We've written quite a bit about headphones here on the Sage Audio mastering blog, from their role in home recording studios to their role in fashion. Obviously we place quite a bit of emphasis on these devices, knowing their important role in the studio. But today we want to focus on something new: smart headphones.
Perhaps it was inevitable in this day and age that someone would make headphones “smart,” and that someone is the new company Muzik. The company has revealed it is making the first smart headphones, a wireless device set to be released later this year. According to a press release, the headphones will be the first product in a “full line of smart audio products synced to their mobile Muzik ecosystem that will activate a new wave of innovation in the headphone space.”
The headphones themselves don’t look particularly innovative -- in fact they obviously take some styling cues from Beats By Dre. But the earpiece is actually a touch interface wearers can tap to share the music they are listening to on Facebook and Twitter. You can also use the tap functionality to control the music you are listening to as well as the volume.
Rather than being built on any existing mobile operating system, the technology in the headphones is what the company calls Social Smartware. The primary advantage of this is that it allows the headphones to be compatible with any major music streaming network and any social network.
Since the headphones don’t ship until later this year, it’s hard to know how much Muzik is focusing on the sound of the earphones in addition to the new technology. The company says that the product is great for minimizing sound leakage, making them great for not disturbing others on a crowded subway car or sidewalk. However, Gizmodo reports that a prototype had more sound leakage than other similarly priced headphones, though this could be improved with the final version.
Speaking of price, how much will these new headphones cost when they are released? They will reportedly run $299, which isn't that much more than other similar headphones models available today.
In a word, no. Even if you could connect the headphones to your recording rig (and it appears you can’t), the quality you’d get from these headphones almost certainly won’t be up to standard for the price you pay.
However, since headphone technology hasn't changed all that much in many decades, it is interesting that a company is looking toward what the future of headphone technology may be. These particular headphones are really only designed to interact with social media networks, but perhaps looking at new technology could lead to innovations for the studio, as well.