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OnVocal's Mix 360 falls short of changing how we listen to music

The bluetooth headset is a noble attempt, but fails to sufficiently alter the music listening experience

There are a number of companies trying to reinvent something here at CES, and OnVocal is no different. The Massachusetts-based company is attempting to reinvent the way we listen to music with its first device, the Mix 360. The company has been working on the Mix 360 for three years, attempting to create bluetooth headphones capable of allowing in ambient noise at will.

What OnVocal proposes is we shouldn't be forced to take our headphones off when we want to hear what's going on in our surroundings. The Mix 360 lets the user to create their own sound experience, allowing you to toggle the volume levels coming in from the music or call you may be on, the ambient noise around you, and your own voice. You can create sound presets, and change volume levels using buttons on the headset or in the Mix360 app, which is available on Android and iOS.

After listening in the invariably crowded space that is CES, you can notice alterations to the sounds around you when you toggle the ambient noise level, but the change isn't as dramatic as the company proclaims. You would still need to turn pause your music or phone call to clearly hear what others around you are saying in a crowded area. For $199 — a price which will rise to $349 after January — expectations are much higher than a slight modification to your listening experience. The Mix 360 will be available this summer.

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