Bose have unveiled one of their strangest endeavours yet, a device that “revolutionises” personal music listening.
Forget about headphones, if you could you would get a speaker and wrap it around your neck right? If you ask anyone at Bose the answer is apparently yes as their latest innovation is a travel pillow with speakers built in.
The SoundWear Companion Speaker is the questionable solution to a non-existent problem. In their own words Bose say:
Sure, you want music with you at all times. But you don’t always want to slap on headphones and shut out everything else around you. You don’t have to. The new SoundWear Companion speaker was designed for you. This wearable speaker offers the best of both worlds—convenience and connection—in a way that allows you to be present with your music as well as your surroundings. It rests comfortably on your shoulders, with sound that is full and clear to you—yet minimizes the sound for others. And with legendary waveguide technology at its core, that performance is easy to trust.
Whilst the concept behind the wearable speaker makes sense – sometimes you want to listen to personal music and be able to hear what’s going on around you – what they’ve come out with really doesn’t seem like something I can see appealing to, well anyone. Does it at least look good? Well, Bose literally say themselves: “With some wearables, it’s fashion before function. Not in this case.” Fair enough when your function has a purpose.
Beyond it being ridiculous the SoundWear Companion Speaker does actually feature some good stuff inside of it. It features two 11 inch waveguides travelling between the two speakers on either side of your head, boosting a rich sound around your head. The speakers are planted facing upwards so that you get the maximum sound whilst minimising the noise spread to others. Despite their emphasis on how it’s still a personal listening experience I can’t imagine these not being incredibly annoying – you thought that tinny sound from earphones was bad? Try a bus full of people playing their music out loud to their ears.
The SoundWear’s portability does actually make it quite convenient, particularly as a Siri connected assistant. With a built-in “advanced microphone” and Bluetooth capabilities you can take calls and talk to Siri. But I don’t think that the supposed “freedom from your devices” and being “closer to your surroundings at the same time” makes for a convincing package, at least not for something I have to slump on my shoulders.
Despite my own reservations Bose seem fairly convinced that this is going to revolutionise music listening in some way. Bose emphasised this belief in their bold statement:
It’s interesting, when you look back on it. Stereo speakers that reproduced more sound from the back of the speaker than the front. Compact, single-speaker stereo systems that replaced stacks of equipment. Noise cancelling headphones that changed just about everything. These are just a few of the breakthroughs we’ve introduced in our long history of innovation.
Until you tried one of these, you likely couldn’t know how much of a difference it would make. And that’s why we push-to make products that make your life better in ways you can’t imagine.
The SoundWear Companion speaker is just the latest example. Try it-then try to imagine a day without it.
If you’re seriously interested in this bizarre-o speaker it’s available for $299.95. You can find out more and buy your own here.