Listen up: audio rumbles through CES 2019

This year is a big year for sound at CES 2019, and with all the biggest manufacturers competing for a place in the spotlight, we’ve rounded up the best offerings so far.

11 Jan 2019

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Sound Bars

 

Sennheiser Ambeo Sound Bar

Sennheiser set out with the ambition of creating one of the best sound bars on the market – and it’s certainly delivered. Packed with 13 distinct drivers, the Ambeo sound bar offers listeners a full 5.1.4 surround sound experience from a pretty small package.

“We are thrilled to be introducing the Ambeo Sound Bar as Sennheiser’s first foray into the home entertainment speaker category,” said Stephane Hareau, Sennheiser’s head of global consumer products.

The Amebo listens to the individual acoustic characteristics of the room, then adjusts for them using the latest audio-processing technologies, so it can perfectly re-create the sounds from the screen. It’s got Google Chromecast built-in too, or Bluetooth for anyone not using Google Home.

JBL Link Bar

JBL revealed its latest sound bar and it’s a hybrid Google Assistant and Android TV set-top box, all in one! You can ask it to play music, carry out the usual Smart Assistant commands, and ask other general questions without turning on the TV. The sound bar is always on and always listening, so it’s ready to go when you need it. The four dots on the front act as a status indicator when you’re giving commands.

Alongside Google Chromecast, the Link Bar will also run Android 9 Pie, one of the first audio devices to do so. This lets users install apps from the Play Store, play games and control their content more easily. It has buttons on the surface to adjust the volume and control paired Bluetooth devices.

See our range of sound bars

 

Headphones

Audio-Technica

Audio Technica unveiled its noise-cancelling trio to stand up against tech giants Sony and Bose. Modern wireless headphones need to have good playback time and active noise cancellation (ANC), and all three sets address both.

There is a premium option that boasts a huge 35-hour battery life, a mid-range option that promises you 20-hours, and a budget-friendly option that still keeps up, with 10-hours. All three are set to impress.

JBL - 4 new true wireless headphones

True wireless headphones are increasing in popularity, so JBL has stepped up to the plate and expanded their line with four new models; the Endurance Peak, the Under Armour True Wireless Flash, the Tune 120TWS and the Reflect Flow.

The Endurance Peak, Flash and Reflect Flow models are ideal for sports and fitness fanatics, while the Tune 120TWS will appeal to those who love their music but want to watch their spending. The range of colours for each model is varied, so there’s sure to be a set for everyone.

See our range of headphones

 

Gaming Headsets

HyperX really came to play this year, so we’ve rounded up the best of what it had to showcase.

HyperX Cloud MIX

For the gamer who wants a headset with superior audio quality and the latest features, the Cloud MIX is a fantastic offering. Featuring Bluetooth capabilities, it’s versatile enough for PC gamers, console gamers and mobile gamers too. With HyperX Dual Chamber technology, it delivers a more distinct and vivid sound with less distortion.

HyperX Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S

These are the first HyperX gaming headsets to be powered by Audeze’s patented 100mm Planar Magnetic Drivers, which create a clearer sound than most conventional gaming headsets - and feature Waves NX head tracking technology, which delivers accurate and realistic audio. The 360-degree audio environment makes them an ideal fit for VR technology because they make up for the lack of sound movement from traditional headphones.

See our range of gaming headsets

 

Speakers

Getting fully immersed in the music is the name of the game at CES 2019, so here are the speakers that will truly surround you in sound.

Sony 360 reality audio

This project from Sony takes high-resolution music to a whole new level. The Japanese tech giant has added a ‘spatial dimension’, with the goal of creating something that makes listeners feel like the sound is coming from all directions. Listening to music will make you feel like you’re really at a concert, right in your own living room.

Sony showed off a prototype of the of the device, and reports are that it really did sound like the music was coming from various locations in the room. It’s compelling stuff and an exciting direction for the future of speakers and audio quality.

You won’t need a dedicated device to connected to the speaker, it’s controlled through an app that’s tailored to you, based on the app's analysis of your hearing. To do this, take a few pictures of your ears and the app will optimise the sound to make it perfect for you. We love the idea and can’t wait to see the finished project.

JBL Flip 5

For something a bit more portable, the JBL Flip 5 has seen some major upgrades from its predecessor. It’s got a 40% more powerful battery, a waterproof and more durable design, and the 3D effect around the speakers makes for better sound than ever.

Like the Flip 4, the Flip 5 can be connected to as many other Flip 5 speakers as you want, and it’s completely waterproof. The Flip 4 broke records with over 1,000 devices connected, so even the biggest blowout can be catered for. The battery will last for up to 12-hours continuous playback so the party can keep going all night.

See our full range of speakers or see all the latest updates from CES 2019

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