Headphones Market Welcomes New Additions

By Lisa Johnston On Jun 4 2012 - 4:01am




NEW YORK — In the never-ceasing headphones market, several companies joined the fray in May with new and updated models, as well as with announcements of new e-commerce programs.

Bowers & Wilkins
took the wraps off its next high-end headphone, the P3, billed as a “mobile hifi” model.

Featuring an aluminum, foldable construction, the P3 is designed to be light and rugged. According to the company, the speaker diaphragms have driver terminals that are positioned to ensure uniform airflow, resulting in more linear movement and less distortion.

They have 30mm dynamic drivers, with a listed frequency range of 10Hz to 20kHz and a sensitivity of 111 dB. Max input power is 50mW and impedance is 34 ohms.

The headphones come with acoustic fabric ear pads and memory-foam ear cushions. Two different cables are included — an iPhone-compatible cable with an in-line mic and remote, and a cable without.

The P3 come in black or white with an included carrying case. They will ship this month for a $199 suggested retail.

Sennheiser partnered with channel-management solutions developer Channel IQ to implement a badging program for its network of authorized e-commerce dealers. The program, which began in May, provides “instant dealer verification badges” on authorized e-commerce sites.

Sennheiser, which has been very public with its battle against counterfeiters, said that the system will also enable it to more effectively implement pricing controls, while mitigating the potential for grey market and counterfeit activity.

“By partnering with Channel IQ on this authentication program, we are able to tighten our distribution network while providing assurance to our loyal customers that they are purchasing genuine Sennheiser products,” Bill Whearty, sales and marketing VP for Sennheiser’s U.S. retail division, said in a statement announcing the program. “This is a tool that will help protect our premium brand image, while providing consistency in pricing among our valued dealer network.”

Skullcandy recently launched its Cassette headphones, which feature removable ear cups for its 40mm drivers. This, coupled with the detachable cable, enables them to be tucked inside hats or headbands. The cable feature in-line mic and controls.

Impedance is listed at 32 ohms. They come in three colors — black, Athletic Blue and Lurker Toxic Flyer — for a $49.99 suggested retail.

V-Moda announced it would be offering a White Pearl version of its Crossfade M-80. The headphones follow company founder Val Kolton’s mantra of an “ABCP philosophy — Anything But Circles and Plastic,” and feature a white finish with silver metal accents.

They also feature the company’s Steelflex headband, said to be able to bend flat at least 10 times.

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