Bluetooth headphones come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, but one of the odder ones is the neckband + earbud system that you wear both in your ears and around your neck. The upshot is that there’s room for a bigger battery than you get with earbuds alone. The downside is… have you seen these things?

But some device makers have decided to use the extra space provided by neckbands for something more than batteries. They’ve stuffed speakers under the hood.

Earlier this year ZAGG introduced its Flex Arc wireless earbuds/speaker system which currently sells for $56.

And this week LG unveiled its new LG Tone Studio wearable speaker, which the company will show off at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

The LG Tone Studio has four speakers, including two “full range” speaker on the top that project music up to your ears (and presumably to anyone else standing nearby), and two vibrating speakers at the bottom.

LG says this provides a “personal surround sound experience,” and that the system includes a Hi-Fi DAC.

I get the feeling that this wearable speaker isn’t meant to go the same places as a typical set of headphones. I have a hard time imagining anyone wearing this system on the bus, but it might make sense for use around the house. But you know what else you can use at home? A full-fledged surround sound speaker system.

LG is also introducing its take on fully wireless earbuds. The LG Tone Free earbuds come with a neckband. Put them in the band and they’ll start charging automatically. Take them out and place them in your ears and you can listen to music wirelessly.

It’s certainly a novel take on the idea of earbuds that don’t need wires. But if you’re keen on the concept, why would you want to wear a neckband around? Wouldn’t a charging case be just as useful?

Anyway, if you’re still paying attention, LG notes that the neckband doesn’t just charge the earbuds. It also pairs with your phone and vibrates to notify you to incoming phone calls or text messages.



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12 replies on “Would you wear a speaker around your neck?”

  1. Could be good for use at home when you are outside gardening or working on any outdoor project around the house, in the garage, or what not, and you don’t want to annoy the neighbors by blasting music or radio stations with a boombox or outdoor speakers.

  2. I see the appeal.
    You want to listen to music, but don’t like getting rap ped in your ear?
    And you also want a decent sound experience, without cutting out choice of ambient noise?
    This is the solution.

    However, we have a solution to that already… and that is on-ear headsets.
    Only problem is that cancel noise or isolate it.
    So you don’t get ambient noise.
    You want that option?
    Well, you can take it off and wear them around your neck.
    They even have ear-cans designed for this purpose.

    Overall, this is a super-niche device that will be gimmicky for the majority of users.
    The only benefit I see is using the built-in earphones with this product…. and benefit from its form factor in terms of sound quality, battery life, and lack of cords.
    But then we wouldn’t be discussing an accessory, this would be a Wearable Gadget.

  3. It will be used exclusively for the playing of profane rap music on public transportation.

  4. On the one hand, it seems handy. On the other hand it looks like the sort of thing they’d put around your neck in a dystopian scifi movie that would explode if you got outside your preapproved radius.

    I definitely wouldn’t want Samsung’s version. 0.o

    1. “Running Man” reference? I know I have seen it in other movies too.

  5. The subject Tone Studio speakers seem like a niche product to me. If I am in a location where I can listen to music without bothering someone else, I am likely in a location where I can enjoy a better sound experience via a traditional sound system. However, I have a pair of Motorola ear buds that I like very much. They are worn around the next much like the Tones above, but have a wired connection to the ear plug. They are very light and comfortable to wear, have good sound and last a long time between charges. They appear unobtrusive and most people do not notice them when I wear them. I mostly use them in my shop. I can listen to music without wires getting caught up on things, and can wear hearing protection against machine noise over them when needed.

  6. I have the LG Tone neck-band and a motorola s305. I use the motorola around the house when I need to listen for people calling my name. I use the LG one where I don’t want people to hear me, or I hear them. I would not expect the Zagg speakers to sound as nice as my s305, and I would think they would be heavier than my LG Tone. I like having 2 devices as I believe they will last twice as long. I do wish the microphones on both were better.

  7. Its the 2010’s version of the 1980’s boom-box. Used by those who only want to annoy others in public.

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