LAS VEGAS -- I was really impressed with Beyerdynamic's T51p ($289) during my short listening session at the show. First off, it's very comfortable for an on-ear model, and it has excellent build quality. The sound was also clean and refined. I look forward to testing it in a quieter environment.
Audio Technica has a new line (AX) of more affordable over-the-ear models. The build quality isn't as good as something like the ATH-M50, but the headphones seemed comfortable and are geared toward portable use. The top-of-the line ATH-AX5iS ($89.99) is designed for use with iOS devices. It's due to ship in the next few weeks.
Super DJ Tiesto has teamed up with Audiofly, an Australian headphone company, to design a new line of in-ear headphones. In an interview with CNET, Tiesto said it's a real collaboration and not an endorsement (he's had an endorsement deal with AKG).
The headphones will ship in April to coincide with the release of Tiesto's new album and will start at around $30 for the entry-level model and go up to around $130 for the flagship (pricing has yet to be confirmed).
You'd think Tiesto would want to design an over-the-ear model, but he said he wanted to create an everyday headphone and that he's a heavy user of in-ear models in his everyday life. He said he researched the market and tried over 50 pairs of headphones and ended up really liking Audioflys. That led to the collaboration.
The Phiaton Fusion MS430 began shipping a couple of months ago, but it was the first time I'd tried it (it's comfortable for an on-ear headphone), so I'm including it in this roundup. It features a carbon-fiber design on the earcups. They can be had for around $125 online.
We previously gave the Philips Fidelio L1 a high score. The new $299.99 L2, which was announced back in September, ships in a few weeks. It's better suited to mobile devices, and in my short listen, I thought it was promising (it seemed like an improvement over the L1 but I didn't have the L1 on hand for comparison).
Inspired by the legendary HD25 DJ headphone, Sennheiser has developed a new line of professional DJ and mixing headphones. The new models include the flasgship HD8 DJ ($379.99), HD7 DJ ($319.99), and the HD6 MIX ($279.99). They'll ship within the next few months.
Sol Republic's sweat-resistant Relays in-ear headphones feature a ringed stabilizer (Sol Republic calls it the FreeFlex). They're lightweight, comfortable, and fit very securely in your ear (they come with four different size silicon ear tips).They sound decent, featuring Sol Republic's signature meaty but not overwhelming bloated bass. Cost: $79.99. Available now in black, but in February you'll be able to get them in other color options.