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Sony Headphones Close the Window on Noise

On Wednesday, Sony introduced a new line of full-size stereo headphones dubbed Altus, which allows outside noise to be passively controlled.

Sony claims the headphones have an 80-kHz frequency response, which simply means that they extend far down into the bass region and far up into the highs. The Altus have brushed-aluminum earcups and a single cord coming out of the bottom of one earcup.

The most interesting thing about these headphones is that they have a diaphragm that can be opened or closed via an "ambient-in" switch, so a user can let in outside noise when he or she wants to, such as on the street, or block it out in the office or on a train. This is simple passive noise blocking—as opposed to active cancellation, which requires special circuitry and a power source—but this can be quite effective at blocking out ambient sounds.

Another design aspect of the Altus headphones that Sony touts is that the drivers are positioned parallel to the ear rather than perpendicular, which the company claims will reduce pressure and increase comfort. The Sony Altus headphones will sell for approximately $150 and will be available in November.

Source: ABC News

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