We’ve seen (and heard) so many headphones at CES over the years that we thought we’d seen it all. But of course, at CES, you can never see it all, and we’ll be darned if Chinese audio brand HiVi didn’t come out with a whole new twist on the headphone/stand relationship that’s so cool, we couldn’t help but get sucked into its orbit.
The company’s new AW-85 headphones look basic enough on their own, boasting a smooth plastic shell, large circumaural earpieces, and a bundle of features like active noise canceling and touch controls. As you can see in the video above, the trick here is in the way these headphones charge, accomplished by dangling them from the included magnetic stand, which then charges the headphones directly through the headband.
As if that weren’t enough, the stand also incorporates a wireless charging pad for your phone at its base, allowing you to charge you’re two favorite devices at once. The whole design is just so convenient, so nifty, and — well, so brilliantly simple — we can’t believe we haven’t seen it before. Then again, that’s usually the case with the best innovations.
Apart from their novel charging stand, the AW-85 have pretty decent noise-cancellation and, as far as we could tell from the noisy show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center, pretty impressive sound, too. We heard a piano-jazz tune that sounded smooth and creamy where it should, with plenty of detail and clarity to spare. We only had a few moments with the cans but so far, color us impressed.
Other features include a stout 30-hour battery, Bluetooth codecs like AAC and aptX, adjustable EQ and audio presets, and automatic play/pause when you take the cans on and off. It’s a pretty impressive package, though the headphones also come with an impressive price point to match, coming in at a pricey $360 in the U.S. Still, these slick cans can do some things even some of our favorite pairs of loaded wireless headphones from major brands can’t. Frankly, the wireless charging stand is just fun to use, and pretty convenient to boot.
HiVi says the AW-85 will be offered in the U.S. by the end of the month, so we’ll keep our eye out for them and hopefully get some more hands-on time with them when they land stateside.