I thought I would spend a little time at the CES show this year, look for goodies, talk to some folks and see whats new. I have 2 of my workers with me as another 2 sets of eyes and helping me have fun in the evenings. The first day we spent at the Las Vegas Convention Center or the main body of the CES show. Wow we are pretty overwhelmed by everything. Too much to look at in a day for sure. Today I spent the day at the Venetian where the High End Audio was located. Updates and photos to follow. Highlights for that stands out for me right away during my first day was meeting with
Cardas Audio; I spent some time talking to Colleen Cardas. Cardas has been so supportive of ALO and I am so very grateful for their help. Cardas Audio, a big audio company who has taken the time to help little me out over and over again. Thank you Darla and Colleen! Good news for Sennheiser lovers ALO WILL be making a Senn headphone cables now with the use of Cardas Audios new Senn headphone cable plugs. I was holding off on working on Senns because I did not want to splice in on this connector. Now with Cardas offering a Senn prong plug we are in business.
Wadia; We all have heard the news about the iTransport from Wadia. I spent some time talking to 3 reps from Wadia. I really want to carry that device. I saw I heard, impressive and good news for ipods everywhere.
AudioengineUSA- I have been hunting for small speakers to work and tie in our ipod docks and cables with for use in small spaces. I spent some time talking with the guys at Audioengine. Right away I could tell these guys were speaking my language, they were very cool people to deal with. I look forward to working with them and carrying speakers from Audioengine.
AudioTechnica – What’s there to say I love their headphones, nice chat with them as well. Attempting to secure some W5000s and ?
Manley Labs- Nice
Cowon Audio – Hey wheres the line out one your DAPS?
Too many more to list but I was personally pretty overwhelmed by the whole circus.
Oh by the way I went over to gigantic Monster Cable section and saw the Dr.Dre “Beats” headphones. I have kept this to myself for a whole year but during the last Head-Fi show I had this strange fellow on a segway roll up to my table, he had a whole entourage so I figured he was a big wheel. Him and his group were very curious about my modded headphones I had at my table. They asked a lot of questions and then the guy on the segway introduced him self as Noel Lee “The Head Monster” as his card said. He asked me to stay another day in the bay area and visit the Monster facility. They never told me what exactly what they wanted from me. My wife’s parents live in the Bay Area and I was staying with them, so the next day I go to the Monster HQ and meet all the crew including Kevin Lee (Noels son), they gave me the tour, which was for me a start up cable maker this is VERY surreal. After the tour I am like hey what’s the deal what do you want? The proceeded to show me the very “secret” prototype of their headphone. After inspection I literally was like “there is time to make some changes I hope?” I said that quite frankly that I see about 8 things that are making this phone not what it could be sound wise and the rep told me that the headphone engineer working the project (who has 20 some years in the industry) told them that the prototype was the “best sounding headphone he has ever heard”. I literally laughed honest! I wanted to say that I would fire him right away. They looked concerned at that point. I gave them just 2 reasons to be concerned with the design. They said they wanted my input on designing a headphone cable and suggestion with the phone. By the way Dr. Dre designed the “look” of the headphone which is very Hiphoppy looking and I actually really like the look of the headphone because I like off odd-looking things (honest). Anyhow in the end I told them that I was very busy running my own business and really had no time to do things for free. I told Noel that I was not greedy but just wanted to recoup my time etc on this. In the end they never got back to me for assistance on the project. Who am I after all? They have all the money, resources and top engineers at their disposal. They were very nice to me and I appreciate the tour. I wish them the best of luck getting into the headphone market. Really. Noel, Kevin if your ever need some free lance help let me know
I was not able to listen to the phone and they had it on a glass case, would of loved to hear the best sounding headphone! You better believe the moment they are available for sale I am going to buy one and report back. They said it would not be for sale until I think March or something. Be sure to click on the link below and watch the video. I have to say I really like the concept and idea behind the Dr. Dre Beats headphone, I just hope the Beats done sound beat. Anyhow there they were, what a crazy time.
UPDATE: Interesting I found this press info here from Gizmodo on the DR. Beats and looks like $400.
And PCMAG info on the Dr. Dr Breats "the new Beats headphone, which will be arriving in limited production in May, full production in June and will cost about $399 list. Monster and Dre claim these new headphones are unequalled at present as they utilize all-new technologies, including powered isolation and newly developed driver technology."
I found a video on the Beats HERE
Hmmm. wow I can't want to see about all that!
UPDATE: on the 2nd day I went back to the display of the Dr.Dre Beats headphone and it was mysteriously gone from the display?!
Well I am home and its late I will add a few photos and add much more tomorrow as well as some write up on the people I was able to corner and talk to, MS ZUNE development engeneer! Sennheiser People (See their new product below), Sony engeneers etc... More later.
Sennheiser's new wireless ear buds. Me talking to Eric Palonen of Sennheiser who was kind enough to give me the demo and tour of the new device the Sennheiser MX W1 Earbuds.
Ok here are a few more photos.
There is too many rooms to count at the Venetian that had some Hi-Fi home system playing something. I saw and heard a lot of large speakers, they all sounded really good. But it was the little speaker with the big sound that I remember most. The gentleman behind the making of these amazing little guys with a big sound is Sakuji Fukuda, founder and owner of Micropure Co., Ltd.
At the SONY area I located the new SONY MDR-NC500Dheadphones. Touted as the fist digital noise canceling headphone. There I got to try them with my iMod and AMP. This attracted a Brian Pancarik, the Product Manger for Personal Audio. He is mighty interested in what I thought of the new phones and we spent a while talking shop. I informed him of where I was coming from with the uber headphone crowd and told him all about ALO. Brian was really cool to talk very down to earth and listened to what I had to say and was very receptive. Almost every NC headphone I have tried seemed to give my ears the sensation of having the air sucked out of ear canals. No so with the MDR-NC500Ds. Of course these, and any NC phone is not going to match most of what headphone aficionados are use to, but a step in the right in direction. Also I totally agree that for the noisy environment I would want a NC phone over any of my fancy expensive headphones I have. Do I own a NC headphone no but I am looking!
Sony Electronics News and Information
The MyVu, personal Media Viewer
myvu: award-winning eyewear for video up close & personal
Gaming Phones everywhere!
Red Leader… Im going in for another whisky sour, over..
I sent some time talking to these guys as well. Again explaining where I am coming from, what ALO is all about, what I am trying to do. I asked the first guy I spoke to, “why does the Zune have the audio line out signal locked unless you use the Zune Dock and Zune remote in concert?, what’s up with that” The nice guy took me to talk with the product development manager. I had to do my speech over again to him, I think he got it and I hope they can help me out on a cable for the Zune. Keeping my fingers crossed and hope I can work something out with MS on this. I have to say the Zune folks were receptive and very attentive to what I had to say. I found it odd however that all these companies (with the exception of Sennheiser) did not know what Head-Fi was or even even exists, had no idea of a portable headphone amps, seemed to be puzzled by mine. I mean if portable audio, or headphones was your business I would think that you would know a little about hi-fi on the web? So much for the social. I guess its really about the mass market. I do have hope that big companies will listen to how things sound and hear what the audiophile customers wishes for. I did recommend to the Sony and Zune guy that it might be good to explore the Head-fi community.
Here was the Koss area.
Spent some time listening to the Koss Electrostatic ESP950s. I have to say I really liked the sound but the build quality was pretty janky. Everything was plastic, and the knobs kept binding on one another messing up the balance when all I wanted to do was adjust the volume. I did not want to stop listening to the set up, I have to get me a pair of Electrostatic headphones.
They did have a huge selection of phones, most of which looked like you should be flying one of these
Becca found Phiaton pronounced (Fee ah ton). Phiatons is a “premium brand” of Cresyn company. They did have some attractive headphones.
Phiaton :: Premium Personal Audio Gear
At one point asked the Phiaton people what these phones retailed for and the 2 Phiaton employees responded buy going into a mini conference before giving me a number. Then when I pressed them on dealerships they said that they were not yet offered for the USA market.
There were crazy cars.
Tiny phones, reminded Becca and me of the SNL skit with Will Farrel.
All in all a awesome good fun time for all!
Jeremy’s new Circumcranial headset, easy the best headphone at the show.