The main trends of this year in terms of sound reproduction are as follows. Small headphones are getting smaller, and models with wires are quickly turning into dinosaurs, capturing their owners in this category. They are crowded out by true wireless, where instead of cords - Bluetooth and usually there is active noise cancellation, a skill inherited from older models. However, large overhead "ears" will not disappear for a long time - simply because they physically accommodate more powerful speakers in their body and neutralize external noises with cocoon ear cushions. The range of party speakers is also expanding - in this niche there are more manufacturers offering to rock parties in large and preferably open spaces.
Marshall Monitor II ANC
The British company Marshall, known for its amplifiers, recently launched its second generation of Monitors. From the name it is immediately clear that the emphasis here is on active noise cancellation, which cuts out external noise with oncoming sound waves. With ANC turned on, the "ears" will last 30 hours, and without it - all 45. Externally and functionally, the headphones are made in the Marshall corporate style, there are two buttons on the cups: one is responsible for changing the ANC mode and calling the voice assistant, the second serves as an analog joystick that allows control the player of the device.
Harman Kardon FLY ANC
Model with wireless sound, which also implements active noise canceling technology and the ability to connect up to two devices at the same time. The autonomy of the headphones with ANC turned on is 20 hours, without it - 30. The case is made of aluminum, and the ear pads and cups are trimmed with leather - the design promises to be ergonomic for long-term use. Of the features, it is worth highlighting the integrated voice assistant "Google Assistant" for controlling a smartphone on Android, the headphones also have a wider frequency range than usual for similar equipment, from 16 Hz to 22 kHz.
This is a new version of what is arguably some of the best active noise-canceling, over-ear, over-ear headphones. The design has not changed much, outwardly they are similar to the WH-1000XM3. Noise is suppressed here by the QN1 processor and two microphones. Emphasis is placed on integrating the capabilities of the headphones into the daily affairs of the owner - as conceived by the engineers, they can not be removed from the head almost from morning to night. So, the Speak-to-Chat function automatically detects that you have started speaking, and temporarily pauses the music playback, and then resumes it. The Quick Attention function, in turn, reduces the volume when you touch the right ear pad. As for sound sources, the Sony WH-1000XM4 can also work simultaneously with two, and the battery will last for 30 hours of playback. And yes, there is also fast charging.
HONOR Magic Earbuds
When it is impossible to take full-size headphones with you, true wireless saves the little ones. The HONOR Magic Earbuds, despite their relatively small size, have an active noise reduction technology, and thanks to the charging case, the headphones will work up to 13 hours, depending on the mode of use. Among the codecs, the support for SBC and AAC stands out - this will be quite enough for an adequate quality of wireless sound transmission of most tracks. The device is controlled through sensors, it is possible to customize some gestures through the Huawei AI life application.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport
In the post-quarantine era, the demand for outdoor exercise is likely to increase, so the launch of the Danish brand's sports headphones was just right. Beoplay E8 Sport is, on the one hand, the corporate identity of the company, compactness, moisture and dust protection according to the IP57 standard (immersion in water up to 1 m for 30 minutes), ergonomics, which is especially important for running and long sessions, and autonomy up to 30 hours when using the charging case. The headphones themselves hold a charge for up to seven hours, which is more than enough for listening to music in fits and starts. On the other hand, this is audio transmission using aptX and AAC codecs - without signal compression and loss of quality - and support for the latest Bluetooth 5.1 standard for a stable wireless connection with a sound source.
Apple-owned Beats ears complement the strict airPods line with an emphasis on sport. There is still the same "Apple magic" when connected to a smartphone, support for the Siri voice assistant, secure fit on the auricle, protection from sweat and moisture. The earbuds will last up to nine hours on a single charge, and the case will give you a total of 24 hours of music.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
The company turned 75 years old this year, and this is a reason to see what the brand has come to with the next anniversary. The fresh new Momentum True Wireless 2 with active noise cancellation system has support for AAC and aptX codecs, and you can listen to music in several modes: with the mentioned noise cancellation or with the Transparent Hearing function - the latter makes the surrounding sounds loud enough to they could be reacted if necessary. For example, when you are at the airport and it is important not to miss an alert or walking down the street. A single charge of the headphones lasts seven hours of listening time, and the charging case adds three more full cycles.
1More TWS ANC In-ear
A new player in the audio equipment market is able to please the ear not only with the technical component of their devices, but also with the consonance of the brand with the group of the same name, popular in the early 90s, "Wang Moo". However, those who did not find those times, the name of the Xiaomi concern will say much more, under whose wing the 1More brand operates today. Over the past couple of years, he has already managed to gain fame in China, and this year he entered the Russian market. The 1More TWS ANC In-ear model supports as many as three active noise canceling modes and the aptX codec. There is also a dedicated DAC and fast charging - the latter gives two hours of playback after 15 minutes at the outlet; wireless charging is also included.
LG Tone Free FN6
LG recently showed one of the most unusual "ear" solutions. The novelty is a standard wireless in-ear headphones with IPX4 waterproof rating (splash, rain, etc.) and sound enhancement technology from the Meridian Audio brand. But a surprise awaits in the charging case: not only does it support wireless and fast charging technologies - the device's operation will last for about 18 hours in total, it also houses an ultraviolet emitter that disinfects the headphones while charging.
Judging by how quickly everyone got bored with the hangouts at Zoom, traditional get-togethers will return very quickly. And here in all its glory the portable sound equipment shows itself - however, sometimes it is not so portable, but it will definitely fit into the car. That's what you can scare nightingales and bears with today.
JBL Boombox 2
Sound reproduction and its direction in space are provided by two 4-inch woofers and two 20 mm tweeters, which should provide not only loud sound, but also deep bass. Compared to the first boombox, when operating on mains power, the power increased from 60 W to 80 W, and when operating on battery power - from 40 W to 60 W. In addition, you can connect an unlimited number of synchronized JBL devices with PartyBoost technology, which is useful if the party takes up a large space. The main advantages highlighted by the manufacturer: decent autonomy - up to 24 hours and protection against moisture according to the IPX7 standard, which allows safe immersion in fresh water to a depth of 1 m for a short time. We do not recommend conducting experiments,but for the location of the device next to the pool, you can not be afraid.
The Sonos brand is a California-based designer and manufacturer of wireless home audio systems, including smart speakers. The Sonos Move is the company's first portable speaker that lets you stream music over Wi-Fi at home, or over Bluetooth anywhere else when WiFi isn't available. The manufacturer focused on the ecosystem and intelligently adapting the sound to the room or landscape. It is based on a proprietary application through which control takes place. It also supports over 100 global audio streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Mixcloud and Soundcloud. There is support for both AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. The Move can run 11 hours on a single charge on a single charge. In this case, the standby mode turns on automatically when the speaker is not in use, thereby saving a charge reserve for up to five days. IP56 protection against water and dust is also present - in case of using the device outdoors.
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Samsung Sound Tower
The stationary solution from Samsung - two types of "sound tower" (MX-T50 and MX-T70) - is quite suitable for private open-airs. Unlike portable systems, these are already serious 500W and 1500W devices for holding a real music show in a large company. The new products feature a bi-directional system of speakers that emit a signal from two sides of the speaker case - the latter is made in the form of an almost triangular prism. This solution made it possible to rationally distribute sound. And in the older model MX-T70, in addition, there is a 10-inch subwoofer for even more powerful low frequency radiation - while in both models there is also software amplification, the Bass Booster function. Other characteristics include the ability to connect microphones through a special input (one in the T50 and up to two in the T70) - welcome to the karaoke party. The second feature is LED lighting with preset effects that react to music. And what's important: Sound Tower is useful not only at parties - the "tower" can be used as a home audio system.
1 of 2 Sound Tower Audio System MX-T70 © samsung.com Sound Tower Audio System MX-T50 © samsung.com