Imagine the year is 1962, and you've been asked to predict what headphones will be like fifty years into the future, all the way forward to the year 2012! It's possible that you would describe something like the two new models recently announced by Creative, the WP-450 and the HN-900.
File the new WP-450s under the "ultra-futuristic" category. They're wireless Bluetooth headphones with a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) enhanced "invisible microphone." What does this mean? Well, if you have a smart phone with Bluetooth (which applies to the vast majority of smart phones on the planet), you can listen to your music, answer calls, talk to the caller, hang up and continue listening to your music, all without having to deal with a wire between you and your phone, or a microphone dangling in front of your face.
The freedom from cables the WP-450 grants you extends to more than just smart phone use. You can use that freedom to watch movies on Bluetooth-equipped computers (such as the Mac mini and iMac), and tablets as well. Creative includes a technology called aptX in the WP-450s that helps ensure that the wireless sound you listen to is both instant (no annoying lag time) and clear.
The WP-450s run on an internal rechargeable battery, for up to eight hours. There are controls to raise and lower volume and answer calls. They fold up for compactly storage and travel too.
|Driver||34mm Neodymium magnet|
|Frequency Response||18 Hz - 22 kHz|
|Wireless Technology||Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)|
|Bluetooth Profiles||A2DP (Wireless stereo Bluetooth), AVRCP (Bluetooth remote control), HSP (Headset profile), HFP (Hands-free profile)|
|Audio Codec||aptX, SBC, FastStream|
|Operating Range||Up to 10m / 33ft|
|Microphone||Built-in omni-directional microphone|
|Power Supply||Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, 3.7V, 240mAh|
|Charging Time||1 hour|
|Playback Time||8 hours|
|Talk Time||9 hours|
|Weight||4 oz (114 g)|
The concept of active noise-canceling technology is the stuff of science fiction, but thankfully, it's real and it works really well. Noise-canceling headphones may not be bleeding-edge technology, but for many moons they were cost prohibitive for many people. However, products like the new HN-900s are putting good quality noise-canceling headphones within reach of the masses.
The HN-900s cut out up to 85% of ambient noise. They're indispensible on flights, and when you're expected to produce a lot of work at the office (yet you're surrounded by yakking co-workers). The cable can be removed if you just want to utilize the noise-canceling function and not listen to music or watch movies. Its padded ear cushions completely cover your ears.
A single AAA battery powers the HN-900s for up to 40 hours. When the battery dies, you'll still be able to use the headphones to listen to media. You can also switch its active noise-canceling off when you don't want to use it, to save battery life. The phones fold flat to fit in a bag more efficiently, and a travel pouch is included.
If you own an iPhone, a built-in microphone enables you to take calls and use FaceTime calls. A button enables you to answer and hang up on calls with a simple click (something the telephone operators in 1962 would have appreciated).
|Drivers||40mm / 1.6" Neodymium magnet|
|Frequency Response||20 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Noise Reduction Level||-18dB (85%)|
|Mic Frequency Response||100 Hz - 10 kHz|
|Mic Sensitivity (1kHz)||-38dBV/Pa|
|Cable Length||4.9' (1.5m) detachable with in-line mic|
|Power Supply||1 x AAA battery|
|Battery Life||40 hours|
|Weight||5.9 oz (168 g)|