Who says FM radio is a thing of the past? Definitely not Blackloud who have just launched their new headphones which go beyond just playing music but tune into the music for you.
Blackloud’s new wired earphones for iPhone go against what many new headphones try to achieve. As everyone tries to get more and more digital and technological with Bluetooth connections, analysis of your surroundings, even touch screens – Blackloud have looked to the past and built an antenna into their cable so you can tune in to FM radio broadcasts.
It’s not exactly a sought after feature anymore, there’s a reason phone antennas aren’t tuned to pick up the radio. But Blackloud are betting that people are still after that authentic radio experience. The AF1 FM headset has an antenna built into it’s cable whilst it’s in-line control box features an FM tuner so you can tune your way to the radio station you want to listen.
The headphones use a Lightning jack connection meaning that they’re only compatible with iPhones for now. The company say they have a USB Type-C model planned for release next year making it available for Androids. They might wait to see how many iPhone owners are really after an FM Radio function on their iPhone before planning a full release.
Last year Ajit Pai, the controversial FCC chairman, revealed last year that most smartphones actually have a hidden FM receiver built into them. In the US most of the smartphones with these built in don’t actually activate them. Pai said at the time: “It seems odd that every day we hear about a new smartphone app that lets you do something innovative, yet these modern-day mobile miracles don’t enable a key function offered by a 1982 Sony Walkman.”
I can remember my old Sony Ericsson mobile phone from 2008 coming with earphones that had an antenna built in, allowing me to tune in to analogue radio at the time. So these earphones don’t really feel innovative, they just feel like they’re facilitating something that no-one really wants anymore.
However, if you’re a radio lover and don’t want to use your data tuning in to stations when you’re on the go then the Blackloud AF1 FM earphones could be just the cans for you. They are available for $79.89 directly from Blackloud’s website.