One company I have been following since they were in their infancy at CES has been Able Planet. I always enjoy stopping by their booth because they always have some great new headphones to show off and usually a new CES Innovation award or two. This year was no exception, as they added three more CES Innovation awards to their 20+ collection, introduced two new headphones (a new flagship model and a whole new signature series) and a new lineup of home audio equipment including a home stereo system and two new docks.
The flagship of this group is the Clear Harmony PE
(Personal Equalizer) headphones. These took one of the above mentioned 2011 CES Innovation awards and it was easy to see why. I believe they are the first headphones to actually test a users hearing and then customize the sound for the best possible experience. This fits right in with Able Planet’s initiative to preserve hearing while providing the best possible sound. This should be accomplished by the Clear Harmony PEs having Able Planet’s Linx PE technology in them. This should allow them to generate top notch sound based off my previous Able Planet headphone experiences. Unfortunately I was able to take a look only at a prototype, but I believe they are slated for retailers like a Brookstone and the Able Planet website later this year.
The other headphones they introduced may have been the coolest, as Signature Series
is based off their 300 series headphones and has a trio of athlete spokespersons to promote them. These include pro surfer Jesse Heilman, X-Games superstar Ashley Fiolek and Chris “Birdman” Anderson of the Denver Nuggets who also helped put their personal stamp on their own line. Jesse was at the show and I was able to speak with him for a bit. He was actually a driving force behind the design, as it incorporates many things that someone on the go (like a pro surfer) would desire. They are comfortable, portable and they fold up. Jesse’s line has three interchangeable ear plates including Lightning, Passport and cracked wave design. All of the Signature Series headphones should be available in early 2011.