updated 01:00 pm EDT, Thu July 12, 2007
Mad Catz AirDrives
Aiming for the best of two worlds, Mad Catz today launched the AirDrives, its new spin on earbuds. Instead of turning to in-canal earbuds or cupped headphones, the company said it had researched a new design that has the best qualities of both camps: the small speakers with an over-the-ear clip take up little space and make them easy to carry, but a new technique -- titled InAir by the accessory maker -- lets the buds sit over the ear canal rather than inside. This produces a more natural sound but also prevents the buds from blocking out too much ambient noise. The latter is especially critical for joggers who might ignore an oncoming car, according to designer Ken Wright.
Such a design also makes the AirDrives more comfortable and an ideal choice for workers who might want all-day listening, Mad Catz says. To help, all models can be either tightened for exercise or loosened for stationary listening. Two different sizes will also be available, with a regular Adults model accommodating most listeners and a separate Kids model for smaller ears. The buds plug into the iPod or most any standard headphone jack and will ship in September at $70 for the Kids earphones and $100 for the Adults edition.