By Steve Sussman / National Geographic Contributor”It’s the bluetooth earbuds, but we don’t need the headphone,” said Steve Smith, the director of product development at bluetooth audio startup Salt Nic Devices.
“Bluetooth is great for headphones because it’s so much more than just earbud connectivity.”
The company has been testing the Bluetooth-enabled headphones for about two years.
Smith said the first models had a low-power Bluetooth connection, but the company’s latest models have Bluetooth built-in.
“You’ll have to pay more for the Bluetooth headphones than the earboots,” Smith said.
“If you have a good pair of Bluetooth headphones, you’ll end up spending more money.”
Smith said he and other bluetooth manufacturers have been testing their products for months, and they’re “pretty happy” with the results.
The company has received $6.8 million from investors including Microsoft and Google.
“We have been working hard on this product for two years,” Smith added.
“It is a huge milestone for us,” Smith explained.
“What’s the reason for this?
We want to make this happen and we want to deliver this product to our customers.”
Salt Nic Devices’ products are a combination of Bluetooth earbars and headphones.
A pair of Salt Nic headphones costs about $300, and the company sells them to music retailers, businesses, universities and hospitals.
Salt Nic’s earbunches have a built-on wireless connection, and users can control the music and Bluetooth volume with their phones.
“Bluetooth headphones work really well because you don’t have to plug them in to your computer,” Smith told National Geographic.
“Your phone is doing the work for you.”
Smith also said the company is working on a Bluetooth earphones that will have the same Bluetooth-capable design as the Salt Nic earbongs.
“The main goal is to make Bluetooth ear-buds as cheap as possible,” Smith stated.
“That’s why we’re focused on getting this product in the hands of the masses.”
While Bluetooth headphones have become more popular in recent years, Smith said most people have yet to purchase Bluetooth headphones because of the cost.
“We think it’s going to be the next big thing,” Smith noted.
“If you’re a music fan or a casual user, the idea is to get a pair of bluetooth-connected headphones that don’t cost a lot, but also have the best sound quality,” Smith concluded.