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Tivoli announces Radio Silenz noise canceling headphones, adds Bluetooth to radios (hands-on)

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Tivoli Audio has just announced its first pair of headphones, the Radio Silenz. The pair has active noise cancellation and is powered by 40mm drivers. The company has also added Bluetooth to its radios with the Model One BT and the PAL BT. Lastly, the company has announced a Bluetooth receiver called the Blu Con.

Gallery Photo: Tivoli Radio Silenz, Model One BT, PAL BT, and Blu Con hands-on pictures
Gallery Photo: Tivoli Radio Silenz, Model One BT, PAL BT, and Blu Con hands-on pictures

Tivoli had a few things to show off at an event in New York today, the first of which is called the Radio Silenz, the company's first stab at making headphones. If you're familiar with Tivoli's iconic radios, you'll notice that the headphones try to fit in with wood ear cups (it'll come in walnut, cherry, or black ash). Other than aesthetics, the headphones have active noise canceling and 40mm drivers. The noise cancellation is powered by a single AAA battery that's promised to get you up to 50 hours of battery life, and if you want to hear what people are saying around you, there's a "defeat" button on the control unit that turns off the noise cancellation and amplify ambient noise so you don't need to take off the headphones to hear someone talking to you — something that worked well in practice. We took a moment to listen to M83's "Midnight City" on the headphones, and while the noise cancelation made a noticeable difference, it's not enough to block out all sound. The music itself sounded quite good, with plenty of bass, while the highs and lows of the song were pulled off with aplomb. It'll be available next month for $159.99.

Other than headphones, Tivoli is getting into Bluetooth audio. The company has updated its well-known desk radio to the Model One BT, and the company's portable, battery-powered radio has been replaced with the PAL BT. Both, of course, look the same as their predecessors, and the audio quality is unchanged, but they now support A2DP Bluetooth (2.1 + EDR) audio so you can wirelessly stream music from your phone to the radios up to an advertised maximum range of 30 feet. Both the Model One BT and the PAL BT will be available in late summer for $259.99 and $299.99, respectively. One new addition other than Bluetooth is an antenna on the back of both radios, which we're told works to improve reception from far-away stations. Lastly, Tivoli announced a Bluetooth receiver called the Blu Con that will let you stream audio wirelessly to any device (it doesn't need to be a Tivoli radio), and we're told that it will be available in every finish Tivoli has ever made their radios in, just in case you're looking to add Bluetooth to one of your old radios. You'll have to pay for style, though: it starts at $149.99, a good sight more than the similar HTC Car StereoClip. Oh, and if you're looking for something to stream to any of these devices, the company has just released the free Tivoli Radio app, which has a collection of 100 hand-picked radio stations. It's available now for iOS, and an Android version should be available soon.