Bluetooth headphones continue to evolve and manufacturers are leaning more heavily on the standard than ever before. Wired headphones still have a place in the heart of consumers, but as active lifestyles and connected devices like Apple Watch have risen in interest, wireless has become the rage.
Many retailers are now focusing on features to stand apart within the crowded Bluetooth headphone category. Altec Lansing has announced a new set of “truly wireless” earbuds at CES that still offer many of the standard features that we’ve come to expect. The audio accessory-maker is touting the inclusion of GPS as just one of the reasons you should pay attention to the new Freedom True Wireless Earbuds. Unfortunately, the design isn’t actually…appealing.
Altec Lansing has built a lithium ion battery into each individual earbud, allowing for a wireless design. Most Bluetooth headphones on the market use some sort of wire to connect the left and right buds. By opting to skip on the inclusion of any wire, Altec is hoping that its uninhibited design will be attractive for active lifestyles.
As you might guess, by having two separate buds, the chances of losing one goes up. Altec has included GPS tracking as a means of “easy recovery” when a earbud is missing. This isn’t navigation style GPS like you’d find in a car. Altec is using Bluetooth GPS tracking, similar to what Tile uses, to keep an eye on these earbuds. There will be a free companion app for iOS and Android that can be used to track, setup and control playback.
Additional features include a 100-foot Bluetooth signal range, song navigation buttons, a built-in microphone and a choice of nine colors. Altec Lansing estimates that users will get six hours of battery life out of a single charge. Much like other sport headphones, the Freedom True Wireless Earbuds are IPX7 rated to be sweat-resistant.
Altec Lansing’s new earbuds are slated for a Q2 release with a $149.99 MSRP. That’s within range of the popular JayBird X2 Bluetooth earbuds, which are amongst our favorite pairs available today. If you’re in the market for a more budget-friendly pair of earbuds, we recommend one of Mpow’s newly released Bluetooth 4.1 options.
New ‘Freedom’ Earbuds from Altec Lansing Enable True Wireless Listening
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — CES Booth #12828 – Say goodbye to annoying earbud cables with the new Altec Lansing Freedom True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, one of the first earbud products to completely cut the cord thanks to rechargeable lithium ion batteries built into the housings. The new buds will not only provide a discreet and more comfortable listening experience with no wires hanging down the wearer’s back, but also feature a six-hour battery life, IPX7-rated waterproof construction for perspiration-resistant wear, and Bluetooth-based GPS tracking technology to enable easy recovery of misplaced earbuds despite their small size and lack of connecting wires.
Scheduled for Q2 release at an MSRP of $149.99, the Freedom buds will deliver Altec Lansing-quality sound reproduction along with noise isolation and a comfortable, stay-in-place fit aided by small, medium and large Freebit® ear tips that accommodate different ear shapes. The fact that the units are not tethered to each other will give users the option to use one earbud as a mono headset or two earbuds for stereo sound, depending on their listening environment at any given time.
The charging cradle/carrying case included in the package will provide a six-hour charge when plugged into a wall socket, a three-hour secondary charge when used remotely with no access to an electrical outlet, and the option to charge smartphones or other devices through the built-in USB port.
The GPS tracking ability will be activated through a downloadable companion app that will trigger a beep when a lost earbud is found. The app will also include volume, music and pairing controls, both to link earbuds for stereo use and to pair multiple devices with one-time setup so that users can switch from their smartphones to tablets or laptops without extra configuration.
Other features will include:
- A 100-foot Bluetooth signal range
- An integrated microphone with wind cancellation enabling hands-free phone use
- Song navigation/telephony buttons for track changes
- Automatic shutdown to conserve battery power if no audio is detected
- Support for any Bluetooth-enabled Apple®, AndroidTM or BlackBerry® phone or tablet or laptop
- A choice of nine colors
Altec Lansing will be exhibiting at Booth #12828 at the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Hall at the 2016 International CES conference running January 6-9 in Las Vegas.
About Altec Lansing
For more than 75 years, Altec Lansing has been shaping the history of sound delivery by producing exceptional speakers with legendary acoustics, while catering to the consumer who won’t compromise sound quality. The company boasts a unique history of innovation that includes the introduction of the first “talkie” film speakers, the first set of desktop computer speakers, and the first iPod, iPhone and iPad docking stations. Always entrenched in the music community, Altec Lansing continues to be a first choice for musicians and audiophiles alike. Those who know audio, know Altec. For more information, visit www.alteclansing.com.
FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links