New iOS Earphones Have FM On Board

Yeah, we know… FM radio is so yesterday — until you have no internet connection and the music goes silent.

That’s the idea behind Blackloud’s Soundot AF1 FM Headset for iOS devices. In addition to its Apple MFi-certified Lightning connector, the AF1 sports a built-in FM tuner with six favorite-station presets and a host of sound customization controls, including a six-band equalizer, bass/treble/vocal adjustments, a 3D mode for surround-encoded soundtracks, and presets “optimized” for acoustic, classical, dance, electro, jazz, Latin, metal, piano, pop, rock, and R&B music. The headset cabling doubles as an FM antenna.

Radio and sound controls are accessible via the companion Soundot app, which supports lossless sound quality, video calling, and Siri voice control. The headset’s in-line control box handles volume, track skipping, incoming calls, and Siri activation via a multifunction button.

Being able to listen to FM in real time instead of streaming it over the internet offers several benefits, according to Blackloud: The radio uses no mobile data, conserves battery life, eliminates delays inherent in streaming, and provides immediate access to emergency broadcasts.

The Soundot AF1 is a two-driver design that puts a 0.6-inch woofer and 0.3-inch tweeter in each earpiece and has an in-line microphone in addition to its in-line controller.

Blackloud is developing a set of earphones for USB Type C Android devices that it plans to make available in 2019.

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