Audio company Blue may be more well known for its excellent studio microphones, but the company also has quietly been making its way into the headphone market for the past few years. And this year at CES, Blue is making the jump from studio headphones to wireless with Satellite, a pair of Bluetooth over-ear cans that are meant to offer a high-quality listening experience in a more conveniently portable form factor.
Satellite stands out by using separate drivers for audio and noise canceling
Aside from Blue's audio pedigree, Satellite stands out from other noise-canceling wireless headphones like the Bose Quiet Comfort 35s by using two drivers for each ear: one for audio, and one for noise canceling. Blue asserts that separating out the functions into discrete drivers — instead of using a single driver for both, as is the usual method — offers an improved listening experience, because the delivered sound isn't impaired by the noise-canceling effect. Satellite uses 44mm dynamic drivers that Blue claims are custom-tuned for higher audio fidelity, as all audio companies do.
Additionally, like the Mo-Fi — Blue's original powered headphones — the Satellite includes an onboard analog amplifier to further improve audio quality regardless of the device used as a source. The Satellite can connect wirelessly through Bluetooth 4.1 with AptX support (no Apt HD, alas), as well as offering a standard 3.5mm headphone jack for a wired connection.
Satellite features a rechargeable battery and charges via Micro USB, but Blue has yet to release any estimates for expected battery life. Also still unclear is if the headphones can function in a passive, wired capacity in the event of the battery dying. And while Blue intends to release Satellite sometime in 2017, no formal pricing or release information has yet been announced beyond that.