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Virgo 2018 technical report card: Headphones


The headphones did not have the most auspicious start until 2018. In January, it seemed a diversity of competing voice assistants, wireless audio protocols and idiosyncratic control schemes that would result in a fragmented mess of # 39 ; a market Everyone wanted wireless headphones, and the providers of these devices were willing to establish some type of walled garden effect around their particular product.

The most technologically advanced headphone demand has only increased over the course of the year, but the threat of hostile competition between headphone manufacturers has not materialized. In large part, thanks to the integrated wireless chips that group Bluetooth radios with the necessary compatibility for voice attendees for both iOS and Android, virtually all manufacturers could cast a new pair of wireless headphones on 2018 that he liked so much with Siri as with Google Assistant. Thus, the fragmentation crisis has largely been avoided, although the rapid pace of improvement is also leaving many people surprised by the speed with which new headphones are being replaced.

The third generation M3 cans of Sony M3 emerged as the new Noise Cancellation Championships. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless raised the bar for the sound quality of the headphones, really wireless, although with several usability defects. M50xBT of Audio-Technics and OnePlus "Bullets Wireless" elevated the quality we can expect from more affordable Bluetooth headsets and headphones. Even Old School brands like Grado and Koss launched their own wireless editions this year. The choice and quality of wireless audio equipment have never been better, and the disappearance of 3.5mm smartphone audio is no longer the terrible nightmare it used to to be.

OnePlus and Google introduced a great USB-C headphone this year: the Type-C Bullets and Pixel USB-C headphones, respectively, with low prices that coincided with the 3.5 mm analog headphones we carry everywhere with We. The legitimate 2017 complaint is that the USB-C headphones are too expensive and the wireless headphones are too compromises is no longer true. With companies such as Apple and Lenovo, they start to remove the headphone jack from their tablets and phones, the trend toward wireless headphones and USB-C accelerators only. It is high time that most of us make the transition from the old analog connection.

Audiophiles will, of course, continue with their exotic XLR connectors and quarters, and its market segment was well-served in 2018 by two American boutiques: Audeze and Mr Speakers. Audeze launched the LCD2-Classic at the end of the 2017 queue, and continued with LCD2 Closed-Back in 2018, which set new standards for the quality and pleasure of sound that can be obtained for less than $ 1,000. In fact, these two sets of LCD2 models make a surprising case for never having to play four figures at the headset: they both offer clarity, detail and sound precision at the same time with headphones that cost multiple times. Once again, Mrspeakers released the Ether 2,000 for 2,000 at the end of the year, and the design and performance of these headphones offers a superb argument for you it should splashing on exotic headphones. The Ether 2s present a powerful and natural noise that is combined with a beautifully incisive and organic sound with few rivals. This means that the audiofile segment also advances.

OnePlus Type-C Bullets

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

There are some aspects of the business of the handset that can be critical, of course. First of all, even while battery life and wireless performance have been in a constant improvement path, the pairing process and connection of Bluetooth headphones to other devices remains daunting and unpleasant for the Most users. The Apple AirPods and their seamless tiehead and their shoulders against any rival Android. The other theme is a price: Headphone manufacturers seem more willing to add features and capabilities to existing products at existing prices than to erode their profit margins. It is no coincidence that companies with the most aggressive prices in 2018, OnePlus and Google do not have headphones as their main business line.

In general, the headphone market has been the most dynamic and intriguing section of consumer technology this year. While smartphone makers were busy playing on the edges of the display notices, headsets manufacturers really improved the substance and style of their products. Microsoft, Dolby, Anker and countless game brands also expanded the disconcerting number of headphone options this year, and the 2019 trend is that everyone will continue the transition to USB-C , to load at least while the headphone category continues to improve faster than any other technology.

Final grade: A

Calendar 2018

Verge 2018 Card: Headphones

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Stars of gold

  • The USB-C headphones are as affordable as the analog ones
  • Noise cancellation headphones have still been improved
  • Wireless headphones also increased the sound quality
  • The audiofile team continues to escalate new heights of excellence

You need improvements

  • There are still some delayed wireless models with MicroUSB load
  • The association and Bluetooth synchronization remain inhumanly uncomfortable
  • Prices do not go down as fast as they could be
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