Long known as the company behind every YouTubers favorite microphone, Blue has made a name for itself in the headphone space in recent years thanks to exceptionally crafted, audiophile-quality, devices, like the Ellas we reviewed earlier this year. The company is at it again with the Satellite wireless headphones, which debuted at CES and are on sale for the first time in the U.S. today.
The Satellites are undoubtedly premium, meant to compete with higher-end products in the wireless space like Sony’s excellent MDR-1000Xs and Bose’s QuietComfort 35s, and they have a price to match. At $399.99, the Satellites are certainly not an impulse buy, but they also aren’t pricing themselves out of the market. That number is comparable to other top-tier headphones, including those listed above. Still, Blue’s wireless effort will have to prove themselves worthy to compete in that high-ticket space. Luckily, they talk a rather big game.
The design is familiar to that of the Ellas, with a heavy industrialist lean and oval earcups. The headphones are foldable to maximize portability and come with Bluetooth 4.1 and the Apt-X audio codec. Powering the cans is a built-in audiophile amp, similar to the setup the Ellas sport, as well as a pair of drivers in each earcup, one of which is dedicated to delivering superb audio quality and the other to noise cancelling, a patent-pending design Blue hopes will give the Satellites a leg up.
“Traditional noise-cancelling headphones use one pair of drivers for both audio and ANC, which compromises sound quality. Satellite uses separate, dedicated ANC drivers so that our dedicated audio drivers and audiophile amp can deliver high-fidelity sound for no-compromise wireless listening” John Maier, CEO of Blue, said in a press release.
The audio drivers are 44mm, ultra-responsive dynamic drivers that are supposed to deliver the utmost detail and quality. We’ll have to wait and see if those claims are true once we get a review unit in house, but if the Ellas are any indication, the Satellites should deliver one of the best audio experiences among the myriad of wireless options currently on the market.
Always a sticking point with Bluetooth gear, the battery life of the Satellite headphones is dependent on how often you use the built-in amplifier. Blue claims 8 hours of listening time when the amp is engaged, and 24 hours when used passively. The cans do come with a 3 meter audio cable for connecting to devices through the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Satellites are available, in black and white variants, via online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy in the U.S. starting today. They will hit the U.K. and other worldwide retailers in June. Stay tuned to Paste Tech for more coverage of Blue’s latest headphones, including a full review, in the coming weeks.