Misfit is branching into a new product category: headphones. The company is known for making fitness trackers that are sleek and simple enough to be mistaken for jewelry (or at least not be easily identified as "tech products"), and now it's applying that logic to a new pair of Bluetooth earbuds called Specter.
They're very small and simple earbuds, and sit in the grooves of your ear rather than stick straight out. A standard set of three buttons (forward, back, play/pause) sits a few inches below one of those earbuds on the cord, which doesn't wrap around the back of your neck, like on other wireless earbuds. Instead, they hang asymmetrically from your ears, and you're meant to clip the squarish plastic puck that houses the Bluetooth radio, the accelerometer, and the battery, to your shirt or collar. The battery in that puck gives the headphones an 8- to 10-hour battery life.
Misfit's Specter earbuds have fitness tracking capabilities, but it's all very basic, limited to things like general activity and step counting. Misfit isn't even sure exactly how it will work, considering that all of the company's other products can stay on for weeks and months at a time. (Since this one will need to be recharged, you won't always be wearing it.) The Specter headphones can also sleep using that accelerometer, but you'd (obviously) have to wear them while you sleep, with the puck clipped to you as well. They are very low-profile earbuds, but you'd probably be better off with just about any other sleep tracker.
Misfit's been building other types of non-fitness functionality into its devices using the Misfit Link app. The Specter will be able to take advantage of this, too, thanks to a customizable function button on the puck. Misfit customers can use their hardware devices and the Link mobile app to trigger a number of different commands in the home with products like Philips Hue, Nest, and Spotify. And using the app IFTTT with Misfit means you can do a whole bunch of other stuff, too.
Misfit is claiming that the earbuds, while small, will feature excellent sound thanks to a partnership with 1More, a Chinese company that The Wall Street Journal called "China's answer to Beats." The company helped Misfit fit dual driver technology in the earbuds — but the version we saw was just a mockup, and we weren't able to test the sound or any of the fitness tracking.
The Misfit Specter will be available this spring, and will cost under $200. Specter is compatible with Misfit Link allowing users to connect with a variety of internet services, apps, and hardware.