IEC Technology — which has offices in Shenzhen, China and London, UK — has recently launched its laser-light based Bluetooth stereophonic headsets, called Shine, on Kickstarter. We had a chance to try them out before the general public, and this article is all about our experience with the product. But first, let’s look at Shine’s specs:
- Charging time: 1.5 hours
- Music playback time: 7 hours
- Sound track: Stereophonic
- Operating distance: 10 meters
- Battery capacity: 3.7 V/80 mAh
- Input: DC 5V 500 mA
- Size: 30 x 24 x 9.3 mm
- Weight: 17 g
Then let’s discuss the rest…
It takes a minute or so to properly these headphones into your ears, but once they’re set — they won’t be easily dropping from their place. I actually like the way IEC Technology has managed to do this without using the rather annoying (at least for me) in-ear design. Here’s how IEC describes it [design]:
The earpiece comes with two ear hook sizes and four cap sizes that can easily be switched. It is designed to be a comfortable fit that stays in the ears even when the users are running or playing sports, while avoiding any pressure-inducing sensations.
The first thing you’ll notice on Shine is that the neck strap is glowing while charging. It looks kinda weird but that’s actually the point – to create something unique, rather than “yet another” Bluetooth stereo headphones.
Another thing is the weight – it’s negligible. I could barely feel the weight of Shine – it’s a 17 grams “heavy” product, making it comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
Shine features controls (physical buttons) for lights, volume and pausing/starting the music. If you receive a call, the music and lights come to a halt, allowing you use the headset and microphone for the conversation.
You can use the Shine like a regular Bluetooth headphones – simply pair them to the phone (any Bluetooth-enabled phone) and you’re good to go. However, if you want the additional tricks – you’ll have to install the companion app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.
Through the app, you can control the mode with which you would like said laser-light neck strap to glow. There are three options to choose from: 1) glow in 24 colors based on the music that is playing; 2) glow based on the activity (i.e. when running); and 3) glow in single color (red, green or blue) while music is playing. Further, the way the neck strap glows can be customized based on the sound waves themselves (crests, hollows) or power saving modes. For motion detection based glowing, the headset uses a 3-axis accelerometer that is also keeping up with your steps, speed and time.
Inside the Shine, we get a 80 mAh battery that will provide u to 7 hours of playback time. And once empty, you’ll need 1.5 hours to recharge this battery.
When it comes to sound quality, Shine includes better-than-average sound. I’m not an audio expert, though. IEC says the headset will seamlessly block environmental noise, while APTX technology will deliver stereophonic CD quality audio.
Shine’s Kickstarter campaign went live on November 16 and will end on December 23. IAC is looking to raise $15,000, with single unit going for $59 (early bird). Check it out.