Sonobo earbuds

The earbuds in action

Greg GazinWhether it’s listening to music, a podcast, people during a Zoom meeting or simply a phone call, you’ve probably found you’ve been spending more time than ever before with buds in your ears. It has become imperative that the earbuds give us the best quality sound possible (while eliminating unwanted noise), be comfortable to wear and still maintain decent battery life.

Look no more. A group of recording engineers in London, working with a design team in Italy, have created a series of cutting-edge wireless full in-ear earphones (they are even waterproof) called Sonobo that do all that and more.

The entry-level Sonobo ONE is great for everyday use. Even at low audio levels, it features high-resolution audio that provides clear sound through its finely tuned drivers. It has an ultra-low latency – that is, there is virtually no lag – so it’s also great for gamers and videos. It connects quickly via Bluetooth LE and has a respectable up to 10-hour battery life before it needs to be recharged.

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And despite its full size, it’s comfortable to wear. It comes with a selection of four all-day silicon ear tips and four noise isolating memory foam ear tips, so you should find one that offers the perfect fit.

Listening pleasure and safety

Sonobo earphones truly differentiate themselves with unique and ground-breaking standard features, including the Awareness V2 feature that can adjust the threshold for noise based on your surroundings. This comes in handy when you want to be aware of traffic around you, like when on a bike. The  SideTone feature helps eliminate the feedback from your own voice coming through.

The SLTMS (Safe time Listening Management System) can help protect your ears, while the SafeSonics system runs a short test to determine how sensitive your ears are to certain sounds frequencies. SafeSonics also monitors the audio and calculates – based on recommendations from NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) and WHO (World Health Organization) – how long it’s safe for you to listen. You’ll receive an alert to your phone when it’s nearing the time to turn it down or off.

And if you’re exposed to loud sounds like motorcycles, Sonobo’s GunSonics feature acts as an electronic hearing defence system, drowning out those sounds from coming through.

Power of the SmartCase

Sonobo pocket case

Sonobo pocket case

The real power of the Sonobo earphones, however, is in its SmartCase. While the optional case acts as a charger and earbud storage case, it is designed to be used in conjunction with the earbuds. Within the case are four HD microphones that operate separately from the earbuds themselves by providing both Remote Noise Cancellation and Voice Boosting.

Simply place the SmartCase next to the source of your noise – say, a fan – and Remote Noise Cancellation cleverly samples that noise and makes it disappear.

VoiceBoost works in almost the opposite way, by enhancing the clarity of a conversation. For example, by placing your case on a table, its four mics will focus on the conversation while eliminating what the in-ear mics are picking up.

SmartCase has a respectable 3650mAh battery, and you can recharge the Sonobo ONE earbuds over 75 times. It also doubles as a USB power bank. The lid can also act as a wireless charging mat to charge other compatible Qi devices.

Kickstarter

Sonobo earphones are being offered through a new Kickstarter campaign. It’s so successful that the company has already almost doubled its pledge goal of $26K.

Sonobo ONE comes in two colours; black and orange or white and orange. It ships with a pocket case charger and charging cable and comes with a two-year warranty. Prices start at $125 or $239 with an added SmartCase.

Enhanced Pro and Elite Models

There are also two even more enhanced models available via the Kickstarter campaign. The Sonobo Pro features six drivers within each ear, each dedicated to a different frequency, while Sonobo Elite has an unheard-of 18 drivers for even finer audio. Both models deliver an incredible 24bit/96kHz audio for an even more realistic sound via Bluetooth 5.2 LE. Prices start at $375 and $625 and include the Sonobo SmartCase.

Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.  For interview requests, click here.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the authors’ alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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