Apple debuted their first iPhone without a headphone jack in 2016 – ever since, no one has really found a good solution to the resulting earbud/headphone jack situation. Current options include:
- AirPods: You'll definitely never lose either of the inch-long disconnected buds. Oh, and they have to be charged, which means no tunes for you if you don’t remember to plug the pods in overnight.
- Cordless Headphones: They're harder to lose than AirPods, but they still need to be charged. Plus, they can be bulky.
- An Adapter: You could plug an adapter into your new iPhone’s lightning jack and try to pretend the headphone plug never disappeared—an illusion that would fall apart the second you tried to charge your phone while listening to music. And we won't even get into how easy that thing is to lose.
None of these seem particularly inviting. Recently though, Pioneer developed a fourth option: Rayz. Rayz are smart earbuds that take away the frustration of juggling extra ports and accessories. They work with the Apple ecosystem using lightning-powered, USB-C capabilities – making them the world’s first smart headset designed for both iPhone and Mac.
Rayz replace the need to hunt for the right pair of headphones. Now, you have a single, seamless device equipped with the technology to make using your iPhone personal, reliable, and efficient. Which is really what sold so many of us on the iPhone in the first place.
Powered by the Rayz app, the earphones offer users the ability to craft their own personalized experience. For starters, the earphones calibrate to your ear, allowing the product to offer a noise-cancelling experience that is tuned just for you. After that, the power is all in your hands. Customize your “smart button” to do whatever you please: bring up your favorite app, mute/unmute calls, or launch controls all with one touch.
Meanwhile, your phone can be plugged into Rayz and your charger at the same time. These are the first headphones since the iPhone 7 debut that let you do both with the lightning port. And if you find yourself working on your phone all the time, this isn’t the only feature Rayz has to make your 9 to 5 easier. The Smart Mute feature recognizes when you’re on a call, and automatically mutes you when you stop talking. As soon as you start up again, the mute lifts and the other end of the line can hear you just fine. For anyone who has had to hop on a work call in the middle of an airport, you know the quality of the call drops significantly when your business partner or colleague can only hear the background shuffle on your end. Knowing that Smart Mute is there to shut out the extra noise without you having to remember to do it is a huge relief.
Even if your workday is over, Rayz has all kinds of other design details that make using your iPhone way easier. AutoPause, for example, immediately pauses your music or podcast the second you pull your earbuds out, eliminating the need to fumble for buttons when someone needs to talk to you. And when you are enjoying whatever you’re listening to, Rayz offer the perfect mix of two outside noise-controlling technologies. Smart Noise Cancelling knows to block out particular annoying ambient sounds, like the clacks of someone on their keyboard or office fans. HearThru Mode, on the other hand, lets you pick up on the key noises that clue you into your environment and where you are. No more frustrated taps on the shoulders from coworkers who couldn’t get through your noise-blocking headphones.
The headphones also have a Hands-Free “Hey Siri” response, which lets you reach out to Siri without stopping what you’re doing, pulling your phone out of your pocket and awkwardly posing a question to the device in the palm of your hand. And, besides the typical pause and skip buttons most headphones have, a Smart Button is built into the cord, a button you can program to respond to any assortment of commands. A single tap can open an app, a double tap can pause music, and so on—whatever mix of responses you think will serve you best, which you can always customize and change in the Rayz app.
Speaking of the app, it also lets Rayz users tweak more than just what the Smart Button does. Other features like Smart Mute, Hands-Free Siri, and AutoPause can be controlled via Pioneer’s app, as well as the quality of the sound coming from the earbuds with a fine-tuning equalizer. All of the features update through the app, too, just like how Tesla provides feature-driven software updates as soon as drivers connect to their WiFi.
Rayz makes using your iPhone feel luxurious again. Remember how that felt, to use such an streamlined, multitasking device when you got your first iPhone? Some of that shine has faded over the years, in part because the ease of listening to music on Apple’s device—one of the core qualities that set their phone apart from others—has gotten lost in the shuffle of strange accoutrements and extra charging gear the process now requires. Rayz brings that efficient glamour back, all with two discrete, sleek pods to plug into your ears.
Disclaimer: Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with Pioneer Rayz, who sponsored this post. They help us keep the lights on, and Futurism may receive a commission from sales. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.