Known for its strong emphasis on Home Theatre, Pioneer had never been on our radar where earphones are concerned. That might change with the launch of the Pioneer Rayz and Rayz Plus Noise Cancelling Earbuds. These earbuds not only have intelligent noise-cancelling features and a companion app, the Plus version could also charge your iPhone. An industry first, among Lightning-Connector earphones that rely on the iPhone as their power source.
The Pioneer Rayz Earphones can adjust the noise cancelling based on the shape of your ears and your surroundings. It may result in better noise-cancelling, though we’ll have to try it to confirm that. With HearThru Mode the earphones will let in environmental sounds so that it won’t hinder you from ordering your meals. But, if you absolutely have to take it off, sensors in the Rayz will pause your music and resume it when you put it back on.
The Rayz also has the standard 3-button controls, plus a special one descriptively called ‘Smart Button’, which you can assign special functions to.
Nonetheless, the most special feature belong to the Rayz Plus, which can charge your phone while you use it. I’ve tried scouring the site for more information but it isn’t obvious how the Rayz Plus will get charged up, itself. (Initially from the phone, maybe?)
These may not be the first Lightning connector earphones, but they are the first with Apple’s more intelligent Gen-2 Lightning technology, that makes all these smart features possible.
As the world marches on to a wireless future, will the Pioneer Rayz Plus will retain its appeal? Or will it be consigned to the trash can of history, like most other wired earbuds? Only time can tell.
The Pioneer Rayz (S$140.40 /US$99.95) and Rayz Plus (S$210.70 /US$149.95) Noise Cancelling Earbuds are only sold in the US for now.