Headphones are great. They let you listen to your music, podcasts, or audiobooks without annoying the people around you, and our review of the Jabra Elite 85h shows that there are still ways to improve on headphones.
But what if the people around you want to listen to your music with you? Well, you’d need to carry around a separate speaker in order to make that happen.
However, a new pair of headphones from Buoq called Axis actually switch from a pair of personal headphones into a powerful Bluetooth speaker, which could be quite convenient in a number of different situations.
Buoq Axis Headphones and Speaker Features
At first glance, these might look like any pair of Bluetooth headphones, but they can actually be used in two different modes. There’s the standard headphone mode, which keeps the volume to a safe level for close quarters with your ears. When you rotate the headphones out, they become a set of portable speakers that can either be worn or set down for a louder experience.
Switching modes looks to be pretty simple. You just rotate the ear cups out, and then the amplifiers will kick in and allow the volume to reach much higher levels. Going further, if you’re listening at mid-volume while in headphone mode and you rotate the ear cups into speaker mode, the volume will scale up while remaining at the mid-level.
As for battery life, the creators promise 18 hours of runtime while in headphone mode and 11 hours of time while in speaker mode (obviously, louder volumes from the speaker will use the battery more quickly).
One thing the headphones don’t have is active noise canceling technology. The creators cite higher costs, faster battery drain, and potential nausea and headache, but if you’re looking for a pair with active tech, you may want to look elsewhere.
Buoq Axis Price and Availability
Buoq is seeking funding for its new headphone/speaker hybrid on Kickstarter. It has vastly exceeded its funding goal already, so the devices should make their way to market by the estimated delivery date of October 2019.
If you’re interested in snagging a pair for yourself, you’ll need to pledge €79 ($88 USD) while the early special lasts. Once those are sold out, you’ll need to pledge €99 ($110 USD) to get a device.
As always, there are risks involved in backing a crowdfunding project. Make sure you’re aware of what you’re getting into.