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Aset and Pharaoh smart headphones turn Android on its ear

Wireless headphones provided a major boost to the headphone market. One reason why is that doing away with the cord made it much easier –- and safer — to use headphones while exercising.

patent-claimedThe patent-pending, over-the-ear Smart Listening Device (SLD) headphones take Bluetooth headphones one step further by adding the Android operating system, enabling users to download music and other media files directly to the headset. Other features include a built-in pedometer to track fitness accomplishments, USB connectivity, built-in GPS, and built-in internal microphones for phone calls and Skype conversations. Each set of headphones can play 8 hours after less than an hour of charging its lithium battery.

SLD headphones ship in August at future pricing of $289. But early bird Indiegogo backers can get a version of the 16-GB headphones called Aset with a pledge of $150 and a SKU called Pharaoh that adds a smart watch with a $200 pledge. The watch uses Pharaoh’s detachable smart chip. The headphone makers want to raise $1,000 by April 11.

Adding built-in streaming directly to a set of headphones so that a separate smartphone, tablet or MP3 player isn’t required seems like a good idea. At the very least, it adds another level of convenience. But this isn’t the first of its kind, following products including Streamz. The lack of iOS compatibility, meanwhile, significantly reduces its potential audience.

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