Every year at IFA, there are plenty of smartphone announcements, but audio tends to be an afterthought. Luckily that wasn’t the case at IFA 2019 — it turned out to be a surprisingly good year for new audio products. Whether you’re on the lookout for a new pair of true-wireless earbuds or just want to up your home theater game, there was something to get excited about this year. These are the best new audio products to come out of IFA 2019.
Sony 360 Reality Audio
Sony released some interesting hardware in the shape of headphones of digital music players, but it was the 360 Reality Audio software that is the most impressive. Using a downloadable app, you can use your smartphone camera to capture the shape of your head and ears. This will let you listen to your music in 3D, meaning you can “move” singers or instruments around as you please. This is currently only compatible with Qobuz, Tidal, and Deezer, but thankfully it will be fully compatible with all headphones.
Huawei announced the Huawei Freebuds 3, which one-up the Apple AirPods by adding active noise cancelling. You’ll get just four hours of constant playback with a charging case that can push it to 20 hours, but that’s nothing special in the world of true wireless earbuds.
The new Bluetooth 5.1 standard Huawei is using provides 2.3Mbps of data transfer. The more audio data that can be transferred from the source device to your headphones will generally result in better sound, which is good news for anyone that values sound quality.
If you’re more interested in the home theater side of things, the new TCL Ray-Danz soundbar is worth keeping on your shortlist. It features a unique design that uses acoustic reflectors in order to bounce sound off the floor and walls to simulate the illusion of a wider soundstage.
It’s also fully compatible with Dolby Atmos, which is considered to be one of the best surround sound codecs you can get. To get this kind of immersion with just a soundbar instead of a full surround sound setup is impressive.
Monoprice Monolith M1070
Wired headphones seem to be falling out of style as more and more smartphones ditch the headphone jack, but the new Monolith M1070 planar magnetic headphones from Monoprice are worth celebrating.
Planar magnetic headphones are not cheap, and the previous version (the M1060 headphones) are still one of the best sounding headphones you can get for the money. So a new and improved Monolith M1070 pair of over-ears is cause for excitement, especially at the $399 price point.
Monoprice Monolith HTP-1
Alongside the headphones, Monoprice also announced the HTP-1. This is its brand new 16-channel home theater processor that comes packed with tech to make home audio enthusiasts drool. Not only is it fully compatible with some of the best surround sound codecs available like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, it also has Amazon Alexa compatibility and Dirac Live Room Correction. This means that it will optimize its sound to best match the room that you place it in.
While $3,999 isn’t cheap by any means, it’s a great value considering the tech packed inside.
One unexpected surprise to come out of IFA 2019 is a brand new pair of headphones from Adidas geared towards the fitness-minded. The RPT-01 headphones are a pair of over-ear cans wrapped in washable fabric, so the next time you go extra hard in the gym you can just throw the fabric in the wash. Plus, they have an IPX4 certification protecting them against sweat damage. Besides that, they feature Bluetooth 5.0 and an impressive 40-hour battery life.
That’s it for our list of the best new audio products from IFA 2019. Which one was your favorite?