Editors Note – With CES in fully swing the news stories is coming to us thick and fast, Sony are working on an innovative range of earphones and speakers, including a pair of headphones that is waterproof, great for the runner that sweats a lot and the swimmers among us
With Sony’s CES press conference literally just starting, we’re pleased to give you an early look at the latest sound pushers from its Personal Audio Division. The company’s still aiming for that classicly subtle, retro-futuristic look on these new devices, so you might not be swayed if you’ve never been a fan of the aesthetic in the past. That said, we’re pretty impressed with what’s inside of ’em. To start, there’s a duo of new NFC-packing speaker bars intended for use in and around the house — think of them as wireless replacements for your old docking speaker. Monikered as the not-so catchy SRS-BTX500 and BTX300, both can handle AAC and apt-X streaming over Bluetooth, staying charged for eight and six hours, respectively. Naturally, NFC handles pairing and powering the devices on for seamless tap-to-start playback.
Both systems will house “damperless” drivers, which Sony claims reduces vibration and increases clarity. Each system also features a USB port that’ll charge your devices and speakerphone capabilities, as these are becoming the norm. While the bars we handled were dummies, we aren’t fond of the fragile kickstand found on the smaller 300. We managed to easily knock the speaker over trying to fiddle with it’s clumsily locking switch. Otherwise, these might make a nice addition around the house in March if the sound matches up to the $300 (BTX500, in black) and $200 (BTX300, in white or black) price points. Beyond those, Sony’s announcing US availability during the same month for its smaller — also NFC and Bluetooth-packing — SRS-BTM8 ($99, in black) and BTM5 ($69, in black, white and pink) speakers. The BTM8 is begging to be taken on your next picnic thanks to its carrying handle, while the BTM5 is a palmable orb with one up-firing speaker for when you need a speakerphone in a pinch.
Sony NFC-enabled Bluetooth speakers & waterproof Walkman MP3 headphones (eyes-on)
Lastly, the company is highlighting its newest Walkman-branded MP3 fitness headphones, the NZW-W270. While the Bluetooth in-ears look similar to previous models, Sony’s made them completely waterproof this time around (previous models were only water resistant). You’ll get 4GB of non-expandable onboard storage, as well as up to eight hours of use from its internal battery. Better yet, a three-minute quick charge from a dead battery will yield up to an hour of run-time in a pinch. Expect it to hit shelves in black, white, pink and blue this March for 100 bones. Check out the galleries above for a closer look in the meantime — bonus points if you manage to recall the product names after you move on to more of our CES coverage.