LG Tone Studio and Tone Free wearable audio products blast off in CES 2017 lead-up
Are speakers the tech industry’s “next big thing”? Maybe “smart” ones, with their fancy voice-activated personal assistants and home automation controls, although we still have our doubts devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and whatever Apple might be planning as a counter-offensive effort can further grow in mainstream popularity at the impressive pace of late.
When it comes to “dumb” wireless speakers, as hard as Samsung and especially LG may try to revolutionize the niche, they’ll probably always be afterthoughts for smartphone, tablet or laptop buyers.
Besides, some “innovations” just feel weird, bringing no real-life benefit to the table, like the ability to float in mid-air or being able to wear your new LG Tone Studio DTS-enabled speaker around your neck.
That’s basically the only thing separating the HBS-W120 “personal wearable speaker” from the crowd, though we’ll admit a built-in Hi-Fi DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) also sounds fairly intriguing. Then you have a nifty arrangement of two “full range” speakers on the top and two vibrating on the bottom for your own “personal surround sound experience”, which is nice, but still unusual.
LG’s neck fetish extends to the Tone Free (model HBS-F110) “wireless stereo product” too, with a pair of otherwise standard-looking wireless earbuds capable of charging when stored inside their own neckband. This also delivers vibration alerts for incoming calls and text messages, and of course, both wearable audio devices are headed to CES next week for more details and premiere showcases.