By Andrew Liszewski
It’s kind of weird for a company to refer to a pair of headphones as a set of ‘personal field speakers’ unless of course that company is Sony, who seems to like to do everything differently. In this case however it might actually be a good thing, since the headphone’s unique design apparently mimics the experience you’d get from sitting in front of a set of audiophile-grade speakers.
The PFR-V1 ‘headphones’ use a pair of orb-shaped speakers that are suspended just outside your ears. These deliver the mid and treble frequencies while the bass sounds are reproduced through an “extended bass reflex duct” that actually sits in your ear. It all sounds rather complicated, but they apparently take advantage of the shape of your ears and the way we hear a lot better than a conventional set of closed headphones do. Unfortunately though, Wired’s Gadget Lab had a chance to test them out and while they managed to recreate a very natural sound with a wide frequency response, the bass tubes had a tendency to buzz loudly when listening to anything more energetic than classical music. And the ‘personal field speakers’ were very fragile too, limiting their use to your home or office.
The $499.99 price tag from AudioCubes isn’t going to convert the average headphone user either. But from what I can tell, that’s not who Sony is marketing these to anyways.