Radio heads will love these Apple-approved iPhone headsets

Headphones with a radio

Blackloud has shipped a set of earbud headphones (called the Soundot AF1 FM Headset for iOS)

A lot of people still listen to radio, and they feel really disappointed that Apple has never made it easy for them to continue to do so as they beetle around town with their iPhones, going about their day – but an innovative product designer has made a solution radio lovers are going to love….

Earbuds with a built-in radio

That’s right. Blackloud has shipped a set of earbud headphones (called the Soundot AF1 FM Headset for iOS) that have a built-in FM radio receiver, controlled using an app on your iPhone.

They cost $79 and are available now.

The headphones integrate digital signal processing technology and promise lossless sound quality for the things you need to do – talking to Siri, taking a call, or listening to music. You’ll find a digital graphics equaliser and a range of useful presets to enhance music playback.

Radio app

Radio channels are controlled using an app

Better yet, these little contraptions are made under the Made for iPhone (MFi) scheme, which means they’ve passed Apple’s strict standards. And they use a lightning connector, rather than a dated legacy headphone jack.

Where is the radio?

The FM radio is hidden in the tiny control unit that sits on the cables and uses the headphone cables to pick up the FM signals. Listening to FM radio via the built-in chip uses no mobile data and saves battery life, the company claims. The 3-button controller switches between calls, Siri, apps and the tuner. There is also an inline microphone.

FM inside

FM inside: The FM radio is hidden inside the controller

The 5.4-ounce earbuds boast dual drivers (15mm woofer and 7mm tweeter) while the DSP provides a 6-band equalizer, music pre-sets, bass and treble adjustments and 3D surround sound.

Mr. Chih-Hsu Yen, executive vice president, Blackloud said: “Even without internet users can tune directly into FM radio to listen live and compression free to sports, music, weather and even emergency broadcasts.”

I think these are a clever solution that may be quite popular for millions of radio listeners with iPads or iPhones.


Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

3 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    Is it possible to hear the fm radio through the iphone speakers, while the cable of the earphones are pluged in?

    • Jonny Evans says:

      NO! Because once u have an audio output active by the port it will push audio out that way — the receiver is I believe software-controlled but it sits in the cable, which means the audio only gets sent out to your ears, not back to the iPhone, IYSWIM.

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