Apple’s recent $3 billion acquisition of Beats shocked the tech world for a number of reasons. For one, it marks the first time Apple will take on and manage a non-Apple brand. For another, Beats’ core strategy — sell mid-quality, high-cost headphones by marketing them to young consumers as “cool” — doesn’t seem to align with Apple’s product strategies. But the deal is done, and now we sit back and wait to see what new products Beats comes up with under Apple’s wing.
One man isn’t content to sit around and wait, however. Beats cofounder Steven Lamar has broken away from his former company and on Thursday, he announced innovative new headphones called Ropes that aim to rocket wearable audio accessories into the future.
“Modern consumers need more than a well-branded headphone or earbuds; they need an attractive, fashionable connection to their mobile device that sounds incredible and allows them to personalize the sound to their listening preference,” said Steven Lamar, founder of Roam. Lamar had previously cofounded Beats before leaving to launch his own headphone company.
The executive continued, “Despite being an $8 billion market, headphones and earbuds – which make up 60% of all headphone sales – have remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade, even though they connect us to devices that are evolving every day. ROAM’s aim is to enhance the way we physically and emotionally connect to our devices and, by proxy, the music, content and people we love.”
With its newly announced Ropes headphones, Roam is looking to innovate in two key areas.
First, Ropes features an interesting new design that pushes earbuds into the wearables category. As shown in the image above, Ropes can be worn around the neck when not in use.
The buds can be seen near the top of the cord, a three-button mic sits midway down one side and the box at the end houses a battery, Bluetooth module and two 3.5-millimeter audio jacks. Ropes can connect to a device wirelessly or by plugging into a standard audio jack.
According to Roam, the second area of innovation is sound.
Ropes comes with a companion app that allows users to tune their audio experience in order to customize the sound to their liking. This isn’t a simple little equalizer app we’re talking about here; the app lets users fine tune their sound and save various presets that can be applied quickly and easily on the fly.
The iOS version of the Ropes app will be available at launch and an Android app will hit the Play Store in the weeks that follow.
All that innovation comes at a price.
Roam will begin taking preorders for its new Ropes headphones, and the device will cost $299.99. It comes in two color options, graphite/black and orange, and both versions will begin shipping in late November ahead of the holidays.
Also of note, $100 of every orange Ropes purchase from now through December 31st will be donated to Stand Up To Cancer.
More information can be found on Roam’s website, and the company’s full press release follows below.
ROAM INC. LAUNCHES TODAY; INTRODUCES ROPES, THE NEXT GENERATION OF EARPHONES
Iconic Wireless Wearable Earphones with Customizable Sound Available for Pre-Order Now
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – September 4, 2014 – ROAM, Inc. today introduces Ropes, a new standard in earphones. ROAM Ropes bring the best in ergonomic design, sound quality, personalization and “Noise Equalization” technology to create a groundbreaking new listening experience for today’s consumer. ROAM was created by Beats by Dr. Dre co-founder Steven Lamar and Ropes will be available for preorder today at ROAMwith.com.
ROAM’s first product, Ropes, deliver a unique listening experience – marrying audio fidelity and noise equalization in a sleek, attractive, wearable consumer accessory. Ropes’ around-the-neck pendant design fits easily and seamlessly into anyone’s daily routine, allowing you to enjoy your favorite song or pick up a call without having to dig through your pockets or untangle cords. In addition, Ropes allow you to personalize the sound dynamics directly in your earphones through an elegant mobile app – ROAM EQ.
“Modern consumers need more than a well-branded headphone or earbuds; they need an attractive, fashionable connection to their mobile device that sounds incredible and allows them to personalize the sound to their listening preference,” said Steven Lamar, co-founder of ROAM. “Earphones represent nearly 60% of the $8 billion global market for headphones. They have remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade even though they connect us to devices that are evolving every day. ROAM’s aim is to enhance the way we physically and emotionally connect to our devices and, by proxy, the music, content and people we love.”
Introducing ROAM: A New Mobile Audio Experience
ROAM Ropes feature:
Progressive Design: ROAM Ropes feature a unique, around-the-neck design that fits seamlessly into anyone’s daily routine. The attractive, wearable accessory means no more fumbling through pockets and unraveling wires simply to listen to music or take a phone call. Ropes are there when you need them and look great when you don’t.
Superior Sound: ROAM Ropes deliver the most superior audio fidelity available today. The unique pendant design houses electronics that enable an unprecedented portable sound experience: pure digital sound with absolute clarity, detail and the ability to customize what you hear to your listening preference and your environment.
Personalization: With ROAM EQ, you can personalize and share sound dynamics directly in your earphones. Load the ROAM EQ application onto your phone and change the base, treble and mid-ranges to your preference. Save your personalized settings, share them with a friend and select from ROAM EQ audio presets (Jazz, Rock, Classical, Hip Hop, Country, etc.) that have been pre-loaded for your convenience.
Noise Equalization and Bluetooth: ROAM has incorporated proprietary Noise Equalization technology that delivers the best sound quality on the market today. Connect wirelessly to your Ropes through a Bluetooth connection.
Color Options: ROAM Ropes are available in two colors: Graphite/Black and Graphite/Orange; More color combinations will be introduced in 2015.
Roam Ropes will be available in two color options and will be ship for the 2014 Holiday Season. Ropes will retail for $299. To preorder now, visit http://www.ROAMwith.com.