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Bring the world of sound to life this summer with cutting-edge technology

Written by Russell Deeks

Move, talk, listen

Jabra introduces next-generation Elite 85h headphone

If you like to listen to music on the move, are fussy about sound but also need to be able to interact with the world, Jabra’s new Elite 85h headphone could be for you.

The Jabra 85h Bluetooth headphones are equipped with eight built-in microphones: six of these are for telephone calls, with four microphones used for the Elite’s Active noise-cancellation system. This will switch on automatically in noisy enviroments (eg, on a train); alternatively, you can enable HearThrough so that you don’t miss important tannoy announcements. The mics also detect what frequencies are dominant in the sounds around you, and cut or boost corresponding frequencies in the music to give you the best possible listening experience. All SmartSound settings are fully user-customisable using the accompanying Jabra Sound+ app.

Other high-end features include on-ear detection, one-touch access to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, and certified rain-resistance. The headphones will run for 36 hours on a single charge and are available in Titanium Black, Navy and Gold Beige.

Key Features

• Smart Active Noise-Cancellation
• Jabra Sound+ app
• Eight built-in mics for crystal-clear calls
• Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa integration
• 36 hours’ battery life

Jabra Elite 85h

Long live ears!

Flare Audio is on a mission to protect your hearing

Hearing protection is a hot topic in many industries right now. Which is why, as well as high-end earphones, Flare Audio also makes a range of earplugs!

What’s special about Flare Audio’s range is the construction. Standard foam or silicone earplugs prevent audible sound from entering the ear canal, but the sound you do hear can often be muffled, and they also won’t block very low frequencies that can damage the tiny hairs that your ear uses to detect sound. So Flare Audio uses a denser material: metal, which blocks these frequencies, turning everything down to a much lower level without losing any of the detail.

There are four models. For occasional users, the Isolate and 30 per cent smaller Isolate MINI have aluminium bodies, while for those who regularly work in very noisy environments there are the titanium-bodied Isolate Pro and Isolate MINI Pro, which offer the best possible low-frequency protection.

Sleep tight

And Flare Audio also makes earplugs for those who simply want a good night’s rest! Sleeep and Sleeep Pro again come in aluminium or titanium, with Flare’s noise-blocking technology packed into an earplug whose tiny metal core is covered in memory foam. Alternatively, Sleeep Flex replaces the metal with flexible silicone so the earplug bends where you do for maximum comfort.

Key Features

• Made from aluminium or titanium for superior sound reduction
• Tailored to suit a range of user requirements
• Available in a range of colours

Flare Audio earplugs
£19.99 to £49.99

“The Isolate® ear protectors are the best earplugs I’ve ever used, great for air travel and very loud concerts!”
Tony Visconti – Grammy Award-winning producer to David Bowie, T-Rex, Morrissey and Iggy Pop

Live it up with JBL

JBL’s new wireless headphones come in all shapes and sizes

JBL's range of wireless headphones now includes the LIVE series, the company’s first Bluetooth headphones designed for use with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

For those that like to travel light, there’s the Live LIVE 220BT. These in-ear neckband headphones feature 8mm drivers, weigh just 31g and offer 10 hours of playback from a single charge. Moving up the range, the on-ear LIVE400BT headphones boast 24 hours of battery life and 40mm drivers, weigh 185.8g and are suitable for use both at home and on the move. Both of these headphones feature JBL’s Ambient Aware and Talk Thru modes, which boost ambient noise and lower music volume, respectively.

Alternatively, for home use, take a look at the LIVE500BT and LIVE650BTNC headphones. Weighing in at 231.6g and 260g respectively, both are over-ear models with buttons on the earcups for making and receiving calls, and both offer 30 hours’ playback time. The difference is that the 500’s have 50mm drivers, while the 650’s only have 40mm drivers but also offer active noise cancellation.

All four models, of course, offer the high-quality sound for which JBL is known. So if you need some new wireless headphones, perhaps it’s time to LIVE a little?

Key Features

• Compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
• Available in a range of styles to suit different user needs
• Ambient Aware function for when you need to keep in touch with your surroundings
• Active Noise Cancellation (LIVE650BTNC only)

JBL LIVE range
£69.99 to £179.99