An earful of music from Sony

Designed to clip around the ear, the latest addition to its Network Walkman range of players is based on Sony's ATRAC3 (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding) compression system. With the built-in 64MB of memory, users will find enough space for 80 minutes of music in 105Kbps standard mode, 60 minutes in high-quality 132Kbps or 120 minutes in 66Kbps low quality mode, said Sony.

Support for the MagicGate copy protection system is built into both the player and companion desktop software and it won't support MP3 or any other digital music format which means audio has to be transferred to ATRAC3 before it can be loaded and played.

The headphones each weigh 45 grams, which means they aren't so heavy that they will fall off your ears, and connect to a personal computer via USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable. Four alkaline batteries provide enough power for 7 hours of use.

Sony expects the headphones to retail for around 40,000 yen ($593).

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