I never would have expected LG's Tone lineup of Bluetooth headsets to reach the kind of popularity that it has. The goofy around-the-neck design looks awkward and cumbersome and I personally prefer a more freeing design like the Plantronics BackBeat GO or Jaybird Bluebuds series. But what do I know? People not only bought 20 Million of LG's Tones, they also seem to like them, at least based on various reviews of the different models. And that's why LG keeps reiterating on the design.
The latest is the Tone Studio, which was announced at CES 2017. It takes the original around-the-neck earphone design and... adds four speakers. LG calls it a "wearable audio device" and it's easy to see why. You're carrying a speaker around your neck, right below your ears. There are in-ear buds that can pop out for a less public listening experience, but the draw here are the speakers. They deliver surround sound thanks to two full range speakers located below the ears and two others beneath them that vibrate against the collarbone to transmit the base tones in a more personal manner.
The sound was designed in conjunction with DTS and there's a built-in Hi-Fi DAC, but if you're after a few more specs, the Tone Studio can last up to 35hrs in earphone mode and 6hrs in speaker mode, and has a selection wheel to change between 3 equalizer modes on the spot (bass, treble, and normal).
All of this will cost a pretty penny when it's released in the US at the end of the month, $229.99 if we're being exact. That's a steep price to pay for speakers that you wear around your neck, but now that I think about it, maybe there's a market for these. If you don't want to keep connecting to and disconnecting from speakers all the time when you go from your car to your house to your office and if you don't like the idea of in-ear or around the ear headsets, maybe a wearable speaker is a solution. A weird solution, to be clear, but a solution nonetheless.