The best headphones from CES 2019: all the finest headsets from Vegas

Creative SXFI Air 

In a few short years, headphone holography will be the biggest thing in audio. Dolby’s working on it, Audeze has dabbled in it, and Creative… well, Creative has already taken it to the next level. 

Creative’s SXFI Air can replicate the soundstage of a full surround system in a pair of over-ear headphones that cost under $200 (£150 / AU$275). It’s a bold step for the future of audio, and we got to see it for the first time at CES. 

These were our favorite headphones from the show, but it's worth noting that Creative still has some kinks to work out, namely the lengthy setup process and latency issues over Bluetooth.

Technics EAH-F70N noise-canceling headphones 

Hear the name Technics and you'll probably jump to thinking about the brand's top-notch turntables. But at CES 2019 the company is pushing the sounds straight into your ears with its new over-ear headphones, the Technics EAH-F70N and EAH-F50B.

Suitable for high-resolution audio playback thanks to support for LDAC and apt-X HD standards, both make use of 40mm dynamic tuned to maximize bass impact, "realistic dynamics" and "spatial ambience".

The F70Ns are the more premium cans however, taking advantage of a "Hybrid Active Noice Cancelling" feature, which makes use of mics located both on the exterior of the headphones and near to the driver to offer three different levels of ambient noice cancellation. It also has an "Ambient Sound Enhancer" which can be activated to let exterior sounds (such as train station announcements) pierce through your tunes on demand, making sure you're aware of your surroundings when required, too.

Pricing and release details have yet to be shared for the Technics EAH-F70N, but expect them to fall in line with what you’d see with a premium set of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. 

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC900BT headphones

Audio Technica had a fantastic 2018, with cans like the ATH-M50xBT wireless headphones earning a recommended award from the TechRadar test labs. The company well have outdone itself at CES 2019 though with its impressive-sounding ATH-ANC900BT wireless over ears.

The ATH-ANC900BT make use of multiple onboard microphones to monitor ambient noise, and offer three noise cancelling levels as default, including an airplane mode. However, things can be fine-tuned with the free Audio-Technica Connect app for iOS and Android, which lets you dial up or down the amount of noise cancellation to your specific desired level. 

What’s particularly impressive according to the press release is battery life – you’re looking at up to 35 hours from a single charge, even with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and noise cancelling engaged.

The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC900BT will hit shops in March 2019, priced at £269 / $299. We’re waiting on Australian availability, but will update this post when we get it.

Jabra Elite 85h 

The new Jabra Elite 85h headphones are designed to try and take away the annoyance of having to alter your headphone settings on the fly to get the best sound experience when leaving home, commuting or just wandering around a big city.

This works using Audeering technology, an audio analysis company that Jabra's parent company GN Technologies has a minor stake in, where artificial intelligence uses eight microphones to analyse the surroundings and decide on the best sound quality needed.

The Jabra 85h headphones will adapt automatically to the sound around you, switching between 'Commute', 'In Public' and 'In Private' modes to offer tailored sound - and uses six of the microphones to provide active noise cancelling too.

Jabra says the new headphones will offer an impressive 32 hours of battery life, making them a great option for commuters – although we found them to be quite heavy when we tested them at the show.

The release date has been set for April 2019, with the price set at £280 / $299 (around AU$500) with no official word Australian release at the moment.

  • Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets. 
Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.