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Rundown of new earbuds announced at CES

10 January, 2009 (03:32) | accessories | By: Harvey Chute

Here are some pix and notes from my traverse of the booths at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I’ll focus this post on new earbuds that are debuting at CES.

Maximo’s iM590 noise-isolating earphones (above) are a step up from their iM390s and earlier iM290s (see Zunerama’s iM290 review here). These have enhanced audio, and a knit cable similar to the Zune premium headphones. These are initially available with a built-in mic (i.e. for iPhone use) but a version without a mic will also be available soon. Available in black or white, these will be available this month and will retail for $59.

A lower-end but fun earbud from Empire is the EarHugger iCandy, with nicely inlaid sparkles. These join the other earbuds in the Empire lineup, including Jawbreakers, Noise-Cancelling, and Pure brands.

Another new model of earbuds from Empire is the Wicked Little Buds. These are smaller earbuds (they have a 5.8mm driver, as opposed to the 6mm, 8mm, or 10mm drivers in other earbuds). They’re a good fit for children or for people who find larger earbuds uncomfortable. These will retail for $25.

One of two sets of new earbuds from Panasonic - I’ll be posting specs for these shortly.

Koss has a custom-fit earbud, announced at CES and to be available on March 1. The Koss CC-01, pictured below, is adjustable. You turn the bezel a quarter turn, and it expands or retracts the size of the earbud - to exactly match the size of your ear canal. These will be available in Amazon for $149.99.

Another impressive earbud from Koss is the KDE-250 - available March 1 for $249.99. These have an over-the-ear bar, and the height of the earbud speaker can be adjusted by turning the knurled bar pictured below. The earbud speaker also hinges, to adjust to a perfect fit for your ear. This until will retail for $249.99 and will also be available on March 1.

V-Moda is adding the Vibe 2 to its Vibe line-up. (See Zunerama’s review of the Vibes here.)

Maxell’s Action Sports earbuds have earhooks and a cord path that goes behind the ear rather than in front. Available early spring, priced at $24.99.

Tomorrow I’ll post a summary of of headphones announced at CES 2009.