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The best headphones from CES 2019: all the finest headsets from Vegas

via TechRadar - All the latest technology news http://bit.ly/2AEyW2p We’ve seen a lot of innovative audio technology at CES 2019 in Las Ve...


via TechRadar - All the latest technology news http://bit.ly/2AEyW2p

We’ve seen a lot of innovative audio technology at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, not least in the world of headphones. From heavy duty over-ear cans that block out the world around you to waterproof buds for runners, there has been so much to see at the consumer tech show this year. 

Although our favorites from the show were the over-ear Creative SXFI Air headphones, which are the first to accurately replicate a full surround system, we’ve seen some brilliant true wireless earphones and wired in-ears from the likes of Audio-Technica and Klipsch. 

So, whether you’re a hardcore audiophile or you’re just looking for a great pair of in-ears for working out with, you’re sure to find something you love in our roundup of the very best headphones at CES 2019.

The best true wireless headphones at CES 2019

Audio-Technica Sound Reality ATH-CKR7TW

Audio-Technica has a long history of creating fantastic headphones, and the Sound Reality ATH-CKR7TW headphones are no exception. We loved the design, which features a 3D Loop Support so they stay secure in your ear, as well as button controls to easily handle phone calls, music playback and volume.

They boast 11mm drivers with a carbon-coated diaphragm that delivers faster response time and minimal distortion. The drivers also have machined brass stabilizers, which reduce unwanted resonances, as well as a stainless steel acoustic mesh resistor for improved high-frequency response.

The ATH-CKR7TW deliver six hours of music on one charge, and come with a carry case that provides a further nine hours of use – pretty impressive for true wireless in-ears.

Price-wise, however, these are at the higher end of the true wireless market at $249 (£229/AU$349). For this we would have expected a few more smarts, including Google Assistant compatibility (something rival true wireless setups already have), but you are paying for decent audio innards here. 

Audio-Technica Sonic Sport ATH-SPORT7TW

The Audio Technica Sonic Sport ATH-SPORT7TW are created with fitness lovers in mind. They're set to offer up exceptional true wireless audio quality, as well as a design that'll stay in place no matter how much you move, a built-in mic and touch controls. 

The ear pieces feature ergonomic Freebit ear fins for maximum comfort, and they're certified with an IPX5 rating, which means they're sweat resistant and can even be rinsed under a tap. They also boast an ambient hear-through function, which you can switch on to give you the choice of hearing environmental sounds for safer use outdoors. 

They last 3.5 hours on a single charge and come with a carry case that can deliver up to 14 hours more power if you need it on the move. With drivers half the size, they may not have the sonic prowess as Audio-Technica's Sound Reality ATH-CKR7TWs, but they are for a different purpose. 

They're available for $199 (£179 / AUS$299).

Under Armour FLASH true wireless earphones

Sportswear brand Under Armour has now ventured into the world of wearable audio tech, with its new true wireless FLASH headphones, which it says are designed “by runners, for runners”.

With an IPX7 water-resistance rating, the FLASH true wireless in-ears should be perfect for running in the rain (as well as sweaty workout sessions), and five hours of battery life makes them ideal for life on the go. They also come with a hard-wearing charging case, which carries 20 hours of charging power.

We expect a good level of sound quality, considering the earphones are engineered by audio tech company JBL, with 5.8mm drivers designed to pump out powerful bass. The FLASH true wireless in-ears also feature JBL’s ‘Bionic Hearing’ tech, which allows you to hear your surroundings via two sound technologies: TalkThru and Ambient Aware. 

The UA True Wireless FLASH earphones are available to buy in the US for $169, which includes free 12-month MapMyRun Premium membership (valued at $29.99). This works out at around £130/AU$240, though there's no word yet on whether they will be available to purchase outside the US.

Klipsch T5 true wireless headphones

If you're looking to cut the cord in 2019, the new Klipsch T5 range of in-ear headphones may be exactly what you're looking for, featuring the brand's patented oval ear tips, which are designed to offer comfort as well as an excellent seal for noise isolation and powerful bass. 

There are four new models of headphones in the lineup, including Klipsch's first true wireless earbuds, which the company says offer 8 hours of playback from a single charge.

Right now we don't know the exact pricing for each model in the new T5 range, but Klipsch says prices will range between $59 and $199. 

Based on current conversion rates, that works out at around £45/AU$85 to £160/AU$280. The company says the new T5 range will be available in the next few months, but hasn't revealed whether this applies to all territories. 

  • Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets. 

Creative SXFI Air 

In a few short years, headphone holography will be the biggest thing in audio. Dolby’s working on it, Audeze has dabbled in it, and Creative… well, Creative has already taken it to the next level. 

Creative’s SXFI Air can replicate the soundstage of a full surround system in a pair of over-ear headphones that cost under $200 (£150 / AU$275). It’s a bold step for the future of audio, and we got to see it for the first time at CES. 

These were our favorite headphones from the show, but it's worth noting that Creative still has some kinks to work out, namely the lengthy setup process and latency issues over Bluetooth.

Technics EAH-F70N noise canceling headphones 

Hear the name Technics and you'll probably jump to thinking about the brand's top-notch turntables. But at CES 2019 the company is pushing the sounds straight into your ears with its new over-ear headphones, the Technics EAH-F70N and EAH-F50B.

Suitable for high-resolution audio playback thanks to support for LDAC and apt-X HD standards, both make use of 40mm dynamic tuned to maximize bass impact, "realistic dynamics" and "spatial ambience".

The F70Ns are the more premium cans however, taking advantage of a "Hybrid Active Noice Cancelling" feature, which makes use of mics located both on the exterior of the headphones and near to the driver to offer three different levels of ambient noice cancellation. It also has an "Ambient Sound Enhancer" which can be activated to let exterior sounds (such as train station announcements) pierce through your tunes on demand, making sure you're aware of your surroundings when required, too.

Pricing and release details have yet to be shared for the Technics EAH-F70N, but expect them to fall in line with what you’d see with a premium set of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. 

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC900BT headphones

Audio Technica had a fantastic 2018, with cans like the ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones earning a recommended award from the TechRadar test labs. The company well have outdone itself at CES 2019 though with its impressive-sounding ATH-ANC900BT wireless over ears.

The ATH-ANC900BT make use of multiple onboard microphones to monitor ambient noise, and offer three noise cancelling levels as default, including an airplane mode. However, things can be fine-tuned with the free Audio-Technica Connect app for iOS and Android, which lets you dial up or down the amount of noise cancellation to your specific desired level. 

What’s particularly impressive according to the press release is battery life – you’re looking at up to 35 hours from a single charge, even with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and noise cancelling engaged.

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC900BT will hit shops in March 2019, priced at £269 / $299. We’re waiting on Australian availability, but will update this post when we get it.

Jabra Elite 85h 

The new Jabra Elite 85h headphones are designed to try and take away the annoyance of having to alter your headphone settings on the fly to get the best sound experience when leaving home, commuting or just wandering around a big city.

This works using Audeering technology, an audio analysis company that Jabra's parent company GN Technologies has a minor stake in, where artificial intelligence uses eight microphones to analyse the surroundings and decide on the best sound quality needed.

The Jabra 85h headphones will adapt automatically to the sound around you, switching between 'Commute', 'In Public' and 'In Private' modes to offer tailored sound - and uses six of the microphones to provide active noise cancelling too.

Jabra says the new headphones will offer an impressive 32 hours of battery life, making them a great option for commuters – although we found them to be quite heavy when we tested them at the show.

The release date has been set for April 2019, with the price set at £280 / $299 (around AU$500) with no official word Australian release at the moment.

  • Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets. 

Aftershokz Xtrainerz

Swimming is fine - it’s a good all-over workout, but there’s not a lot of variation in the interest levels. Enter the Aftershokz Xtrainers, launched at CES 2019: bone-conducting headphones that bring music to your watery workouts more simply than ever before.

We’ve tried a number of options to help you swim with music, and the wired headphones always just end up falling out, getting hit by a flailing arm or just not offering a clean enough seal to allow you actually hear the music.

The bone-conduction method on offer from the Aftershokz Xtrainerz means you just need to place them on your temples and the music will vibrate through your skull - we’ve long been fans of the same technology on the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium and Trekz Air, and bringing that option to the pool makes a lot of sense.

The Aftershokz Xtrainerz release date has been set for ‘spring 2019’ with an expected price of £150 (around $190 / AU$270) - which seems a decent cost given the amount of tech packed in.

Watch our hands-on video below to see the Aftershokz Xtrainerz in action:

Klipsch T5 neckband

Like the Klipsch T5 true wireless in-ears, details are a little thin on the ground about the T5 neckband – but as they also use the brand's patented oval ear tips, they it should offer decent noise isolation and powerful bass. 

As we mentioned before, there are four new models of headphones in the lineup, and while we don't know the exact pricing, but Klipsch says prices will range between $59 and $199. 

Based on current conversion rates, that works out at around £45 / AU$85 to £160 / AU$280. The company says the new T5 range will be available in the next few months, but hasn't revealed whether this applies to all territories. 

  • Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets. 

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