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Gear Heads or Hot Tips from The CEA Holiday Preview

Understandably, Consumer Electronic Association trade shows are generally showcases for the latest in computer technology. While there were certainly enough new laptops, Ipods and Ipads on display, a lot of exhibitors were thinking about audio as it pertains to both musicians and general consumers.

Logitech was heavily promoting its wireless speakers for mp3 players, as well as its Ultimate Ears line of noise-isolating earphones and headsets that are preferred by several rock luminaries, most notably Mick Jagger. Not to be outdone, Monster showcased its Beats Pro line of headphones that have the endorsements of such luminaries as Dr. Dre, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Lady Gaga.

Dolby has long been in a leader in audio technology and the company is making a major push in making consumers aware of the fact that the volume that viewers hear from their cable systems can vary from one minute to the next and from one channel to the next. It is not your imagination that some programs are louder than others even when you hold your television remote volume at the same level.

Dolby Volume addresses this issue by creating technology that allows viewers to enjoy a consistent audio level without losing any of the sound texture such as background vocals or low-pitch instruments. Dolby does not manufacture products but rather licenses out its technology to television set manufacturers as Toshiba, electronic accessory companies as Gefen, and various cable television systems.

On a slightly lower tech plane, a Pennsylvania physician. Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, has created “Sleep Phones,” that she likes to refer to as “pajamas for your ears.” Sleep Phones, is a fleece-like headband that has is connected to an mp3 player that ideally should play relaxing music. This is a helpful device if you are or your partner are sensitive to outside noises such as snoring or dog barks.

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