Ultrasone Hooks Up Snobby Ears With Audio Bliss
Although they weren’t technically in the Sands Convention Center, Ultrasone did have a suite at the Venetian which is close enough. They were showing off a couple of things that might get your toes tapping and your wallet screaming.
First up was the new Edition 8 Headphones. These headphones replace the luxurious Edition 9 headphones which have been recently discontinued. The rep there explained to me that the 8 in the name signifies that these headphones will be around as a permanent member of the family as 8 is also a symbol for infinity, or if you’re Chinese, a lucky SOB if you get to own a set. I had a listen to them between one of the other reps buffing them lovingly and was blown away by how comfortable, light, and how totally melodious the sound was coming from these cans.
What was even more impressive was when they were hooked up to an MP3 player with horribly encoded files that were crappy by any standard. Typically, high-end headphones will show you just how crappy they sound, but the Edition 8’s just smoothed over all of that and to be honest, they didn’t sound too bad. The S-Logic technology really did a great job making filet mignon from meat loaf. At around $1000 US, they almost seem worth it. Get a set if you’ve got the green. They are primo and they come with this fabulous case too.
One thing that was sort of missing from Ultrasone’s reportoire was a headphone amplifier. Well, they’ve finally gotten around to producing one. The versatile Ultrasone 101 features regular 1/4 and a balanced XLR connection for true audio bliss. A special set of their PRO series headphones will be made available that features a balanced connection (for more money of course). I had a listen to both sets and it was quite clear which one I was listening to and the balanced XLR is definitely FTW. The 101 will run you about $1400 US (I actually guessed low at $800. My Bad.) and the headphones will probably cost you whatever you want to spend.
Taking a Vision Quest to Canada
In the wake of a US meltdown, it would seem that Canadian companies are totally thriving. Just look at what Psyko Audio and CoolIT have done this year. Launched over a year ago, Vision Quest is seizing this opportunity to make a big break into the consumer electronics market. Their core series of products include LCD, Plasma and Projector products. They also have high quality picture frames (shown above) with both wood and leather finishes. Mini-Systems and computer monitors round out the product line.
One of the more interesting products at their suite were a pair of sub $1000 HD projectors. Although the specs aren’t the same as what you’d find on top end projectors, the bulbs also won’t cost you $300 – 400 to replace. I can totally see people snatching these up for gaming on the PC or console because there’s nothing like activating “star power” on a big screen. Since most homes are built with an entertainment room these days, this makes it economical to put in that theatre.
With their simple product line and a focus on value and style, it definitely makes them a contender when put up against the big names. After all, no matter how bad the economy becomes, people still want quality products at a fair price. We’re certainly looking forward to checking these products out to see if they really deserve our “Value Added” blessing.