Funky Sound Studio has introduced its new line of luxury headphones at CES 2018 under the new Debussy brand. The lineup consists of two models called ‘Nathaniel’ and ‘Claire de Lune’ each launching in two different color options, and both aiming to redefine the term ‘smart headphones’ with a luxury design and ambitious hardware specifications, including a built-in SIM card slot for 4G networking, as well as on-board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Furthermore, each model can carry up to 4GB worth of audio files for moments when no Internet connectivity is available, and both headphones adopt a circular color touchscreen on one of the ear cups.
While the majority of smart headphones –if not all- have to be connected to a smartphone in order to offer any meaningful features, this is not the case with Funky Sound Studio’s latest Debussy luxury headphone lineup. Both models are meant as stand-alone, or all-in-one solutions for music enthusiasts, offering on-board connectivity to the Internet and popular music streaming services either through its 4G-enabled SIM slot or via Wi-Fi. And because the headphones don’t need to be synced with a handset, each model features a circular display on the right cup which can be used to browse through music, create playlists, creating a Signature Sound, or going through the settings menu while the headset isn’t worn. Otherwise, the same display is repurposed as a gesture-based touchpad when wearing the headset and can be used for increasing the volume by swiping up etc. Likewise, the same display area can be customized to show personalized content, album covers, and other custom visuals.
In addition, the official press release mentions the inclusion of voice commands through “an assistant like Siri” referring to Apple’s virtual assistant, however, given the wording it’s unclear whether the headsets actually integrate Apple’s solution, an alternative like the Google Assistant, or perhaps an in-house AI similar to these solutions. Finally, both the Nathaniel and Claire de Lune headsets use binaural stereo recording technology which can simulate 3D sound, and combined with built-in head tracking capabilities, the feature can be used to record environmental sounds which can then be played back in 3D, sort of like re-experiencing an auditory memory. As of this writing, pricing and availability details are unknown but those who attend CES can experience both luxury headsets at Booth 51665 in Eureka Park and at the Wynn Hotel Suite.