To the joy and delight of babysitters everywhere, Sony announced a boatload of new noise-cancelling headphones and earbuds to keep you sane in loud situations. Leading the pack are the $200, on-ear active / passive MDR-NC200D headphones, which have a 40mm drivers in each ear, 22-hour battery and folding design. For $150, users wanting portability can cop the smaller in-ear MDR-NC100Ds, which have a lower price tag and 13.5mm drivers. Both headphones feature Sony’s “Artificial Intelligence Noise-Cancelling” technology, which claims to automatically reduce ambient noise by around 98.2 percent — because you know, precision matters.
Also launching today are two new smartphone headsets — the $40 in-ear DR-EX14VP and the $60 DR-XB23VP earbuds — with connectivity to Android, iPhone and BlackBerry phones, as well as Sony Ericsson, Nokia and other phones thanks to an included compatibility cord. Pulling up the rear are the new iPhone control headsets — the $60 DR-XB22iP in-ear silicone hybrids, the $40 DR-EX61iP earbuds and the $150 “over-the-head” DR-ZX701iP. Currently accepting pre-orders, the headphones will be available for purchase sometime in October — just in time to tune out the doorbell this Halloween. Check out the full PR after the break.
It’s not quite official but there’s little doubt that Google will launch its Google Music service at its big I/O event later today. While the Wall Street Journal couldn’t get a Google spokesman to admit it, Peter Kafka over at All Things D got Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Android Product Management, to spill the details a bit early. Google’s service will essentially mimic the music locker functionality of Amazon’s Cloud service, albeit without the ability to sell songs direct to consumers. Ouch. Unfortunately, Google’s plans to launch a more feature-complete service were derailed when discussions with the labels broke down. According to Rosenberg, “A couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms.” So, rather than putting the service on hold, Google will launch its music service with the ability to store up to 20,000 of your own uploaded songs for free which you can then stream over the web to your desktop or Android phone or tablet — any device that supports Flash (don’t worry iOS users, your time will come). Amazon’s service, by comparison, offers just 5GB of free storage for about 1,200 songs stored at a mediocre bitrate. Google will also best Amazon with a feature that automatically creates playlists. Google expects to roll out the service to its US users within “weeks” with Music Beta invites going out later today to Verizon Xoom owners (others will be able to sign up at music.google.com). Keep it right here because we’ll be bringing you the announcement live.
While strolling around Shenzhen earlier today, we decided to stop by at the China Optoelectronics Display Expo to feast our eyes on AUO’s “world’s largest” 71-inch 21:9 3D LCD panel. Phew, what a mouthful, but this 240Hz ultrawidescreen is indeed larger than the sub-60-inch offerings from Vizio, JVC, and Philips. But is it any good? We put on our passive 3D glasses and found the experience to be surprisingly comfortable and effective (even at about 40 degrees from the center before we hit the wall), though the glossy screen’s reflection of the neighboring booth was slightly off-putting. This would probably be less of a problem at your humble abode, anyhow.
In terms of availability, AUO told us that China-based TCL will be the first to pick up this beast of a panel, and the final product should be out in August. Apart from that, we couldn’t squeeze out further info about other brands, so you best be writing to your nearest dealership to import this exotic cinema TV. More eyes-on pics in the gallery below.