Moshi, makers of a variety of accessories for your Mac and iPhone, have announced a new set of headphones at CES called Clarus. They have two interesting characteristics, one inside the headphones, and one outside.
Outside they are a little different than a number of in-ear style headphones in that they have the ear loop to hang over your ear and keep the earpiece in place. They do offer a few sizes of covers for the earbud itself, which is handy, but even better is that you don't have to rely on that to hold them in your ear. Made of a semi-rigid material, the loop is soft to the touch and flexes enough to let you wiggle them around to get the perfect fit.
Inside, there is a great big difference: there are two drivers! Generally headphones will have a single driver, and that driver has to be all purpose since there's only one. This tends to mean you have to choose whether you want clear crisp sound in the high end, or a bumping thumping low end. With two drivers, you no longer have to decide which you prefer. I don't know how they managed to fit two drivers into these compact little headphones, but I can tell you how happy I am that they managed to do it.
I got to listen to a pair on the floor, and unlike some booths that were using a specific sample or only one variety of sound to show off, I was allowed to plug in my iPhone and play whatever I wanted. First off, putting them on was really easy. That flexibility in the earpiece helped me settle them in, and then I tried samples from four different songs (a mashup, guitar-heavy rock, electronic, and acoustic guitar/piano) and got really impressive results. They were a variety of bitrates, and everything sounded clear and balanced in every sample. It was really nice to get to hear something I was really familiar with so I could tell how it would sound compared to all the other places I listen to the same music.
There are other details that are nice, like the braided cover on the cord, the iPhone mic/control capsule on the cable, and the color detail on the earpiece to help put them in the correct ear. Retail price is $200 and they are available now at Moshi's website.
More Moshi headphones seen at CES