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Headphones

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless wants audiophiles to cut the cord

I went hands-on with the new headphones at CES and was duly impressed.

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless could ship as soon as March.

David Carnoy/CNET

On display in a glass case at Beyerdynamic's booth here at CES 2018, is the company's Amiron Wireless, a new wireless headphone that's among the best Bluetooth headphones yet.

Scheduled to ship this spring, the around-the-ear Amiron Wireless doesn't have a price yet, but it's expected to cost more than $500 and less than $1,000, according to Beyerdynamic reps I asked. (UK and Australian prices weren't available but that ceiling of $1,000 converts to about £750 or AU$1,250.) The wired Amiron headphone, which this is partially based on, lists for $600 but can be had for less. 

I only had a short demonstration -- yes, those same reps were nice enough to lift the glass case for me and pull it out -- but I was impressed with what I heard. It's an articulate headphone, with excellent clarity and bass definition, and it's more open-sounding than Beyerdynamic's on-ear Aventho Wireless ($450), which is also a great Bluetooth headphone.

The headphone has touch controls on the right ear cup.

David Carnoy/CNET

It has a few features worth highlighting. First, it charges via USB-C and has touch controls on the right earcup. And like the Aventho Wireless, it's designed to work with Mimi Hearing Technologies, a sound personalization feature embedded in Berdynamic's MIY app for iOS and Android devices. Using the app, you take a hearing test powered by Mimi and the app creates a sound profile based on your hearing.

I should also add that this is a really comfortable headphone, and it felt sturdy, though not too heavy (380g). AptX HD is on board and the USB-C connection allows for quick charging.

It uses Bluetooth 4.2, not 5, in case you're wondering. Battery life is in the neighborhood of 30 hours -- there's no noise canceling, which means you can get better battery life and sound. It can also be used as a wired headphone with the included cable.

The Amiron Wireless interfaces with the same app as the Aventho Wireless.

David Carnoy/CNET

The unit I listened to wasn't a final shipping product -- but it was close. While the hardware is nearly ready to go, Beyerdynamic reps said engineers needed to spend some time making final tweaks to the software before launching.

As soon as I have a ship date and pricing, I'll update this preview. But suffice to say, this is a Bluetooth headphone that may make you forget you're listening to a Bluetooth headphone.

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