Long ago in the days of old, Constantly Calibrating ran a semi-weekly article series called Shut Up And Take Our Money, or SUATOM. You’ll have to trust me on this, as a series of database explosions in 2015 purged much of that from reality. That series was based on the idea of finding cool crowdfunding campaigns, or just product concepts, and then waxing on about them. Today I am here to do just that about an upcoming pair of headphones, the Mu6 Smart Noise Canceling Headphones. And with keeping in the spirit of Shut Up And Take Our Money, this article is likely going out with less than 48 hours in the campaign!
Tradition is good.
For clarity & transparency, neither myself or any other member of the Constantly Calibrating team has gone hands or ears on with Mu6 as of publication of this article. The product first came to my attention through an online demo offer, & potential review kit. In the future there will be a review, but for now, welcome to this little preview.
The Mu6 are bluetooth, noise cancelling headphones offering a 40mm dynamic driver, optimization features, 24 hours of batter life, a Smart Touch & Talk feature, a cool magnetic wireless charging stand, and more. At least that’s according to the Indiegogo page. From my time chatting with Mu6’s Co-Founder, Minming Gu, I came away surprisingly excited about the offerings of this headphone set. At least, surprisingly excited by my standards. While I wasn’t able to go hands on with the set myself, Skype is only so versatile after all, I got to see Minming’s passion & own excitement. By the end of my thirty or so minute demo, I knew I had to get myself a set to try, even if a review kit wasn’t offered.
What was it that hooked me? Honestly it was the versatility of the noise cancellation system, from ANC & Transparency Mode to the above-mentioned Smart Touch & Talk feature. With the former there are numerous settings that can be put into place, from blocking out most outside noise to allowing some sound in. You can even set Transparency Mode on, which makes it that you can hear your surroundings clearly as if you weren’t wearing headphones. This may seem like a contradictory feature for noise cancelling headphones, but it’s a great safety feature: Instead of pulling your headphones off to check your surroundings you can simply activate a feature and continue on your way.
The Smart Touch & Talk feature, on the other hand, is easily my favorite aspect of Mu6 & the initial point of interest for me.
If you’re listening to music with the noise cancellation on and need to have a quick conversation with others, you can simply cup the left ear-cup with your hand, temporarily lowering the sound of your music and naturally enlarging the volume of the person talking to you.
While a nifty feature in most aspects, my mind immediately went to how this would work for people with sensory issues. My oldest kid is on the spectrum & goes to a school with other kids with Autism. What I tend to see there, in some cases, is kids who wear headphones in an effort to block out overwhelming sensory issues. Now, what happens when someone needs to talk to this child? The kid has to either take the headphones off or at least partially lift them. This isn’t a one-to-one case by any means, but it happens. With Smart Touch & Talk it seems like the kid (or adult) could simply cup an ear and talk and hear normally, without need of totally overwhelming their senses. Perhaps I’m over-thinking things here, but at face value this seems really awesome!
Some features I’m hyped on here may be available on other higher end headphones, but honestly, I wouldn’t know. I can’t afford those headphones, and as such wouldn’t be able to consider them. The Mu6’s base price point on the other hand falls far closer to a reasonable amount, at least when compared to competitors.
All I know is that I’m excited to get one of these on my ears and to test it out in the world.