LG's latest audio tech goes for the neck
LG's latest foray into wearables looks to be Bluetooth wireless sound systems worn around the neck. The company will unveil a pair of neckbands at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month – the LG Tone Studio that sports surround sound speakers, and the Tone Free that stows and charges a pair of wireless earbuds around your collar.
The Tone Studio is a horseshoe-shaped wearable speaker bar of sorts. It features two full range speakers on the top and two that vibrate on the bottom, to provide what the company calls a 3D surround sound experience. It's designed for personal listening to movies, video games or streaming music.
This isn't a totally new concept. At CES 2016, we were introduced to the Music Wrap, a crowdfunded set of speakers worn around the neck.
While wearables might make you think of listening while on the go, the Tone Studio doesn't look to be the best choice for your morning jog, as it would probably flop around quite a bit, although it might be good for a mellow stroll. Instead, LG is emphasizing convenience and audio quality with the Tone Studio, which was designed with help from cinematic sound experts DTS and boasts a hi-fi digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
Tone Studio also features "dual play," which allows for connecting two of the neckbands to share audio from the same source.
LG's second new neckband-based product is Tone Free, which is similar to the Tone Ultra we first saw in 2013, or Phiaton's BT 100 NC, except that it ditches all wires between the neckband and a set of earbuds. Instead, the band is used to stow and charge the fully wireless earbuds when they aren't in your ears. The band also vibrates for incoming calls and texts, and recognizes voice commands to receive or ignore calls.
There's no word on availability or pricing for either of the new neckbands just yet. We hope to hear more at CES, starting January 5 in Las Vegas.