CES 2024 took place in Las Vegas from Jan. 8-12, and The Hollywood Reporter‘s shopping editors and product reviewers were on the ground scouting the best new products in consumer tech from over 4,000 exhibitors. From futuristic vehicles and transparent TVs, to cutting-edge beauty devices and smart home gadgets and beyond, we’re sharing our top finds from the expo. Follow all of our CES coverage here.
It’s a great time to be a home theater enthusiast. At CES 2024, we made sure to stop by the most promising audio booths on the convention floor with a mission to find the coolest new speakers, headphones, soundbars and more audiophile gear.
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As we saw with the best smart home tech from the show, AI and accessibility features are helping to fine-tune gadgets ranging from speaker systems to travel-friendly language translation earbuds. Below, keep reading for our favorite finds from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, including a 7.1-channel Dolby Atmos soundbar system under $600, Urbanista’s solar-powered headphones, Mojawa’s athlete-friendly bone conduction earbuds and more.
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Best Audio Tech at CES 2024: Headphones, Earbuds & More
BEST NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
Bose has exceptional audio and premiere noise-canceling technology.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones fall in with a long tradition of exceptional audio and premiere noise-canceling technology. The company’s Bose Immersive Audio elevates the listening experience, while it makes you feel like the audio is completely surrounding you in your space. These headphones are comfortable to wear all day, especially if you’re traveling or working from home, thanks to their premium materials. Listening is believing.
BEST TRANSLATION-ENABLED GLASSES
Solos AirGo 3 Smart Glasses
It’s the gadget that Hollywood has been dreaming up for ages for its on-screen superspies. Combing language translation and on-the-go listening in one stylish wearable, thanks to Solos’ latest AirGo 3 smart glasses. Available in a variety of cool frame styles (from a classic wayfarer style and sunglasses to futuristic sport silhouettes for $200-$250), the device features the company’s improved SolosTranslate software powered by ChatGPT, enabling wearers to search, text and translate with their voice assistant. That’s not all: they’re also equipped with Solos Coach, which offers activity monitoring and fitness guidance.
The open-ear design lets wearers stay aware of their surroundings (which especially helpful while traveling), and the frames offer seven to 10 hours of battery life, depending on what you’re doing. The IP67 waterproof rating means they’re safe to sport while working out or walking in the rain.
BEST TRANSLATION EARBUDS
MyManu Clik Pro Language Translation Earbuds
A must-have for travelers, students and anyone who wants to stay in communication.
Frequent globe-trotters, students and lifelong learners alike can break down the language barrier while traveling, in the classroom or in everyday conversations with MyManu’s new Clik Pro earbuds. They provide continuous translation of more than 50 languages and feature noise cancellation for more accurate audio detection and listening, while the included hub features an e-ink screen that lets you read what you’re hearing in real time. The hub can work offline or connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or eSIM, so you don’t need your smartphone handy to use the earbuds.
The battery lasts for about 20 hours on a single charge and the earbuds come with three ear tips for comfort. The MyManu Clik Pro earbuds retail for $398, but those who pre-order can save 50 percent off (bringing the price down to $199), with delivery beginning in April.
BEST ENERGY-EFFICIENT HEADPHONES
Urbanista Solar-Powered Wireless Headphones
Forget the charging cables — these headphones are powered by the sun.
$199.00 15% off
Let’s face it. When wireless headphones run out of juice, they’re useless until you plug them back into a wall outlet for a quick charge. However, what if you can have a charge just by stepping out into the sun? Enter the Urbanista Los Angeles solar-powered wireless headphones.
These headphones are equipped with Exeger’s Powerfoyle solar panel strip (which converts ambient and natural light into energy) running at the top of their headband, so they’re self-charging if it’s a bright and sunny day outside. We like that there are no buttons to push or toggles to switch to get some much-needed juice outdoors.
In our brief testing period, the Los Angeles model is sleek with an understated, but clean, design, while these headphones also provide premium and rich audio with active noise-canceling settings to block out any background or ambient noise.
Urbanista’s Los Angeles solar-powered wireless headphones are available now for $199, while a new generation of headphones and earbuds from the Swedish company are coming soon in 2024.
BEST SMART HEADPHONES FOR ATHLETES
Mojawa HaptiFit Terra Headphones
Train smarter with these multi-tasking sports headphones.
Runners, swimmers, cyclists and other athletes can train smarter with Mojawa’s soon-to-launch HaptiFit Terra bone conduction headphones. Wearers can safely listen to their favorite tunes (while still hearing the environment around them), track their activity (including steps, pace, distance and routes) and monitor their heart rate. The open-ear headphones have an IPX8 waterproof rating (so you can wear them while swimming), and they automatically play and pause music when taken on or off. The battery life is up to 10 hours, and you can even store 32GB worth of MP3s on the device.
Equipped with an AI trainer, the HaptiFit Terra vibrates during training guidance (such as setting your pace), and you can also use your voice assistant
They’re available for pre-order for $299.99 (or $100 off) through Jan. 31 with code HFPRE1, delivery begins in March.
BEST TECH FOR HARD OF HEARING
EssilorLuxxotica Nuance Glasses
“Smart” glasses equipped with cameras and speakers have long been out on the market, and at CES, EssilorLuxxotica — maker of Ray-Ban, Oliver Peoples and other designer eyewear — unveiled a new prototype of stylish frames for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. The Nuance Audio glasses are equipped with microphones that can capture audio from multiple directions, digital processors and built-in speakers that all work together to make sound easier and clearer to hear.
The company says that the EssilorLuxxotica Nuance Audio frames “will eliminate the psychological barrier” associated with traditional hearing aids. The glasses volume can be controlled with a remote or the accompanying smartphone app, and they’ll include a wireless charging pad (similar to the Ray-Ban Meta camera glasses).
They’ll be available to buy in North America in late 2024.
BEST WELLNESS HEADPHONES
Master & Dynamic x Neurable Headphones
These headphones know when you should take a break.
Audio company Master & Dynamic and neuroscience company Neurable partnered up to create a different type of wireless headphones called the MW75-Neuro Headphones that can track your brain waves to measure your stress levels and work sessions via a mobile app. These headphones can be used while working to let you know about your peak performance or when is the best time for a break when working. They’re designed to help you focus and provide data on your workflow.
In addition, the Master & Dynamic MW75-Neuro Headphones have excellent audio that’s clear and rich with noise-canceling settings to keep you focused and task-oriented. They also have an impressive battery life of up to 32 hours per charge.
Currently, the MW75-Neuro Headphones are available for pre-order for $649 with a release date in early 2024.
Best Audio Tech at CES 2024: Computer Speakers
BEST DESKTOP SOUNDBAR
BlueAnt Soundblade Soundbar
This sleek, immersive soundbar will upgrade your desk or gaming station.
Shipping in mid-February, BlueAnt’s Soundblade soundbar delivers stunning audio with an immersive feel, all in a sleek design that fits under your computer monitor. Inside is an 80mm neodymium subwoofer and dull full-range neodymium drivers to reduce distortion and create dynamic sound.
It offers USB-C, Bluetooth and 3.5 auxiliary input connectivity, so it works with desktop computers as well as tablets, laptops and smartphones.
Best Audio Products at CES 2024: Home Theater Systems
BEST NEW DOLBY ATMOS SPEAKER SYSTEM
Ultimea Nova S90 Speaker System
A versatile and compact Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 channel speaker system at a wallet-friendly price point.
Coming later this year, Ultimea’s Nova S90 Bluetooth speaker system brings Dolby Atmos 7.1 surround sound to your home theater at an affordable $600. The compact set includes an ultra-slim soundbar with two surround sound speakers (all three boast a height of just 1.5 inches) and a subwoofer, and features audio pre-sets for music, dialogue and movies. It works with 4K TVs and includes two HDMI, eARC, USB and auxiliary connections.
BEST HOME THEATER SPEAKER ACCESSORIES
AudioCu Home Audio System
Turn your wired speakers into a smart wireless home theater system with AudioCu, which supports up to 9.1 channel audio setups and Dolby Digital and Atmos sound. It includes a receiver and individual transmitter units that attach to each of your speakers, allowing you to control your entire system with your phone and adjust each device without a traditional audio-video receiver. It uses the power lines to move sound, resulting in an immersive experience with a range of up to 1,000 feet, without unsightly wires and interference from nearby appliances.
Pricing is $599-$1,199, with options for 3.1-, 5.1-, 7.1- and 9.1-channel sound systems.
BEST HOME THEATER SPEAKER ACCESSORIES
Dolby Atmos FlexConnect
Dolby Atmos quality without the hefty price tag.
Dolby Atmos is a premium audio format for movies and music. While the signature sound is excellent, the price for Dolby Atmos hardware can be really expensive. However, the audio company developed FlexConnect that can transform an inexpensive entertainment setup into a mini-home theater that’s certified Dolby Atmos.
Select TCL and Hisense TVs feature Dolby Atmos FlexConnect which can connect to compatible speakers via smartphone app. This means you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to get premium audio. In fact, the app even calibrates your living room and speaker placement for the best quality Dolby Atmos sound available through your smartphone’s microphones.
During our hands-on time with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect in Las Vegas, we found that the technology is simple to use and put together, while it has the rumble, deep bass and clarity you’d come to expect from traditional Dolby Atmos. It really did feel and sound like a premium experience with clear and rich sound.
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