Parrot Introduces Cool Products like AR Drone Mark 2

Parrot There are some products that are shown at CES that are just cool and everyone who is a kid at heart just wants, the AR. Drone by Parrot is one of those gadgets. This year at CES 2012 they introduced AR. Drone Mark 2. The Mark 2 (aka AR. Drone 2.0) is controlled by a smart phone or tablet. It has a one button launch. Once it is launched it will sit and hove till the next command. The AR. Drone Mark 2 can fly up to 150 feet in the air, or as far as wi-fi will allow.  AR. Drone Mark 2 has stabilization and pressure sensor technology built into it. On the front is an HD camera and a standard def camera on the bottom. You can stream and record the video back to the phone via wi-fi. The video can then be uploaded to your favorite social site, including YouTube and Facebook.

It come with two hulls one for in home use and one for outdoor use. It is built to take some crashes, but if something breaks you can get replacement parts are on-line. The AR. Drone Mark 2 should be available according to Peter George of Parrot in the second quarter of 2012 for about $299.00

Once you are finished playing with the AR. Drone Mark 2, you may want to relax with a little music and some quiet time, well Parrot has you covered there too. They are introducing a pair of stereo cordless headsets that are noise canceling called the Parrot Zik . They work over either Bluetooth or the included cord. They run on a chargeable battery and give about 5 hours of listening pleasure. Once the battery runs down you can continue listening by connecting the cord. What makes the Parrot Zik headphones stand out besides the great style by French designer Philippe Starck are the controls on the headphones. There is a sensitive touchpad on the headphone which allows you to skip back and forth thru tracks by swiping right or left and control volume by swiping up and down. The headphones fold down flat to fit into a small carrying case. There is no price or launch date at this time, but they should be available sometime in 2012 at various retailers. All together Parrot introduced seven new products at CES 2012, including three additional products in the car environment and the asteroid marketplace.   You can take a look at all of them at their Web site Parrot.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of [Geek News Central](http://www.geeknewscentral.com ) and Don Baine The Gadget Professor of Geek News Central

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Sennheiser Brings New Earphones to CES

Sennheiser today announced that it would be presenting its latest in-ear headphones, the IE 60 and IE 80, at CES in January. Extending the Professional line, the new models build on Sennheiser’s experience in the music business and are aimed at audio enthusiasts who want the best possible sound quality from MP3 players and smartphones.

The IE 60 and IE 80 ear-canal phones are ideal for discerning listeners who want to hear music with the finest possible detail,” explained Eric Palonen, senior product specialist for Sennheiser’s consumer electronics division. “Based on the huge success of our earlier models and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers, we developed new models that have an even more innovative design.

The IE 60 has passive noise attenuation of up to 20 dB, with a frequency response of 10 to 18,000 Hz, tuned to deliver modern rock and pop. The IE 80 provides a frequency response of 10 to 20,000 Hz with a passive noise attenuation of up to 26 dB, but its special feature is a unique sound tuning function. By using a miniature rotating control, the user is able to increase or reduce the bass response to suit the music being played.

Sennheiser IE60 Earbuds / HeadphonesSennheiser IE60 Earbuds / Headphones

The IE 60 and IE 80 are available now for MSRPs of $250 and $450 respective, though you can find them online for about half of that. Still, serious prices for serious sound. The full spec sheets (.pdf) are here and here, respectively.

MIYA Customised Headphones

If you feel that white headphones mark you as just one of the herd, and that black headphones are a bit dull, then you’ll want to check out MIYA headphones, because these come in more colour combinations than you can possibly imagine.

Each set of headphones has 18 colour changeable parts and you can build your own headphones from the builder on the MIYA website. There’s a picture of it below. Now you can have headphones to match your clothes – imagine a set in lurid colours to go with your Lycra sportswear.

They’ll work with any device that has an audio 3.5 mm jack, so that’s most mp3 players, iPods and so on.

Price is HKD 388 (Hong Kong dollars) but there’s HKD 150 off if you order before the end of June. There’s a checkout code on the website for the discount. For comparison, HKD 400 is about US$ 50 or GB£30.

Can’t comment on the audio quality as I haven’t got a pair myself. Let us know if you get a set.

Sony Wireless 7.1ch Headphones

Sony in the UK have announced the MDR‑DS6500 digital wireless 7.1ch surround sound headphones. That’s quite a collection of adjectives, so to break it down into the constituent parts…

Digital wireless – All-digital wireless transmission resists noise and interference from other devices in the home. Automatic tuning switches seamlessly between RF channels in the 2.408 – 2.473 GHz range to optimise signal reception. Range approximately 100 m so you can roam your home while listening to you tunes.

7.1ch – Exclusive to Sony, Virtualphones Technology (VPT) reproduces the soundstage of multi-channel speakers. Even if you’re listening to a stereo 2ch or 5.1 channel programme, VPT builds a virtual 7.1 channel stage that stretches behind and beyond the screen. There’s also a choice of selectable surround sound modes to optimise listening for movies, gaming or speech.

Surround sound – Supporting Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS and DTS ES, the base station will take both digital optical and analogue inputs.

Headphones – Over the ear, weighing in at 320g. Pretty good looking too. When they’re not being used, you can rest the MDR‑DS6500 headphones on their wireless charging dock. Three hours charging time provides power for approx 20 hours listening time.

Available in May for a £249. Not cheap. Full specs here too.

Sony Drops Two New Headphones

Sony has dropped two quite different headphones onto the market, one a wireless headset for cord-free listening and the other a set of noise-cancelling earbuds.

The MDR-RF865RK headphones are traditional over the ear cans with plenty of padding, finished in what appears to be a dark graphite grey. However, they have the further benefit of being wireless with a 100m range in ideal conditions, using a 3 channel FM system. When not in use, the headphones can be hung on the charging station to recharge and they give 25 hours of listening on a 3.5 hour charge. The headphones have handy volume controls, so it’s not necessary to adjust the source volume if it’s too quiet or too loud. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the headphones are a fairly weighty 320g.

At the other end of the spectrum and weighing in at just 7g, the MDR-NC13 noise-cancelling earbuds are aimed at the traveller rather than the stay-at-homers. These headphones can reduce ambient noise by over 87% meaning that “getting away from it all” becomes much easier. Impressively, a single AAA battery gets a 100 hours of noise-cancelling listening pleasure.

Available from Sony in April. Prices not currently disclosed.

Andrea Electronics Quality Headsets and Audio Drivers

Super Beam HeadphonesBoth Todd Cochrane and Tom Newman had fun trying out the product being shown by Roland Nutter of Andrea Electronics Andrea Electronics has been in the speech recognition market for 15 years, they make quality headsets and audio drivers. He showed off the new line of Andrea Super Beam headsets. The headsets come in two models one with earbuds and the second over the ear kind.

The idea was to eliminate the need for a microphone to be out in front of a person’s mouth. They did this by putting the microphone in the earbuds. In one mode the microphone collects only audio that is created right in front of a person mouth. The background noise is cancelled out. In this mode there are two filters. A light filter that would be useful in a coffee shop environment where there is some background noise but its not very loud. In a more noisy environment like a concert or ballgame you could use the more aggressive filter. The software you use to record, is going to be easy to use for the beginner, but highly customizable for the expert. You can use it conjunction with Skype and remove constant background noise coming in from the caller, such as the noise coming from an air conditioner.

The software works on both Macs and Windows. As you can see in the video, Tom tried the headphones out and seemed quite impressed by them. The earbuds will be $129.00 and the over the ears will be $149.00 and should be available in June.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central. and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Able Planet and Linx Audio Headphones

Todd listens to Mary Semcken, VP of Marketing for Able Planet, which has an innovative technology for reducing the decibel level of headphones without reducing the richness of the sound. Amazingly, Able Planet has won a CES Innovation Award every year from 2006 through 2010.

Mary shows off three new headsets, the first in military-style colours so that you can wear the colours of your team while playing Call of Duty. Camo, desert, navy.

Secondly, Able Planet has developed a Signature series of headphones in conjunction with a number of sportstars. Motocross women’s champion Ashley Fiolek has a pink set with 10% of proceeds going to breast cancer charities and Chris Anderson’s (“the bird man”) Signature set has copies of his tattoos on the phones.

All available shortly from major retailers and direct from Able Planet.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Fanny Wang Fashionable Headphones

Debbie Park and Mariel Mendosa from the Fanny Wang Headphone Company present fashionable headphones designed to appeal to young female consumers.

Interview by Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com and Andy McCaskey of RV News Network.

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Sennheiser Headphones and Earphones

Andy McCaskey and Esby Larsen sound out Ivan Kuan of Sennheiser, my favourite headphone manufacturer, on the latest aural delights. Recently, Sennheiser have introduced a number of travel and lifestyle headphones, including models marketed in conjunction with Adidas under the Originals brand – HD 25, CX 310 & HD 220. They’re blue. Very blue.

Returning to monochrome reality, the CXC 700s are new in-ear phones with digital active noise cancellation. Three different noise cancellation modes are available to suit the particular travel environment, e.g. plane or train. The phones comes with “TalkThrough” that when pressed mutes the music and allows external noise through. The phones themselves are specially shaped so that if you fall asleep lying down, they don’t press too hard into your ear. $229 and shipping soon.

CX 980i is another set of in-ear phones, but these are aimed at those people who listen to music on their iPhone, as the integrated remote includes a microphone so they can take a call without getting the phone out. Also works with iPods and iPads. There’s some nice metal-craft detailing as well. $229 too.

Finally, the PXC 360BT are pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones with noise cancellation and SRS surround sound. Cleverly, when travelling by air, the Bluetooth can be turned off and a lead plugged in. Definitely a audiophile product for the high mileage air traveller but you know you’re worth it.  $449.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com.

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Kidz Gear – Headphones for Children

Andy McCaskey checks out Kidz Gear and their range of headphones for kids. These guys produce child-sized headphones that have all the features of adult ones. Genius – I couldn’t find a decent pair for my 3 year old and ended buying some folding Sennheisers as they had the smallest  headsize. Anyway, this isn’t about Sennheiser…

There’s two models on offer, wired at $19.99 and wireless at $25.99. Both have child-sized but wide head-bands, comfortable but smaller ear cups and a rich sound. In all, a hundred times better than the “free” headphones that often come with audio products. The wired set come with an add-on volume limiter to stop the music being played too loud – the limiter can be used with any 3.5mm headphones.

Jack Peterson, VP Sales, talks as an entrepreneur about developing the products and getting them manufactured. Even if you aren’t interested in this product, it’s worth having a watch from about 4 minutes in.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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