CES Roundup Page 15


Quiet, Bitte

Sennheiser, a German firm that's been making high-end headphones longer than most, is finally entering the serious-performance noise-canceling headphone arena with the PXC 450 ($499, March). Its on-site demo, performed in a couple of rows of First Class airliner seats, complete with realistic levels of piped-in ambient jet noise, was impressive. The PXC 450s include a "talk-through" feature that uses built-in subminiature mikes and smart electronics to permit nearby voices and other "useful sound" (a scarce commodity at CES) to be heard while still very effectively blocking noise. The Sennheisers' comfy over-the-ear design also boasts fold-flat construction and a slim carrying case. - Daniel Kumin

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