Companies are racing to introduce headphones and earbuds uniquely designed to take advantage of the benefits of a cable that can transmit both data and power, like the Lightning cord does. Apple’s iPhone 7 launch seems to have caught most headphone manufacturers by surprise given how few quality options there are on the market.
Sure, many iPhone 7 users are content with their stock earbuds that come with their phones, but for anyone that really cares about audio quality, using the standard Earpods is just not an option, particularly for us, because honestly, we HATE them. Thankfully, some forward thinking headphone makers have been planing lightning-enabled headphones for a while and are ready to satisfy this new found demand. Once such company is Libratone.
The best way to understand the ethos behind the company is to analyze its name. Libratone is a combination of the words “liberation” and “tone”, thus describing the liberating sound that emanates from their products.
The company was founded in Denmark in 2009 as a startup and they’ve been growing ever since thanks to constant design and product awards issued from organizations such as the IDSA, CES, and Good Design Award. Libratone is in the same league as all those other fancy audio companies like Harmon/Kardon, Bang & Olufsen and Parrot.
Libratone made their name with their chic and well designed portable Bluetooth speakers. They bridged the gap from Bluetooth speakers to headphones with their original Q Adapt On-Ear headphones. These are really gorgeous minimalist on-ear Bluetooth headphones.
While we think they look fantastic, this blog is not a big Bluetooth fan, at least for audio-quality, so we were excited when Libratone announced their newest product, the Q Adapt In-Ear headphones which are connected via Lightning cable and NOT Bluetooth.
The Libratone earbuds are simply a triumph of design. In fact, we think they look more futuristic than the Earpods that come with Apple products. These things look like they come standard issue on a martian UFO or something. At $180 they aren’t the cheapest, but that’s not what you’re looking for are you?
The earbuds come with replaceable tips and an otherwise very clean minimalist design. They come in a variety of chill colors, similar to the iPhone itself, to match individual tastes and individual iPhone colors too perhaps?
The earbuds come with an inline microphone and control, so you’ll be able to quickly adjust your music volume, adjust noise cancelling (yeah they do that too) or field a phone call. The earbuds also come with an app, called City Mix, that helps the user adjust the sound qualities and noise cancellation properties.
The active noise cancelling is something we are super excited about. We’ve talked about other active noise cancelling earbuds in the past with the JBL Reflect Aware. The concept of fitting such an amazing tech into such a tiny package was impossible just a year ago but with the powered Lightning cable are now a reality you can own!
Think about it, active noise cancelling, which if you’ve ever tried a pair of Bose Quiet Comforts for example, in a tiny little in-ear package. No rechargeable batteries, no AAA batteries, no big bulky cases. This is a beautiful technology.
At the time of publishing we don’t have full technical specs on the Q Adapt In-Ears, but as soon as we do we’ll update this section. In the meantime, enjoy this stylish overview vid from Libratone.
These are probably the most minimalist, most futuristic Lightning equipped earbuds currently available for purchase, although we are pretty big fans of the JBL Reflect Awares as well as they sport many of the same features of the Q Adapts.
They have active noise cancellation and an equalizer app.. however the Libratone’s utterly CRUSH it in the styling department.
Surely, within the year there will be dozens of new entries to the Lightning-cable-earbud market, but for the time being, if you want future tech and want to look like a future martian while enjoying it, the Q Adapt’s may be just the thing for you!