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Headphones

Wicked Audio's new line of budget headphones includes a totally wireless model

Among Wicked's collection of new sub-$100 Bluetooth headphones is a set of $75 totally wireless earbuds.

The $80 Arq is due to ship this spring.

Wicked Audio

I tend to write more about premium headphones, but there are plenty of companies like Wicked Audio that cater to younger, more budget-conscious consumers. Every model in its new line of headphones, including its first totally wireless headphone, the Arq ($80), costs less than $100. They're all scheduled to ship this spring. (No word yet on international pricing). 

Wicked's touting the fact that both of the Arq's buds are "programmed as a 'Master' for better connectivity to the phone and customization for the consumer." Also, the charging case has a 2,600mAh built-in battery that you can use to charge other devices, not just the wireless earbuds.

As for battery life, it's rated at 3 hours -- pretty average for this type of headphone -- and the battery bank charging case provides an additional 60 hours, according to Wicked. The buds are sweat resistant and their tips (three sizes are included) are designed to be jammed in your ears, which means these are noise-isolating headphones.

I expect to see a lot of these more generically styled totally wireless headphones at CES this year. The question is whether any of these budget models will stand out in terms of sound quality and performance. I've encountered some $100 totally wireless buds that aren't bad, but most of the ones worth recommending, including Apple's AirPods, start around $150.

Wicked also announced the Enix ($60), a full-size wireless Bluetooth headphone with enhanced bass and a fold-flat, collapsible design for (it comes with a carrying bag). Plus, there's the new Hum 1000 ($100), a full-size Bluetooth headphone with active noise canceling, and the Shred 2 ($50), an in-ear wireless sports headphone.

As soon as I get a chance to try any of the new models, I'll update the post with some listening impressions.

The Enix costs $60.

Wicked Audio