Sennheiser to show 'CD quality' wireless 'phones
Lossless Kleer technology better than Bluetooth, apparently
CES Headphones specialist Sennheiser will tomorrow show off a set of wireless earphones based on a technology it claims delivers true CD quality lossless sound in place of the compressed, lossy audio you get with Bluetooth 'phones.
Sennheiser's MXW1: 'phones...
The MXW1 set uses audio transmission technology from chip maker Kleer. Like Bluetooth, Kleer's system operates in the 2.4GHz band, but Kleer claims its approach is better able to co-exist with other wireless connectivity technologies, such as Wi-Fi - it fits into the narrowband gaps between the WLAN channels, apparently.
More to the point, it was developed specifically for audio, rather than general purpose communications.
Consumers will have to wait until May to try Kleer's technology for themselves, though Consumer Electronics Show (CES) attendees will presumably get a go tomorrow when the MXW1s are officially launched.
The compact earphones will come with a transmitter that fits onto the back of, say, an iPod thanks to an elastic strip. The transmitter, which has a built in battery, is about the size of a book of matches, Sennheiser said. It digitises the analogue output coming from the player's headphone socket, but the audio stream is not compressed, Sennheiser said.
However, it didn't say what the set's battery life will be, but Kleer maintains its technology's interference resilience makes for very low power transmissions which result on battery endurance that's up to ten times what Bluetooth stereo devices can manage.
Unlike Bluetooth, Kleer's system supports transmitting to multiple headsets, though since it's not a standard, you can't mix and match transmitters and 'phones. Still, Kleer undoubtedly hopes the MXW1s will encourage phone and music player makers to license the technology for their own products.
The iPods and others support lossless formats
All iPods (except the Shuffle I believe) support at least one lossless format for true CD quality.
Most other (i.e. non-iPod) MP3 players also support one or more lossless formats. So while your pirated MP3s may not sound CD quality. Those of us that rip our own CDs in lossless format know true CD quality from our MP3 players. (BTW it would be nice if this plugged into the digital connector instead of the headphone jack, so we didn't go through the lossy D/A and A/D conversions for an even purer sound.)
Some lossless formats I can think of: FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless.
@ Tom Paris
Not if you rip your CDs properly (and by that I mean avoid the travesty that is Itunes) and use a good quality ripper like EAC and a good quality codec like LAME. A well-ripped MP3 of 256k bitrate or higher will generally be indistinguishable from a CD.
too late for x-mas
damn, too late to ask for these for christmas.
They'll be out in time for my birthday tho. cus.. yeah.. thats gonna happen
I want some.
Hey tom! Ever heard of FLAC? Yes it is possible to play FLAC on pocket(ish) size music gizmos.
media player isn't the point
The compression is. Who cares about CD-quality sound on the headphones when you don't have CD-quality sound on the player?
You are aware that there are other media players than iPods, right? Or... yeah, don't answer that.
By the way, great job piloting Voyager. She'd never have made it home without your skill at the helm...