What you need to know
- Sony acquired enthusiast audio manufacturer Audeze for an undisclosed sum.
- As part of the acquisition, Audeze is now a part of the broader PlayStation umbrella.
- The brand will continue to serve as a standalone entity and will continue to roll out multi-platform products.
Audeze is a brand that needs no introduction, with the California-based outfit pioneering planar driver designs in its headsets. Audeze's products are aimed at the high-end segment, and while the brand has dabbled with earbuds in the past — like the Euclid IEMs — its core business is over-ear headphones, like the LCD-X.
In recent times, Audeze turned its attention to the gaming category with the launch of the LCD-GX and Maxwell. This is what seems to have caught Sony's attention, because the audio maker has just been acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment, the brand that handles PlayStation and Sony's digital entertainment businesses.
Sony notes that the acquisition is designed to strengthen its efforts to "continue innovating when it comes to the audio experience of PlayStation games." Audeze will continue to be a standalone entity under the PlayStation umbrella, and it will release products for various platforms — though it's unlikely we'll get something along the likes of the Xbox and PC-based Maxwell Ultraviolet again.
The announcement is the latest in a string of moves made by Sony that highlight its growing mobile ambitions. The brand unveiled PlayStation Portal, a $199 handheld that lets you play your PS5 games over your home Wi-Fi network, and we also got an early look at the Pulse Elite headset and Pulse Explore wireless earbuds. The audio products are particularly interesting as they use "custom-designed planar magnetic drivers," no doubt made by Audeze.
It will be interesting to see how Audeze functions under Sony's tutelage, and what the acquisition means for the brand's enthusiast product lines.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.