A week ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, LG has already jumped the gun with the announcement of its Tone Studio, a vibrating plastic neckband that outputs surround sound toward the wearer's ears.
LG Tone Studio
The idea with LG's Tone Studio is that the band snakes around the individual's neck, instead of being traditional headphones or wireless earbuds. Embedded speakers flank the Tone Studio's band, offering what LG calls "a personal surround sound experience," although the impending scenarios spell it as anything but.
How will the Tone Studio work outdoors? What if they become too intrusive for onlookers nearby? Luckily, LG has also thought about potential woes beforehand, bundling the product with built-in earbuds for more personal listening sessions.
Regardless, LG claims that the Tone Studio provides a surround sound experience when playing games, or watching movies. The design process was a two-hander: LG worked with surround sound experts from DTS to "bring a realistic theater-like sound for a cinematic experience wherever you may be."
Onboard is a Hi-Fi digital to analog converter, or DAC, that enhances the sound quality by creating audio content as losslessly as possible. The device has four speakers — two full range speakers atop, and two vibrating speakers at the bottom.
What's more, a feature called Dual Play will also let other users pair their Tone Studios together, should they want the devices to output sounds or music in loud unison.
LG Tone Free
Besides the Tone Studio, LG also announced the Tone Free, a different kind of neckband with detachable wireless earbuds on both tail ends. Like Apple's AirPods, the bands can be used independently, since the band itself doesn't have external speakers. After using the earbuds, the pair can be recharged by sliding them into the neckband.
LG's Upcoming Werables Lineup
LG is planning to release more Tone-branded Bluetooth headphones moving forward, with the Tone Infinim, and the Tone Ultra, the latter of which LG co-developed with JBL. The entire wearable lineup will be on display at the forthcoming CES, and it will include the Tone Platinum, Tone Active+, Tone Pro, and the LG Force. LG has yet to disclose what these latter wearables will be, although each will reportedly have a unique gimmick or pitch.
Comes CES 2017, LG will discuss these futuristic-looking wearables in more detail. But the real takeaway here is LG's obsessions with our necks. Will this body part be the next hotbed of fancy wearables in the future? Only time will tell.
Excited about LG's Tone-branded Bluetooth headphones lineup? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!