Sony has refreshed its headphone range with the launch of an in-ear model targeted at purists, a new series of lifestyle and sports phones, plus a radical new departure from previous models in the form of something Sony calls 'Personal Field Speakers'.

The EX700LP in-ear phones employ a 16mm driver unit and multi-layered diaphragm for high sensitivity and an improved dynamic range. They’ve been engineered so that the driver is turned on its side inside the ear, while seven sizes of newly designed soft silicon seal provide sound insulation duties. A less expensive MDR-EX75SL version is also available.

Sony’s new MDR AS Active Series headphones are primarily aimed at gym goers and sportspeople, for whom a secure fit and good looks are essential. The flagship MDR-AS50G features a flex-shaped neckband for a secure fit and silicon earbuds for added bass and comfort.

The MDR-AS100W features an ultra-lightweight, secure-fit design ideal for sporty folk, alongside an innovative shock absorbing system and moisture guard mechanism.

To suit any ear

As an affordable entry-level model to the new range, the MDR-AS40EX features a secure behind-ear clip in three sizes to suit any ear, which can be detached to convert the phones into in-ear phones.

By far the most impressive products in the new Sony range, though, are the PFR-V1 Personal Field Speakers. Developed by Sony as a “wearable speaker system that delivers audiophile sound reproduction with a supremely open, natural soundstage,” the PFR-V1 certainly looks like no other pair of headphones on the market.

According to Sony, mid and high-range frequencies are delivered by a pair of spherical driver units directly facing the ear. Meanwhile, low frequencies are delivered by a newly developed extended reflex duct.

The effect of all this, claims Sony, is to create an open soundstage – like listening to full-sized loudspeakers rather than miniaturised headphones. Sound leakage is apparently kept to a minimum, though, thanks to the proximity of the speakers to your ears. No doubt your fellow passengers will be thrilled to hear that.

The new range will be available from the beginning of April. At the time of going to press no prices were available.