Gadgets

The Headphones With Built-In Music Streaming

It's late. You've escaped the office. You stumble toward the bus stop in a caffeinated haze, your hopes pinned on finding a free seat not covered in a dusting of kebab. You've got the perfect playlist for this moment, a wash of acoustic emotions and a European band whose name you can't pronounce. But, as you plunge your headphone lead into your phone, disaster strikes - you're battery is flat. Looks like it's going to be another trip staring out of grubby windows.

Unless you've got one of these in your bag. 

This polished band of metal and leather is the Aivvy Q (pronounced "ivy cue"), a new headphone that's plugged into the bizarre world of the Internet of Things. The Q has a built-in music system, capable of streaming music from the cloud without need for an internet connection along a similar line to Spotify's offline streaming mode. 

The system works by syncing to the Aivvy cloud over wi-fi when charging, updating its internal storage with Aivvy's catalogue of music. Power them up and the Q will start playing tracks as soon as you put them on, learning your musical preference as you tap and swipe the headphone's interactive cups. An algorithm Aivvy is calling the "Music Cortex technology" will then build you playlists based on your habits, finding you music to suit your mood.

If you're feeling slightly less adventurous you can also opt to curate your own playlists by plugged the headphones into a normal device with (the comparatively old fashioned) wires, or connect to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to control your music from other apps or with the standalone Aivvy Q service. 

Currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter for £170 ($249), it's not yet clear what Aivvy might charge for use of its streaming service, nor what the music catalogue on offer to UK listeners will include.

We'll keep our ear to the ground to see how the Aivvy Q works out.