Musician will.i.am's "i.am+" tech brand on Monday released a pair of pricey Bluetooth earphones dubbed the "EPs," with initial sales to be exclusive to Apple's online and brick-and-mortar retail stores.
As advertised on the i.am+ website, EPs are fashion-forward earphones that integrates high-end materials like metal and resilient woven fabric cord with advanced electronic technology. Instead of plastic, the earphones feature a circular metal design reminiscent of vinyl records because "tech doesn't have to look like tech," the company says.
Functionally, the EPs come packing 14mm drivers and an aptX sound engine, fed by internal batteries that last a claimed six hours per charge. Recharging is accomplished via an included micro USB cable. The device also supports A2DP controls and an integrated remote with microphone. When not in use, the two coin-shaped buds magnetically snap together to form a necklace.
Available at select Apple Stores and through Apple.com, the i.am+ EPs sell for $229.95, and come in gold-on-black or black-on-black.
The debut comes after two disastrous product launches in the "Puls" and "Dial," both failed attempts to capture a piece of the wearable market. The current release, the Dial, features an operating system/voice assistant dubbed "AneedA," no physical user interface, a front-facing camera and cellular network support. Sales are limited to the UK market.
Interestingly, will.i.am is rumored to be working on an original TV series with Apple related to the app economy, presumably for distribution on Apple TV. Project details are scarce, but the vehicle is said to be an unscripted reality show that will likely feature a hefty dose of Apple's own app development efforts.
The series and today's product launch are not rumored to be related.