As the performance of Bluetooth technology and battery life continue to improve, many traditional audio-visual brands have begun to enter the wireless in-ear headset market. The 65-year-old Japanese brand, ONKYO, announced their prototype W800BT earbuds at the IFA Berlin electronics consumer show last year. After six months of careful tuning, ONKYO has finally pushed their W800BT into the market, becoming the first manufacturer to release totally wire-free in-ear headphones globally.
For the earbud headset to retain ONKYO’s traditional pure sound, the design team created a 20mm diameter frame that provided sufficient space for the 8.6mm power unit to perform. This design allowed the headphones retain the most musical detail and reach a balance in all of the low, medium and high frequencies. The W800BT’s design refers to ONKYO’s series of amplifiers. For example, the headset’s frame was inspired by the volume knob on the amplifier series, while the body of the headset exhibits the same glossy black enamel. Together with the iconic red trim, the W800BT references nearly all of ONKYO’s classic designs.
The biggest challenge in making a wireless in-ear headset is controlling radio interference. Since the headset needs to receive incoming Bluetooth audio, which is simultaneously sent to the headphones, these two processes can easily interfere with each other, especially with the W800BT’s diameter of only 20mm. For this reason, ONKYO engineers redesigned the signal antenna, which was deliberately tested with massive radio wave interference, to find the best location for antenna placement. Benefitting from the latest Bluetooth 4.1 system, not only is the connection faster but the signal interference while using 4G devices is also greatly reduced. With this stable signal connection, the W800BT provides up to 40 hours standby and 3 hours continuous playback capability. Finally, the headset comes with a complimentary protective case with a built-in battery providing enough extra power for standby and continuous playing times to be increased fivefold!