One of the hottest trends we've noticed so far at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is speakers. They're everywhere, and apparently, they can be worn anywhere, including your neck.
For instance, LG made a speaker for your neck. We're not kidding either. In a sea of Alexa-enabled speakers and smart audio equipment, one of the most recognisable brands in the world decided to kick off the new year with a bendy speaker you wear like a necklace. It's called LG Tone Studio, and it includes four speakers (two on the top for highs and mids, and two on the bottom for bass) that are supposed to emit tunes loud enough for the wearer - and anyone immediately around - to hear.
It connects via Bluetooth to an audio source, such as a tablet or phone, and then it just works, which is nice. We listened to music on the show floor at CES 2017 and thought the speaker did a decent job, but we craved for more bass. It features integrated DTS support to mimic surround sound. And it does indeed give that sort of effect - small vibrations and all. But, we felt foolish blaring audio from our neck.
We also couldn't help but wonder how well the audio would hold up on a windy day whilst going out for a jog. To alleviate our concerns, LG built in tethered earbuds that you can pull out and plug into your canals. The Tone Studio also features an aux-in jack so you can hook it up to a laptop or speaker setup via a standard 3.5mm cable, allowing you to take full advantage of the integrated 32-bit audio DAC.
It definitely seems like LG is just throwing stuff at the wall, hoping something will stick. We're not sure who will opt for a neck speaker, which is actually quite flexible in the hand, over a pair of earbuds or headphones. But LG's ready and willing to help out that niche consumer. It needs to confirm a price first, because if this thing costs the $200-plus it's rumoured to cost, we doubt anyone will pony up.
LG confirmed to Pocket-lint that LG Tone Studio will start shipping sometime in March.