We’ve seen a lot of innovative audio technology at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, not least in the world of headphones. From heavy duty over-ear cans that block out the world around you to waterproof buds for runners, there has been so much to see at the consumer tech show this year.
Although our favorites from the show were the over-ear Creative SXFI Air headphones, which are the first to accurately replicate a full surround system, we’ve seen some brilliant true wireless earphones and wired in-ears from the likes of Audio-Technica and Klipsch.
So, whether you’re a hardcore audiophile or you’re just looking for a great pair of in-ears for working out with, you’re sure to find something you love in our roundup of the very best headphones at CES 2019.
The best true wireless headphones at CES 2019
Audio-Technica Sound Reality ATH-CKR7TW
Audio-Technica has a long history of creating fantastic headphones, and the Sound Reality ATH-CKR7TW headphones are no exception. We loved the design, which features a 3D Loop Support so they stay secure in your ear, as well as button controls to easily handle phone calls, music playback and volume.
They boast 11mm drivers with a carbon-coated diaphragm that delivers faster response time and minimal distortion. The drivers also have machined brass stabilizers, which reduce unwanted resonances, as well as a stainless steel acoustic mesh resistor for improved high-frequency response.
The ATH-CKR7TW deliver six hours of music on one charge, and come with a carry case that provides a further nine hours of use – pretty impressive for true wireless in-ears.
Price-wise, however, these are at the higher end of the true wireless market at $249 (£229/AU$349). For this we would have expected a few more smarts, including Google Assistant compatibility (something rival true wireless setups already have), but you are paying for decent audio innards here.
Audio-Technica Sonic Sport ATH-SPORT7TW
The Audio Technica Sonic Sport ATH-SPORT7TW are created with fitness lovers in mind. They're set to offer up exceptional true wireless audio quality, as well as a design that'll stay in place no matter how much you move, a built-in mic and touch controls.
The ear pieces feature ergonomic Freebit ear fins for maximum comfort, and they're certified with an IPX5 rating, which means they're sweat resistant and can even be rinsed under a tap. They also boast an ambient hear-through function, which you can switch on to give you the choice of hearing environmental sounds for safer use outdoors.
They last 3.5 hours on a single charge and come with a carry case that can deliver up to 14 hours more power if you need it on the move. With drivers half the size, they may not have the sonic prowess as Audio-Technica's Sound Reality ATH-CKR7TWs, but they are for a different purpose.
They're available for $199 (£179 / AUS$299).
Under Armour FLASH true wireless earphones
Sportswear brand Under Armour has now ventured into the world of wearable audio tech, with its new true wireless FLASH headphones, which it says are designed “by runners, for runners”.
With an IPX7 water-resistance rating, the FLASH true wireless in-ears should be perfect for running in the rain (as well as sweaty workout sessions), and five hours of battery life makes them ideal for life on the go. They also come with a hard-wearing charging case, which carries 20 hours of charging power.
We expect a good level of sound quality, considering the earphones are engineered by audio tech company JBL, with 5.8mm drivers designed to pump out powerful bass. The FLASH true wireless in-ears also feature JBL’s ‘Bionic Hearing’ tech, which allows you to hear your surroundings via two sound technologies: TalkThru and Ambient Aware.
The UA True Wireless FLASH earphones are available to buy in the US for $169, which includes free 12-month MapMyRun Premium membership (valued at $29.99). This works out at around £130/AU$240, though there's no word yet on whether they will be available to purchase outside the US.
Klipsch T5 true wireless headphones
If you're looking to cut the cord in 2019, the new Klipsch T5 range of in-ear headphones may be exactly what you're looking for, featuring the brand's patented oval ear tips, which are designed to offer comfort as well as an excellent seal for noise isolation and powerful bass.
There are four new models of headphones in the lineup, including Klipsch's first true wireless earbuds, which the company says offer 8 hours of playback from a single charge.
Right now we don't know the exact pricing for each model in the new T5 range, but Klipsch says prices will range between $59 and $199.
Based on current conversion rates, that works out at around £45/AU$85 to £160/AU$280. The company says the new T5 range will be available in the next few months, but hasn't revealed whether this applies to all territories.