting with my phone’s USB charging cable, California start up, Peri, has done one better by creating a device that doubles – no, triples – as a charger, a phone case, and a speaker. Duo redefines portable, combining a built-in external battery with sound amplification using a power supply of 2,500 mAh. It also boasts multicast functionality, allowing you to play your jams on an army of Duo speakers. Ah, the wonders of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Hailing from the ultra-hip, tattoo saturated live-music capital of the world, Austin, TX, is a startup behind Kube. This fun piece of technology is a waterproof, 33-quart cooler that is also a speaker with the ability to play tunes for up to 20 hours straight. It also features ‘effortless connection on your terms,’ allowing you to choose between plugging in your music and utilizing Bluetooth. Once again, technology has pushed the envelope in efficient tailgating methods.
Zik Sport (Parrot)
Hailing from France, Parrot is a company that “designs, develops and markets consumer products for smartphones and tablets as well as high technology solutions,” according to their website.
Debuting at CES, Zik Sport is a pair of foldable headphones that is primarily meant to track your body’s heart rate, running cadence and overall running pattern. The headphones weigh 70 grams and are created with comfort in mind, as they are able to alleviate pressure from your ear canals, where the buds rest, using a sweat resistant headband that also works to firmly secure the piece on your head. Zik Sport also has an adaptive noise cancelling feature, which means you can listen to every Heldeep episode in existence and also drown out the added noise of your roommates chatter.