updated 11:25 am EST, Tue November 18, 2008
Sony Earphones Nov 2008
Sony on Tuesday rolled out a broad-based update to its earphones with a new model in each of its key categories. The DR-BT160 headset is targeted at runners who want to eliminate cables over Bluetooth without losing a stable fit or phone support. The in-ear buds are worn with over-the-ear hooks and a behind-the-head band; while functioning as a full A2DP stereo Bluetooth device for cellphones, computers or audio devices with adapters, the headset can also take hands-free cellphone calls.
The wireless earphones use a lithium-ion battery for power and play for up to seven hours before a recharge. Sony is selling versions of the Bluetooth equipment both in plain form (160AS) and with a bundled iPod Bluetooth adapter (160IK) today for $130 and $180 respectively.
Closer to the mid-range, the MDR-NC7 noise-canceling headphones upgrade the earlier NC6 models with better style for their over-ear cups and better active noise canceling that eliminates about 87.4 percent of ambient noise. It uses AA batteries for about 50 hours of noise reduction and ships today for $50 in black and white models.
Sony rounds out its audio announcements with both new travel speakers and a basic set of in-ear buds. The SRS-M50 is designed to boost the audio of portable media players, notebooks, and other devices with 5W amplified output and the option of running either on AC or a lone AAA battery. They ship in black, pink and white today for $50. The MDR-EX36V in turn gives portable device owners a relatively inexpensive step up from pack-in earphones that should improve bass; it carries its own in-line volume control and comes in blue, pink, red and silver hues for $30.
Separately, the company has also launched the RM-VL610 universal remote for simpler home theaters that need a control for both TV, DVD players and other IR-based equipment. It can store settings for up to eight devices and 12 macro commands, and comes in a wider range of colors like champagne and red. Sony sells it today for $30.