Zik Parrot by Phillipe Starke

Headphones, unlike your grandmother’s meatloaf recipe, keep getting better. At CES 2012, we were quite impressed with the Philippe Starck-designed ZIK Parrot, a fully loaded set of Bluetooth cans featuring an active noise cancelling system, so you can melt into your music or block out the world when your sugar shins is telling you how her day was during your daily phone call. The cool factor gets bumped up significantly with touch panel controls on the side of the right cups; just swipe the panel vertically for volume, and horizontally to skip to the next track. No price has been announced, but we’re expecting these this year. Sadly, we’re also expecting to have to power through that meatloaf this year, too.

AKG Noise Canceling Headphones

Can you stay later at work? Did you pick up the dry cleaning? Why did you let our son wear socks in the bathtub? So many annoying questions, so few ways to tune them out. With the AKG Noise Canceling Headphones, you can mute the world while you get listen to high-quality, crisp audio. Both the K 495 NC and K 490 NC (priced at $350 and $250 respectively) have built-in rechargeable batteries that charge by USB, and both feature brushed-metal parts, leather earcups, an adjustable leather headband, a carrying case, two audio cables, and a flight adapter. The idea is tune out the world, but it’s nice to know you have the option of making cell phone calls with AKG’s in-line remote with a built-in microphone. Both models will be available later this month.