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When may be the ideal moment to wear a neck speaker? What’s an ideal use case for donning a Bluetooth speaker that’s shaped just like a horseshoe? During the last couple of months that I’ve spent intermittently testing Bose’s $300 SoundWear Companion speaker, I still haven’t think of a great answer. When relaxing in the home? While cleaning up throughout the house or yard? Those scenarios are as close as I’ve reached a thing that feels right.
But I’ve definitely learned all of the places you don’t wear a neck speaker. You don’t use it at work or at the fitness center. You don’t use it walking down city streets or on the subway. Don’t be see your face. Because it’s literally a loudspeaker wrapped around your neck just like a collar, you don’t wear this part of many environments where you’d typically be – or wish to be – hearing music. You can rule it out for your morning commute or taking it on a plane. It could work if you’re running outside someplace quiet where you don’t need to worry about sharing your playlist with everyone you pass.
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The SoundWear Companion is a great, quirky gizmo that sounds downright terrific for what it really is, but it’s also an impractical product for a whole lot of individuals and in lots of contexts.
ItIt weighs just a little over half of a pound. You’ll feel the SoundWear when you initially drape it around your neck, but I never considered it heavy or burdensome. If you’re sitting at a office at home desk, you may almost forget it’s there as time passes, but never completely. Both speakers are upward-facing and pointed toward your ears. They’re housed in a dark gray molded silicone collar with steel wire inside which allows the SoundWear Companion to retain its condition if you wish a tighter or looser fit. It’s extremely well-built; you can flex and bend this thing around without the apprehension. With it on, you’ll find volume controls and the multifunction button (for Siri / Google Assistant) near your right shoulder, and power / Bluetooth buttons on your own left.
The SoundWear comes outfitted in a zippered black stretch cover that Bose says is “acoustically transparent.” I never saw any reason to remove it because it helps the speaker blend better with clothing – to the amount a neck speaker may possibly merge – and keeps out moisture. Be warned that in the event that you do take away the cover, it takes an extremely real struggle to reunite on. You’ll need to unzip it slightly to gain access to the Micro USB port for charging. Other colors of the cover can be purchased separately for $30. Whatever, you’re always likely to get some good weird looks and mocking comments when wearing it in public areas.
TyllTyll Hertsens at Inner Fidelity went incredibly in-depth with the SoundWear Companion, and he includes a great explainer how Bose achieved its unique sound characteristics through clever (and heavily patented) engineering. Both speakers each have a 1-inch driver inside. They aren’t simply blaring sound at your ears; Bose’s waveguide technology actually routes some sound frequencies through passageways around the trunk of your neck and out of a port near to the speaker on the contrary side. This mainly helps produce better bass response compared to the speakers could achieve by themselves. If you don’t like those vibrations on your own neck, you can dial down the bass intensity with Bose’s mobile app.
The SoundWear effectively creates a cone of sound around your mind. Music you’re playing is obviously audible to persons nearby, however the volume is targeted around the wearer’s dome. It sounds a whole lot louder to the individual listening than everybody else nearby. When it’s you, it doesn’t sound to your ears such as a traditional speaker, nor do you want to confuse the SoundWear for headphones. It’s a one-of-a-kind thing that’s hard to compare against other method of listening. The battery life is rated at 12 hours, but you’ll get yourself a little less if you’re cranking up the quantity for all that point.
The initial sound that Bose has pulled off here doesn’t mean the SoundWear is preferable to other products, though. It’s spacious with pleasurable highs that don’t be shrill, and the bass is punchy even at low volumes. A top-end desk speaker or good headphones will still beat this thing handily, however. They provide an improved listening experience if the listening part is everything you value most.
ButBut that’s not who the SoundWear Companion is for. The complete point of the oddball tool is having sound anywhere you go – without putting something in or on your own ears – and maintaining perfect knowing of your surroundings.
That’s really about all I’ve got. Everywhere else, the SoundWear could have you feeling such as a public nuisance. I’m not likely to knock Bose too much for that, though. That is obviously a distinct segment product designed to be utilized at certain occasions and not at all at others. I really like weird gadgets. I love that Bose made a decision to create a neck speaker and engineered the hell from it. Don’t assume all product is or must be practical for everyone.
The $300 price can be an issue, however. If the SoundWear were somewhat cheaper, I believe more persons will be willing to have a chance onto it and observe how (or if) it certainly fits to their lives. For me, a person who wears earbuds everywhere and includes a Sonos Play:5 in the home, the answer is no. But others swear by this thing, so that it could be worth dropping around