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These High-End, Affordable Headphones Are Designed by BMW - Maxim

These High-End, Affordable Headphones Are Designed by BMW

And we got a first-hand look at CES.
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Audeze SINE on-ear planar magnetic headphones

Audeze SINE on-ear planar magnetic headphones (Photo: Audeze)

The past few years, speakers—especially the portable Bluetooth variety—have dominated the audio scene, with their ability to deliver relatively big sound from a small package. In fact, it's pretty much the law that when hearing any travel speaker for the first time, you have to comment on how great the sound is given its size. Well, trolling the #CES2016 show floor for superior portable audio solutions, we happened upon their headphone equivalent, a very special set of cans that should delight audiophiles and wannabes alike.

The SINE ($500, available later this month) are from Audeze, a company known for infusing their planar magnetic technology into stylish but rather large and expensive headphones. (Think over the ear and in the thousands.) These new on-ear wonders are totally manageable and much more travel-friendly. And with their giant driver, they still deliver similar crispness and range to that of their bigger brothers, which we can corroborate from our ears-on listening experience with both.

Designed by BMW's DesignWorksUSA team, they look and feel great too. But what makes them great is how you now don't have to spend four figures to get awesome sound at any volume, across every genre.

If you're an Apple phone or tablet user, you may want to wait on purchasing these, cause Audeze is about the wrap up certifying a version that includes a special Lightning cable that bypasses the audio jack in favor of incorporating both a built-in digital signal processor and a digital analog converter. They may be about $50 to $100 more, but they'll make your i-thing sound amazing and forego the need for bringing along a separate amplifying device on-the-go.