CES 2024 is officially underway and there are plenty of audio announcements to get excited about. Although it's only Day 1 and the event is only just getting going, from what we've seen so far, 2024 looks like a big year for headphones. Especially those fitted with the latest tech developments to enhance the user experience in ways we never imagined.
There have been plenty of tech news stories filtering through from big and small audio brands attending the world's largest consumer electronics show, unveiling intriguing new developments for the year ahead.
From Wi-Fi headphones and wireless earbuds that are capable of achieving the best-ever audio quality over Bluetooth, to headphones that help you work more productively and smart accessories that change the way we interact with our wireless earbuds. CES 2024 really does have something for every kind of headphones listener.
Here's my pick of the 5 best headphones and wireless earbuds at CES 2024 so far.
Be sure to check out our Best of CES 2024 award winners to see the 23 best gadgets of the show.
1. Unity headphones
Although officially unveiled in April 2023, Unity's headphones have been causing a stir among the high-end audio fraternity for their full lossless audio support up to 24-bit/96kHz from networked devices and streaming services over Wi-Fi. They're also equipped with storage for a small hi-res music library, Bluetooth connectivity, and come bundled with an adapter for wired listening, meaning you're covered for those times when Wi-Fi connectivity isn't available.
Fitted with dual-core processor, memory, storage, and a 9-axis IMU for accurate head-tracking motion detection for codec agnostic decoding of spatial and immersive audio in real-time, they are one of the most high-end audio developments we've seen in the wireless headphones market in recent years.
Unlike most of the models being shown at CES 2024, the Unity headphones are already on sale. You'll need deep pockets though as they cost $2,199 / £1,765 / AU$3,265 via the getunity.com website. Look out for our full review coming soon.
2. Master & Dynamic MW75-Neuro
Kicking off CES 2024 by winning a CES Innovation Award, the Master & Dynamic MW75-Neuro headphones have already made a significant impact at the Las Vegas show as one of the first electroencephalogram (EEG)-enabled wearables intended for the consumer market.
Made in partnership with the Neurable AI platform announced in December, they integrate neurotechnology into a new version of Master & Dynamic's popular MW75 noise-canceling headphones with sensors integrated into the fabric parts of the frame. The sensors are designed to track the wearer's brainwaves to help them identify focus periods, recognize signs of stress, and discover optimal mental well-being conditions analyzed via a Neurable AI app for iOS or Android. Neurable says that the data is stored in secured locations in an encrypted and de-identified form.
The Master & Dynamic MW75-Neuro headphones are available to pre-order now via the neurable website costing $649 (around £510 / AU$669).
3. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4
One of the key features grabbing my attention from Sennheiser's trio of new models announced at CES 2024 is the introduction of the next-gen Momentum True Wireless 4 earbuds with aptX Lossless Audio and Auracast support.
Built on the Qualcomm S5 Sound Gen 2 platform and Snapdragon Sound Technology, the Bluetooth 5.4 connectivity with ultra-low latency and lossless audio allows them to stream music at higher quality via compatible playback devices.
Bolstering this is Auracast, which enables wireless streaming to an unlimited number of nearby audio devices. The new premium wireless earbuds by Sennheiser are the first I've heard of to officially mention the feature since it was announced by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in 2022. It's an exciting development that feels a long time coming, and could mean that wearers are able to listen in to devices in public spaces such as TVs at airports, waiting rooms, and gyms, as well as public address system announcements, bringing accessibility and assistive listening to the next level.
The Momentum True Wireless 4 wireless earbuds are expected to be available to pre-order from the Sennheiser website from February 15 priced at $299 / £259 / (approx. AU$499).
4. JBL Live TWS 3 Series
Focussing more on the smart charging case than the audio tech inside these mid-priced wireless earbuds, the JBL's Live TWS 3 Series earbuds look to continue JBL's desire to shake up the humble charging case and change the way we interact with them.
I confess that I didn't see the development coming. But it's one that's proving very popular, and borrows tech from the much-loved JBL Tour Pro 2 ($249) wireless earbuds that arrived this time last year. The new series comes in 3 wearing styles, including Buds, Beam and Flex solutions with the different designs built to match your requirements depending on your lifestyle.
The updated charging case brings JBL's 1.45-inch LED touchscreen tech to all three designs in the series, and makes the charging case the main control device. Owners will have full control of almost all features and functions without needing to access the JBL Headphones app.
As well as the smart charging case, the buds are said to be equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 with LE (available via a later OTA update) and are IP55-rated against water and dust.
They will be available in four new colorways including purple, blue, silver and black. The price is expected to be $199 / £179 / €199 when they go on sale at JBL.com from mid-June 2024. Look out for our full review nearer the time.
5. Shokz OpenSwim Pro
If you like listening to music or podcasts while you're wild water swimming or pacing up and down the lanes of the indoor pool, then Shokz' OpenSwim Pro is made for you. Unlike the original Shokz OpenSwim that had only 4GB of storage and no wireless connectivity, the Pro's are Bluetooth and MP3 compatible sports bone-conduction headphones, meaning you can stream your favorite audio content both in and out of the water. They have 32GB storage capacity, which means they're capable of storing up to 8,000 tracks at MP3 quality.
Like the original Shokz OpenSwim that rank at the top of the best waterproof headphones for swimming, the new Pro version have an open-ear design and an ultra-lightweight frame that the company says makes them the perfect design for swimming, running or cycling, while still maintaining situational awareness.
Use under water
Designed with Shokz’ PremiumPitch 2.0+ technology, the headphones produce clear sound, powerful volume, and a rich bass. There are three EQ modes — a swimming mode, vocal booster mode and standard mode. They also work for phone calls and are fitted with two microphones and echo cancellation.
The OpenSwim Pro have an IP68 rating allowing users to use their headphones for up to two hours submerged in two meters of water. Users can also expect up to nine hours of battery life, combined with quick charging. They're said to transition seamlessly between devices, thanks to multipoint pairing and the use of Bluetooth v5.3 providing a quick and stable connection.
Although there's no exact release date available just yet for the OpenSwim Pro, Shokz says that the on-sale date and price will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Look out for our updates and check out the Shokz website for more information.
Check out our CES 2024 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. Follow the Tom’s Guide team in Las Vegas as we cover everything AI, as well as the best new TVs, laptops, fitness gear, wearables and smart home gadgets at the show.
And be sure to check out the Tom's Guide TikTok channel for all the newest videos from CES!
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.