Maxell To Bring LED Lighting, New Headphones to CESOctober 25, 2012 By Nancy Klosek
Maxell is extending its market presence in the headphone and earphone categories but this time, upping the ante in price-points as it looks to compete in the “affordable high-end” arena, said Jennifer Roberts, product manager for the New Products Div. Targeted distribution for these higher-priced models is specialty electronics dealers, she added.
The new Studio series of on-ear headphones includes the $169.99 top-line Studio Bluetooth – Maxell’s first Bluetooth 2.1-equipped model. It carries a brushed-aluminum headband, and includes 40mm drivers, leather earcups, and both a recharging cable and a headphone cable for wired use. It also has a “Siri-ready” talk-through function allowing communication with the iPhone’s Siri voice command response technology. The Studio DJ ($139.99) boasts 50mm drivers, and includes leather, oversize earcups that are rotatable behind the wearer’s head, an 11.5-foot braided cloth cable and a four-foot standard cable. The Studio Heavy Bass ($124.99) headphone is aimed at a younger demographic; it features a 40mm driver, in-line call-taking capability, and a silver finish with metallic blue highlights. It also sports a rubberized headband and a four-foot flat wire.
Maxell is replacing its NC-IV noise-cancelling headphones with the NC-V, whose Noise Redux technology is also said to provide improved amplification characteristics. They are low power-consumers, good for 70 hours’ continuous use, and will work as standard headphones without battery power ($129.99).
In earphones, The Radiator and the Balanced Artmature+ are new. The Balanced Armature+ ($119.99), the company’s flagship earphone model, offers a balanced armature driver and a 6mm low-frequency dynamic driver encased in aluminum, along with anti-bacterial earpieces and a flat-wire design. The Radiator ($79.99) uses both
a passive radiator for enhanced bass and a dynamic driver in tandem for what Maxell said is a synergistic result akin to stereo speaker sound.
The company is delving into the LED lighting category with an eye to serving new market needs and also as a foot in the door to new home-improvement retailing distribution channels, said Vander Morais, senior product manager, New Products Div.
Currently due for display at the CES are a $34.99 Emergency LED bulb that consumes 6.2 watts, provides 350 Lumens brightness, lasts 25 years, and will automatically turn on in the event of a power failure, and will work for four hours in a blackout. It has an on/off button and may be used as a flashlight. A $39.99 version adds dimming capability and a remote control. And a motion sensor LED ($34.99) is programmed to respond only to human motion. Other “emergency market” products are also in development, said Morais.