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Pioneer’s Rayz Plus Are 1st Wired Earphones That Let You Listen While Charging

Intending to help those iPhone 7 Lightning-only woes, Pioneer Home Entertainment USA has launched an industry first: a pair of Lightning-capable earphones that let users simultaneously charge an iPhone 7 while listening to music.  

The company announced two new earphones this morning: the Rayz, which are powered by the Lightning port, and the Rayz Plus, which add the ability to charge an Apple device while in use. Pioneer said it has employed Avnera’s LightX platform to use the least amount of power possible from an Apple device.

Another headphones company, Phaz, first introduced a similar capability two years ago. Unlike Pioneer’s, however, Phaz’s headphones featured a built-in battery that would supply a charge to the Apple device, whereas Pioneer’s Rayz Plus simply offer a pass-through port that lets consumers charge the iPhone 7 while they’re listening to music. (Phaz’s P2 headphones were also over-ears, unlike Pioneer’s in-ears.)

Because the earphones are powered by the Apple device and lack a battery, they do not need to be charged as Bluetooth headphones do. Both models feature noise-canceling technology enabled by six built-in microphones and the company’s patented ambient-noise-detecting technology. They can also reportedly detect when they are in or taken out of the wearer’s ear and will start and stop the music, as well as enter a low-power mode.   

A HearThru mode, targeted toward runners or cyclists, provides a larger amount of outside noise to penetrate the wearer’s environment.

The in-line remote allows users to mute during a call, and has a programmable button for app control. A companion app allows for EQ adjustments using the Apple device, and Pioneer said new features will be delivered via software updates in the future. For example, a Smart Mute feature that automatically mutes the microphones when the user stops speaking is expected to roll out this year.  

Both earphones have 9.2mm drivers and frequency responses of 10Hz to 22kHz. Three sets of silicone ear tips are included. 

The Rayz come in Onyx and Ice for $99.95, while the Rayz Plus come in Graphite and Bronze metallic finishes for $149. Both models feature Made for iPhone, Made for iPod, and Made for iPad badges on the packaging.