Wearables

Augmented Audio headphones let you beam your tunes to other listeners

Augmented Audio headphones let...
BG Audio's Augmented Audio experience allows users to invite others to the listening party
BG Audio's Augmented Audio experience allows users to invite others to the listening party
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The Augmented Audio headphones include active noise cancellation technology, to help keep ambient sounds from spoiling playback
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The Augmented Audio headphones include active noise cancellation technology, to help keep ambient sounds from spoiling playback
The Augmented Audio headphones rock 57 mm drivers and a built-in microphone, with Bluetooth 5.0 supporting the LDAC codec taking care of streaming audio from a music source
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The Augmented Audio headphones rock 57 mm drivers and a built-in microphone, with Bluetooth 5.0 supporting the LDAC codec taking care of streaming audio from a music source
Using an app, a listener can share tunes with friends - either locally or in another part of the world
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Using an app, a listener can share tunes with friends - either locally or in another part of the world
BG Audio's Augmented Audio experience allows users to invite others to the listening party
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BG Audio's Augmented Audio experience allows users to invite others to the listening party
Diagram showing how the augmented Audio technology works
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Diagram showing how the augmented Audio technology works
Augmented Audio Kickstarter pledges start at AUD 160
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Augmented Audio Kickstarter pledges start at AUD 160

Though portable Bluetooth speakers allow music lovers to share audio with those around them, headphones are mostly a private listening experience. With the launch of Augmented Audio on Kickstarter, Australia's BG Audio gives users the choice to keep things private or simultaneously share with others, either locally or remotely.

"It's time to get connected again and bring our audio experiences together," says BG Audio.

The Augmented Audio experience is made up of two parts. A companion app will be available around November and will allow the headphone wearer to tweak audio settings to personal taste. It will also give users the option to send an audio feed to other app users via cloud servers, or accept feeds from others.

Using an app, a listener can share tunes with friends - either locally or in another part of the world
Using an app, a listener can share tunes with friends - either locally or in another part of the world

The other piece of the puzzle is a pair of active noise cancellation headphones that app users will need to unlock special features using a code that ships with them. These cans will rock 57 mm drivers (with promised studio quality sound) and a built-in microphone, with Bluetooth 5.0 supporting the LDAC codec (rather than AAC or aptX) taking care of streaming audio from a music source. Battery life is reported to be up to 30 hours per charge.

BG Audio gives a few examples where the technology might come in handy. For instance, you could share a killer track with a friend who is playing an online smartphone game, with the friend able to set the mix level to replace or supplement gameplay audio. And you could even chat about it while listening together.

A yoga instructor could create a playlist for students, send out invites to join the session and then use the built-in microphone to voice instructions.

Diagram showing how the augmented Audio technology works
Diagram showing how the augmented Audio technology works

The networked audio approach means that friends, class-goers or other Augmented Audio users don't necessarily need to be within a certain range of the original source, and could potentially be in a different part of the world.

Kickstarter pledges start at AUD 160 (about US$110), which represents a 50 percent saving on the expected recommended retail price. The usual crowdfunding caveats apply, but if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in November. The video below has more.

Sources: BG Audio, Kickstarter

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