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Sony's new wireless headphones mix comfort and great audio

Despite the silly branding, Sony's h.ear wireless cans are quite good.
Billy Steele
January 6, 2016
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Wireless headphones are a dime a dozen here at CES, so you have to be pretty selective with what you take time to check out on the show floor. After last night's Sony presser, I was intrigued by the company's new high-res "h.ear" cans. Silly branding aside, the headphones offer digital noise-canceling tech that analyzes your surroundings to determine which mode will work best. In the confines of Sony's noisy CES booth, I can tell you that the tech works quite well. Even at a medium volume level, I didn't notice any raucous showgoer chatter. And if you want to turn it off, there's a button to do just that.

Let's step back for a minute to pairing. Even with a fleet of Bluetooth devices nearby, I had no trouble pairing the headphones with my phone. It actually took less time than most headphones require to pair with my Moto X in normal conditions. As far as the overall sound goes, I came away pretty impressed by the over-ear model.

Since I was using my phone to try them, I was able to skip around the playlist I typically use when testing headphones and speakers. Through genres ranging from hip-hop to rock and bluegrass, the h.ear cans performed admirably. The headphones offer a solid mix of clarity, with punchy highs and a serious dose of bass. A lot of headphones have either not enough bass or way too much, but I felt like the Sony h.ear on-ears were really well-tuned.

I only wore the headphones for a few minutes, but they seemed plenty comfortable. The earpads were nice and cushioned, and the headband didn't cause the cans to pinch my head. What's more, Sony says these headphones can run for 20 hours before needing to recharge, which I look forward to testing when they become available. Speaking of availability, there's no word on pricing or when they'll go on sale just yet. Since betting is popular here in Vegas, I'd guess you can expect a price in the $350 to $400 range.

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