Demanding the attention of the tech world, IFA 2022 is a comprehensive trade show that welcomes manufacturers, media and the public. Every year brings something new to the table, and this year we’re highlighting products like wireless headphones with a smartwatch-style charging case, a set of modular soundbars, and more. Here are the best audio products we award at IFA.
headphones and earphones
Anker Soundcore Space Q45
For the price, the Space Q45 has excellent noise cancellation.
We top the list with a great pair of wireless noise canceling headphones for your money. The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 noise cancellation works the same as the older Sony WH-1000XM3, so it’s a viable companion for your next flight. You get other great features like Bluetooth 5.3 with support for SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. If the 50-hour battery life runs out, you can continue listening with a standard 3.5mm audio cable. Not only does it support a variety of connectivity options, but you also get a great microphone system for the job.
The Elite 5 stands out for its durability, functionality and reasonable price.
The Jabra Elite 5 further expands the company’s portfolio and adds exciting features such as hybrid noise cancellation powered by the Qualcomm QCC3050 chipset. The headphones deserve an IP55 rating, making them a great option for climbers and runners. Features go beyond brawn though, as the Elite 5 is smart and supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for hands-free help anywhere.
The Elite 5 is available now and costs $149, making it competitive in the saturated field of wireless headphones.
JBL Tour Pro 2
The charging case’s touchscreen looks a bit like a smartwatch and lets you adjust settings like ANC on the fly.
JBL’s Tour Pro 2 bucks the usual AirPods lookalike trend among wireless headphones and introduces a 1.45-inch touchscreen display on the case. The case alone is sure to be eye-catching and separates the Tour Pro 2 from more pedestrian products. From the smartwatch-like screen, you can quickly adjust noise cancellation, switch to ambient sound mode, check battery life, and more.
Bluetooth 5.3 connects these in-ear headphones to your phone, so the Tour Pro 2 supports LE Audio. You get other awesome features like JBL’s spatial audio and 10 hours of standalone battery life (with an additional 30 hours from the case). The whole package will set you back €249 or £220, and currently it’s not launching in the US.
Sound bars and speakers
B&O Beosound Theater
This enclosure houses 12 speakers, two of which are 6.5-inch woofers.
The Beosound Theater is a stylish all-in-one soundbar that packs a lot of punch. It houses 12 pilots and boats 800W of power, producing up to 112dB (SPL) – this thing is loud. Movie addicts will appreciate that the Beosound Theater supports a 7.1.4 channel Dolby Atmos listening experience.
Strict specs aside, a modular design is what really sets this Dolby Atmos soundbar apart from the rest. Listeners can turn the soundbar into a wall-mounted or floor-standing device, so it blends into their living spaces. The aluminum “wings” are expandable, meaning the soundbar can accommodate larger TVs as customers upgrade their current setups. The problem? The fabric-covered version will set you back $6,890 and the wood-covered option will cost $7,990 starting October 1. Remember though that this product is designed to last a lifetime. You can pre-order your Beosound Theater today.
JBL 1000 bar
This 7.1.4 channel soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D.
The JBL Bar 1000 is another 7.1.4 channel system consisting of a soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. On paper it might not sound special, but the Bar 1000 has removable battery-powered speakers that you can place behind you, without having to buy separate satellite speakers. These detachable speakers work in concert with the Bar 1000’s built-in four upward-firing speakers to create an immersive experience for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound content. Plus, you no longer have to strain your ears to hear dialogue thanks to the soundbar’s PureVoice algorithm.
The Bar 1000 will be available this month from JBL and will cost €1,149.
Sennheiser AMBEO Plus soundbar
The AMBEO Soundbar Plus will be sold separately from the AMBEO Sub.
It seems like everyone is trying to downsize lately, and Sennheiser is adapting to that with the relatively compact but certainly powerful Sennheiser AMBEO Plus. This soundbar is a more compact and affordable version of the original AMBEO (now called AMBEO Soundbar Max). Sennheiser halves the height of the AMBEO Plus (7cm tall) and also halves the price. With nine drivers, two of which are upward-firing, you can enjoy a compelling surround sound experience when watching Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content. Like its big brother, the AMBEO Plus does not support additional speaker pairing for dedicated surround channels; Sennheiser’s virtualization technology is equally effective.
The X937U soundbar supports “Ok Google” and works with streaming services like Apple AirPlay and Spotify Connect.
We actually awarded a TCL Ray-Danz product in 2019, and the new X937U model is a 7.1.4 channel configuration, rather than 3.1. Ray-Danz technology means the soundbar uses calibrated, curved acoustic reflectors and angled drivers for natural 3D sound reproduction. The whole system includes the soundbar, two wireless satellite speakers and a wireless subwoofer. TCL has partnered with Google to ensure that the “OK Google” keyword works with the X937U. It also integrates Chromecast and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Bluetooth 5.3 allows the X937U to function as a standard Bluetooth speaker if your Wi-Fi disconnects.
You can read more about the X937U here.
Philips FS1 speaker
The FS1 Bluetooth speaker can be used as a Dolby Atmos satellite speaker when paired with the Philips FB1 and FW1.
Finally, we have the Philips FS1 Bluetooth speaker, launched alongside the company’s FB1 soundbar and FW1 subwoofer. When you pair the FB1, FW1 and FS1 together, you get a complete 7.2.4 channel surround sound system. The FS1 also works with Dolby Atmos when used as a satellite speaker for a compatible Ambilight TV.
Like some JBL speakers, the FS1 supports pairing and stereo playback. With three drivers inside (tweeter, driver and woofer), the FS1 is a promising portable speaker that will sound great on its own or with other Philips audio products. You can read more about the FS1 here.