On February 26, Sony announced a slew of new Walkmans and plenty of audio accessories to complement it and your desktop audio set-up. We've gathered all the info in this slide show so you can get an up close and personal look at all the new gadgets.
The SRS-BT15 can convert your favorite pair of headphones to a Bluetooth set, which eliminates the connection between the 'pnones and your MP3 player, but doesn't do much in the way of getting rid of overall cord clutter. It is nice that it adds a mic for answering phone calls and is only about the size of a mini Swiss Army Knife. It includes a clip and offers 6 hours of battery life from the rechargeable battery. At $130, it's definitely not cheap.
This is no portable speaker, with its high-power amplifier, 90mm neodymium magnets, and 30 watt output. But it does integrate nicely into the home, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from any device with built-in stereo Bluetooth capability or a compatible transmitter. The BT100, which goes for $160, also offers an analog input for connecting audio devices directly.
The $100 NDR-NC40 headphones feature an ultralightweight headband and pressure-relieving urethane ear pads in order to ensure comfort over long periods of where (such as cross-continent/transatlantic flights). The noise-cancellation function is powered via a AAA battery, which is rated for 40 hours. The headphones stay true to their travel-friendly nature by folding up super compactly and including one of the smallest hard shell carrying cases we've seen.
The EX700LP headphones represent Sony's first foray into the ultrahigh-end earphone market. These 'phones feature 16mm driver units, thin magnesium housing, a vertical-style earbud for maximum comfort, and a whopping seven sizes of hybrid silicone ear tips for achieving the most secure fit possible. They won't come cheap at $300.
For $40, you can add a little style to your MP3 player accessory. The MDR-EX55s come in your choice of pink, blue, black, or white. They include three sizes of earftips, and the earbud itself is made of silicone to help with comfort.
These sport headphones offer a lightweight headband to ensure a more secure fit during activity. The cable, which descends from one side, is short (24-inches) for use with an armband, but Sony also includes an extension cable of about the same length. The AS100Ws are water-resistant, offer three sizes of eartips, and run about $100.
The MDR-AS50Gs behind the neck band is lightweight and, when not worn, spirals up for easy and compact storage. These headphones feature a water-resistant design, a washable carrying case, and a short cord for armband use (an extension cable is provided as well). They come with three sizes of earfittings and cost $50
These 'phones feature removable earclips which can be used when needed for a more secure fit. Like the rest of the sport line, the AS40EX is water-resistant and comes with three sizes of ear tips. They're reasonably priced at $40.
Though not shown in the picture here, the MDR-AS30G headphones actually have an earbud-like "stability tip" built into the inside of the earpads in order to ensure a secure fit. The overall design is water-resistant and the earpads quick-drying. These 'phones sport a $30 price tag.
The G75LW headphones feature a retractable cord to prevent wire tangles and pressure-relieving urethane ear cushions for a comfortable fit. They fold down for easy transport and are expected to cost about $50.
These kid-sized headphones are no toys: they're styled just like mom's and dad's, only with one important difference. The MDR-222KD features a low-impedance cable that prevents the volume from going over a certain level, thereby helping to protect young ears. They're also lightweight to ensure comfort...and cheap ($15) to offer even more incentive for parents to pick up a set.
At $400, these premium speakers aren't for the bargain-hunter. They offer a 40 watt output and feature a double neodymium magnet, a 57mm driver unit, a built-in dynamic equalizer, and a magnetically-shielded driver. The finish is aluminum, and there's a remote included for controlling power and volume.
By far the most unusual item coming out of this Sony announcement--and possibly the most unique audio gadget we've seen in years--are the PFR-V1 Personal Field Speakers. This crossover home/portable unit offers the rich, open sound of speakers in the design of a headphone. The speakers actually rest in front of the ear while the loops--called bass reflex ducts--coming off of them are inserted into the ear for maximum low-end. There's a lot of sound leakage, so these "headphones" aren't ideal for on-the-go use. They feature a 21mm driver unit and operate off of 2AA batteries for up to 200 hours. It's definitely a premium unit with pricing at $500.