New Rayz Lightning Earphones from Pioneer with Truly Smart Features

March 2 2017, 03:00
During Mobile World Congress 2017, in Barcelona, Pioneer Home Entertainment U.S.A introduced the innovative Rayz and Rayz Plus earphones. Rayz and Rayz Plus blend the intelligence of an iOS app with Lightning connectivity to deliver completely new experiences not possible through the 3.5mm headphone jack. Plus, they are well designed products that will easily please the more demanding users, featuring a very light construction and active noise cancelation to start with.

Basically, these are the first earphones we’ve seen in the market that truly leverage the potential of Apple’s Lightning connector to create a truly “smart” earphone that users can depend upon for daily use and long periods of time. They are powered directly by iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, meaning no additional batteries are required. The Rayz Plus model is also the first and only Lightning headset with a sleek in-line charging node to simultaneously charge iPhone, iPad or iPod touch while the earphones are connected and in use.

Rayz and Rayz Plus are based on Avnera’s breakthrough LightX Analog System-on-Chip (ASoC) platform that enables the earphones to operate in modes with the lowest power use possible from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and provides a universal platform for Bluetooth, Lightning and USB-C headsets, with smart features like Active Noise Cancellation with low power consumption. The LightX platform also plays host to multiple smart features making the Rayz earphone line the ultimate iPhone companion.

Despite its small size, each Rayz model contains six microphones which enable several key first-to-market features. To start, Smart Noise Cancellation, a standard feature for both models, is a patented technology that scans the user’s ear and optimizes the noise-cancelling performance uniquely to each ear and environment. In addition, while other noise cancelling products focus on noise for frequent flyers, Rayz delivers exceptional noise cancellation across the entire noise spectrum of everyday life - from commuting, to work, or play and school environments. Rayz also has a HearThru mode which lets in just the right amount of outside noise so users can stay in touch with their surroundings without taking earphones off.

Next, Rayz and Rayz Plus use the embedded microphones to implement sensor-less on-ear detection where the earphones know when they are in or out of the ear and automatically pause and restart content when removed and placed back in the ear. Rayz smartly enters a low power mode and saves users from accidental battery use if the user doesn’t put the earphones back on.

Using a combination of the 6 microphones and multi-mic voice processing makes phone calls using Rayz just better, and easier with the smart button. Rayz are the only Lightning earphones to support a one-button click to mute the mics during a call. The programmable smart button also allows simple access to open apps and to control the advanced features of Rayz.

Finally, an integral part of the Rayz experience is the companion app, available on the App Store. The Rayz by Pioneer app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch enables users to personalize the earphone’s settings like adjusting audio EQ and programming the smart button. Most importantly, the app creates the ability for Rayz earphones to continually improve with the delivery of new features via the software update interface.

“Pioneer and Onkyo have been driving first-to-market innovations in audio over the last few decades. We are delighted to partner with Avnera to bring to market the world’s first truly smart Lightning earphones” says Munenori Otsuki, CEO of Onkyo Corporation.

“We worked closely with Pioneer to deliver compelling smart user experiences without compromising battery life, product size or performance,” says Manpreet Khaira, CEO of Avnera Corporation. “This is made possible by the breakthrough innovations in audio, voice, speech and sensor circuits in Avnera's new LightX Platform that is the basis of Apple’s second generation Lightning audio module technology”.

The Rayz earphones are offered in Onyx and Ice and Rayz Plus is available in Graphite and Bronze metallic finishes and will be available with suggested retail prices of $149.95 (Rayz Plus), $99.95 (Rayz).

Headquartered in Long Beach, CA, Pioneer Home Entertainment U.S.A. designs home entertainment products under the Pioneer and Elite brands for Pioneer & Onkyo U.S.A. RAYZ and HearThru are trademarks of Appcessori Corp. from Portland, OR.
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