BTunes brings wireless freedom to existing headphones
It can take quite some time to sift through the many quality headphones available to the mobile music lover and, if you're anything like me, once you've discovered the model that's right for you, there's little that can shake you away from your faithful pair of personal audio throwers. Having to deal with a daily dose of cable tangle gets old really quickly though, and the urge to go wireless can become overpowering. With the BTunes plug you can enjoy the convenience of cable-free streamed music using your preferred headphones.
Almost a year in development, the patent-pending BTunes plug is reported compatible with any headphones where the audio cable can be unplugged, including Beats Studio, Bose Quiet Comfort, Sennheiser Momentum, Monster 24K, V-Moda Crossfade M-100 and Marshall Monitor models. To use the plug, a user needs to unplug the cable from the audio port on the headphones, plug in the BTunes and power on, pair with a mobile music source over Bluetooth 4.0 and enjoy promised CD-quality (16-bit/44.1 kHz) streaming thanks to the inclusion of aptX and AAC codecs.
Up to two devices can be connected simultaneously so users can watch and listen to videos on a tablet while staying connected to a smartphone. A built-in microphone caters for hands-free phone calls if the device is paired with a smartphone and clear voice technology from CSR helps deal with noise, echo and wind for improved call clarity. The developers say that BTunes will auto switch from tablet to phone when a call comes in, and back again when the call is ended.
As well as streaming tunes from a Bluetooth-enabled music source, with the help of an optional Bluetooth transmitter, the BTunes system can be used for wireless audio on in-flight entertainment. It can even be plugged into a home hi-fi system to stream music through tower speakers or a car stereo's aux port for hands-free calling on a paired smartphone using Siri or Google Now.
The BTunes plug tips the scales at 0.5 oz, meaning that it should add very little weight to the chosen headphones. It sports a multi-function button to the rear, and its built-in 190 mAh battery is reported to be good for 10 hours between charges, with a paired iOS device being capable of showing the plug's battery status.
The development team told us that most of the engineering work has been completed and some working samples have been produced. To raise tooling, certification and manufacturing funds, the team will shortly be launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. We've no word on expected pricing, other than it's going to be fairly inexpensive.
Have a look at the promo video below to see the system in action.
Update November 21: The Kickstarter campaign is now live. Early pledges are available for US$49, a saving of $50 off the estimated retail price. If all goes to plan, shipping will start in May 2015.
Source: BTunes from Voxoa