If you've ever looked at your soundbar and thought "I wish I could wrap that thing around my neck", the good news is that Sony will now let you do that – sort of.
Sony's 'wearable speaker' combines the convenient form factor of headphones with the immersive sound of a home cinema system, allowing you to hear your films and TV shows late at night without disturbing your neighbors by blasting your soundbar.
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First launched in Japan in 2017, the Sony Immersive Wearable Speaker is finally available to buy in the US, with a fairly hefty $300 price tag – although if you preorder by December 1 you can get it for an introductory price of $250.
Sony hasn't revealed when or if the wearable speaker will come to other regions, but that US price works out at about £230 / AU$440 based on current conversion rates.
A soundbar alternative
With no Bluetooth compatibility, the headphone/speaker hybrid relies on you manually plugging a 3.5mm jack or optical cables into its wireless receiver. You can also connect it to your smartphone using a USB-C cable, although that's not quite as convenient as using a pair of wireless headphones.
According to Engadget, the Immersive Wearable Speaker offers around three hours of battery life, so if you want to watch a long film you may find yourself running out of juice towards the end.
While it may look like a one-off novelty device, it's not the first time we've seen such a gadget – the JBL Soundgear neck speaker and the Bose Soundwear both utilize a similar design to provide an alternative to your soundbar.
The neckband speaker design could be great if you tend to watch TV alone – but a family of four wanting to enjoy an immersive cinematic experience would need to spend $1,200 (around £930 / AU$1,750) on a Sony Immersive Wearable Speaker for everyone.
For that money, you could buy a truly fantastic soundbar – and just turn it down a little for your late-night Netflix binges.
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