Sennheiser has refreshed its Momentum line, making some design tweaks and adding two wireless models, the Momentum Wireless and Momentum On-Ear Wireless.
Both models also feature active noise cancellation, NFC tap-to-pair technology for compatible devices, aptX codec support and a new folding design.
The noise cancellation, which isn't too heavy, is always on (there's no switch to turn it off), but battery life is still good at 22 hours.
I had a listen to the new models, which are shipping very soon, and the over-ear Momentum Wireless is a more balanced, audiophile-oriented headphone while the Momentum On-Ear is a zippier, more exciting model.
I preferred the sound of the Momentum On-Ear Wireless but liked the fit of the over-ear Momentum Wireless, which features plusher, slightly larger earcups than the original Momentum. (Some people complained that the earcups on the original were too small.)
Neither model is cheap. The Momentum Wireless is $500 (£330 or AU$620 converted) while the Momentum On-Ear Wireless is $400 (£265 or AU$495).
A closer look at the earpads of the Momentum Wireless. It'll also come in an ivory color.
Here's the smaller Momentum On-Ear Wireless ($400), which features more dynamic sound than its big brother but isn't quite as comfortable because it's an on-ear model. It, too, features active noise cancellation and over 20 hours of battery life. It's available soon in black and ivory.
Gibson, the new parent company for Philips and Onkyo audio products, has a new line of headphones arriving later this year that includes the Gibson Standard Unplugged.
I listened to the wired version of the headphone and it sounded really very good, with balanced, natural sound. I was told the wireless model would have the same sound signature.
No word yet on pricing, but I suspect this will be a premium model that costs around $300 (roughly £200 or AU$400). It's due out by mid year.
The build quality of the Gibson Standard Unplugged is impressive. The earpads adhere magnetically.
AKG's Y45BT shipped recently and is available now. This on-ear model comes in white and black and carries a list price of $180 (£120 or AU$200 converted). But it can be had in the US for $120, and the white model shown here is going for $150.
Philips has a new entry in the Bluetooth headphone market: The on-ear Fidelio M2BT, which is due out this spring for $280. We're still waiting on official UK and Australian pricing, but converted that's around £185 or AU$350.
This is the follow up to the Fidelio M1BT, which was the wireless version of the popular Fidelio M1 ($80), which I reviewed and liked.
I got a chance to play around with the M2BT and it's definitely a very good on-ear Bluetooth headphone that stacks up well against the likes of the Beats Solo 2 Wireless. The only problem is that its list price is almost as expensive as that of the Solo 2 Wireless (which are $300, US-only). Hopefully, the M2BT's street price will come in under $250, which is what the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth costs.
Gibson tapped Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, for its new wireless sports headphone, due out in April for $239 (around £159 or AU$296).
I tried the headphones out and they sounded quite good, serving pretty powerful bass while maintaining decent clarity.
They also have some interesting features, including a built-in flashing safety light, heat and sweat resistance, and a rated 10 hours of battery life.
The Trainer has a second, hideaway headband that reveals itself with a push of button. The second headband sits more on the back of your head and adds stability during workouts.
Harman bills its Synchros S210BT as the world's first in-ear Bluetooth headphones with motion sensor control.
It's a sweat-proof model that's due out this March for $200 (around £130 or AU$250) and features a two-way hybrid driver design.
Here's what JBL has to say about the motion sensor control, which I wasn't able to try:
"No longer will you become frustrated by the task of trying to change tracks or answer calls with controllers that are both small and difficult to locate on earphones. The JBL Synchros S210BT offers an elevated consumer experience, made possible by wave-to-control technology. The JBL Reflect Response BT frees your workout from distraction with the world's first motion sensor sports earphones — controlled with a simple wave of the hand. You can command audio to playback or pause, along with control tracks and pick up calls."
Battery life is rated at 8 hours, which is fairly decent.
The JBL Reflect Response is the sportier version of the Synchros S210BT. Its got a different driver and doesn't sound as good, but it costs less: $150 (£100 or AU$185 converted).
It, too, features motion sensor control and is due out in March.
Last year Harman acquired Yurbuds and has revamped the product line (Harman says Yurbuds now feature better sound across the board).
The $99 (about £65 or AU$125) Endure Wireless is designed to compete with the LG Tone, which retails for around $70. It also competes with Harman's own JBL Reflect Response.
I felt I should include a couple of inexpensive models in this roundup and Monoprice is known for making inexpensive headphones that sound good.
Such is the case for the 11536/37, which comes in black and white and has a folding design, as you can see. I can't say it has the best build quality but it sounds decent for $69. (Monoprice doesn't sell in the UK or Australia.)
Another view of the $69 Monoprice 11536/37.
Under Gibson Brands, Onkyo has a new line of headphones -- we liked its earlier models -- that includes the on-ear OKH-M1BT. No word on pricing or availability, but we should see them by mid year.
Parrot's Zik Sport, which is due out later this year (we suspect much later), has a heart-rate sensor built into it along with an accelerometer to track your cadence. Yes, there's a companion app that saves and analyses all the data.
The headphones feature stabilizer pads and a folding, sweat-proof design.
No word on price yet.
Polk's Hinge headphone has gone wireless and comes in three different color options for $200 (roughly £130 or AU$250). It's an on-ear model that ships in the next few months.
It's been a long time coming, but Urbanears' first wireless headphone, the Plattan Adv Wireless, is due to ship in May for $99 (around £65 or AU$125).
It comes with a built-in microphone, has a swipe interface on the ear cup and 8-hours of battery life.
Additional features include a machine-washable headband, collapsible structure and an equalizer to tweak your sound.
The headphone, which comes in multiple color options, seems to be a pretty decent value at $99, but we'll let you know just how good it is after we review it this spring.
Def Tech is known for making very good speakers and now it's bringing out a Bluetooth headphone, the Symphony 1 ($400, which is around £265 or AU$495). Out in February, it also features active noise cancellation.
It has a more balanced sound signature (I had a quick listen). And while it's a large, sturdy headphone with 50mm drivers, it's not all that heavy, which is good.
I found it didn't fit incredibly snugly on my head, but it is comfortable.
Sennheiser's new Urbanite line has its fist wireless entry with the Urbanite XL Wireless ($300, which is around £200 or AU$370).
It doesn't sound quite as good as the Momentum Wireless and is missing the active noise cancelling of that model, but it's a very comfortable headphone -- we liked the wired version of the Urbanite XL. It offers 15 hours of battery life.
So far there's no wireless on-ear Urbanite, but we should see one eventually.
Yurbuds Leap Wireless, which shipped at the end of 2014, is another decent sounding sports model that's designed to sit securely in your ears and is fully waterproof (it's washable). Battery life is rated at around 6 hours, which is reasonable for a wireless earbud-style headphone.
Price: $100, which is roughly £65 or AU$165.
The Liberty Wireless, due to ship in January, has a different design than the Leap Wireless but also costs $100.
We haven't had a chance to compare all the new Yurbuds, but we'll be getting review samples as the models ship.