Not a fan of headphones? A pair of neck-worn speakers from Panasonic could be your next wearable, though they may cost you.
As much as we love a good pair of headphones — and we love a good pair of headphones — wearing any pair for longer than four hours can be a little grinding for someone. We’re fine with it, but not everyone is, because extended headphone use can be bad.
Wearing headphones for a long period can bring ear-ache from the headphones themselves, head and neck ache from the band, and may make your ears sweat which can lead to other issues.
Not everyone has issues with these factors, but some do, and if you’re someone who has dealt with these, you may have considered personal speakers.
While not technically made to be portable, wireless speakers can be worn around the neck and provide headphone-like listening without the headphones.
This year, we’re seeing a new version of what Panasonic has in store, arriving in the GNW10 SoundSlayer, a wearable speaker focused almost entirely on gamers.
The idea is still the same — shoulder mounted wireless speakers built to alleviate pressure on the ears and head — but now come with four 38mm speakers and a larger housing built to deliver more bass.
Panasonic’s 2023 SoundSlayer also supports wireless using a specific wireless box it comes with, reliant on a 2.4GHz radio connection to keep the audio latency free, while microphones can be found on each side of the speaker, there not just to let you talk to gamers while you play and using a degree of artificial intelligence to clean up the sound so folks will only hear your voice.
We’re waiting to hear back from Panasonic on whether the GNW10 SoundSlayer speaker is using any hardware or research from Panasonic’s audio division, Technics, though on first glance this appears to be solely from Panasonic, and may lack some of the high-res audio quality on offer from earphones like the Technics AZ80.
What they do come with is a degree of gaming-inspired playfulness, with LED lighting found in the design this time, something gaming gear is known to sport.
It won’t necessarily be cheap, mind you, with the Panasonic GNW10 SoundSlayer speaker set to arrive online via Amazon for $449 mid-December 2023, just in time for the holiday season. Kinda, sorta.