For anime music fans, the appeal of the songs is more than just their connection to the shows they serve as anthems for. Over the years, anime songs have evolved into a genre in and of themselves, often employing fast, even frantic tempos and an even greater proportion of young female vocalists and electronic sounds than Japanese pop music in general.
So now that there are certain baselines the anime music scene has established for itself, it’s time for the hardware end of the musical experience to catch up, which is the promise made by these new sets of earphones specifically designed for listening to anime songs with.
From the consumer’s standpoint, the anime music experience has changed a lot in the past few decades. During the mid and late ‘90s, anime music was still a fringe part of the Japanese music industry. The producers of popular anime would release singles of their opening and ending themes on undersized mini CDs, and more often than not, the performers were one-hit wonders, fading away into obscurity as soon as the anime series’ popularity itself dried up.
That’s no longer the case, as the still-expanding ranks of otaku in Japan have proven themselves to be a viable, self-contained economic ecosystem. Anime vocalists, and not just those who also do voice acting work, are able to find steady work thanks to the unprecedented amount of anime being produced and related live events being held these days.
As such, fans can now spend more time than ever before listening to anime songs, and when they do, manufacturer TDK hopes they’ll do it with a pair of earphones from the company’s new neo:n Tune series.
TDK says it developed the earphones based on what it determined to be five major anime song characteristics:
1. Fast tempos
2. Many mid-pitched notes in the music
3. Distortion in medium-tone sounds
4. High-pitched vocals
5. A large number of synthesized sound sources
All three models in the line are designed to be comfortable to wear and produce a clear anime song sound that makes the vocals easy to hear. The top-of-the-line neo:n03 earphones, seen above and directly below, are even hinged to let you position them just right.
▼ The 3,218-yen (US$27) neo:n03 is available in white/green, black/blue, and red/black versions.
The neo:n02 model forfeits the bendable design, but is more compact, plus a little cheaper at 2,138 yen. It continues with the line’s theme of a futuristic, heroic, robotic appearance.
▼ There’s also a bit more variety in terms of color.
Finally, the most affordable option is the 1,706-yen neo:n01.
All of the neo:n Tune models and colors can be ordered here from online retailer AppBank Store.