Headphones and speakers always attract large crowds at CES and 2017 was no different. They both represent the most affordable way to get into hi-fi while also offering a personal listening experience.
One of the clearest messages we got from CES 2017 is that manufacturers are now seeing a serious future for wireless headphones, following Apple's removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. And some Android phones are said to be following suit.
As for speakers, multi-room is still a rapidly growing market and Dolby Atmos surround sound is now trickling down into more affordable soundbars. Here are some of the best we've seen from the show.
Headphone expert Audio-Technica didn't disappoint with its new products. Chief among the new releases were the ATH-DSR9BT and ATH-DSR7BT Bluetooth wireless headphones which use the company's proprietary Pure Digital Drive technology.
Pure Digital Drive helps keep the audio signal entirely digital from source to headphones to deliver the best possible sound. The company says it will be particularly effective in Bluetooth headphones because a wireless connection can often have its fair share of interference.
The DSR9BTs have been built from the ground up and feature 45mm drivers and a new four-core voice coil which offers "superlative fidelity". If you can't quite stretch to the £500 asking price, then the DRS7BTs could be more your thing. They too feature Pure Digital Drive technology but come with just a single-core voice coil.
The ATH-DSR9BTs and ATH-DSR7BTs will be available from Spring for £499 and £299 respectively.
AKG launched two new pairs of noise-cancelling headphones as this year's show: the N60 NC Wireless and N20 NC. The former is simply a wireless pair of the wired version released last year. They're a premium looking pair, with leather, aluminium and memory foam all making an appearance. Their built-in battery is said to be good for 30 hours the active noise cancelling tech lets you adjust how much outside world sound is let in. The N20 NCs are a wired in-ear model with a rechargeable module to handle noise cancellation.
B&O Play released a short teaser video of its new product before the show began. We already assumed it would be a wireless speaker, and those assumptions came true in the form of the BeoPlay M5. In true Scandinavian fashion, it's wrapped in a wool-blend coat and in true B&O Play fashion, it's packed with speaker drivers and Chromecast support for wireless streaming and multi-room playback.
For a speaker of this scale the sheer volume and clarity is quite something, we thought when we had a listen. It costs £529, so we expect it to be pretty good.
As soon as we heard about the $120,000 Focal Utopia by Tournaire headphones, we marked a date in our calendar to attend the company's dedicated event and try them out. We're so very glad we did, because they are sensational sounding headphones, and the combination of real gold and diamonds isn't as blingy as you'd expect.
LG may have unveiled a ridiculously thin OLED TV in the W7, but the company also revealed three intriguing soundbars. The flagship SJ9 comes with Dolby Atmos support thanks to two upward firing drivers, while the SJ8 can replace the stand on select LG TVs to improve the sound and the SJ7 can be split into two pieces, making it truly versatile.
The SJ9 even comes with the OLED W and acts as its media box. It has Spotify Connect and Chromecast support too.
Perhaps more off the wall was the LG PJ9 levitating Bluetooth speaker. It comes with a subwoofer base unit that also features electromagnets that propel and hold the 360-degree speaker unit in the air. When it requires recharging it slowly descends to charge and then starts to hover again.
Relatively new company LucidSound made a splash with its first wave of gaming headsets last year. For a start, they don't look like the standard plastic headgear usually designed for gamers and could just as easily suit a trip on the tube.
Now the LucidSound LS40 7.1 cans are about to ship in the UK, and not only do they look like a cross between a pair of Beats or something from BeoPlay, they have more than enough grunt when it comes to hardcore gaming.
They feature DTS Heaphone:X audio tech for keen virtual surround separation and are totally wireless, with a 15-hour battery life. The microphone is detachable and you can even turn up and down the volume, etc, through a twist of the left earcup (the right has chat controls).
We're hoping to test the LucidSound LS40 headphones soon. They cost $200 in the States.
When you're talking about headphones, you're guaranteed to include Sennheiser somewhere along the line. CES 2017 was no different, as the company introduced a wireless version of its Momentum in-ears, alongside two pairs of wireless over-ear headphones, one of which has noise-cancellation technology.
Sony did quietly announce two new pairs of headphones as part of its Extra Bass family of products, one of which has noise-cancelling tech built-in.
Sony also announced its first Dolby Atmos soundbar in the HT-ST5000. It has Sony's own S-Froce PRO Front Surround and DSP technologies, as well as a wide range of connection options.
There are seven front and surround channels, two Dolby Atmos channels that fire at the ceiling, and a separate wireless subwoofer.
It also supports Chromecast wireless streaming and will be available in spring for around £1,500.