There's still a week to go until CES kicks off, but LG is getting the jump on its competitors when it comes to weird-ass gadgets. The company's latest announcement is the LG Tone Studio: a vibrating plastic neckband that blasts surround sound up at the wearer's ears and looks like a sci-fi horseshoe. At the same time, it's also shown off the LG Tone Free, a wireless set of neckbuds that can store and charge earbuds when you're not using them.
Of the two devices, the LG Tone Free makes a certain kind of sense, with the neck unit offering a convenient place to store pesky wireless earbuds to ensure they don't get lost, as well as providing vibrating alerts to incoming calls and texts. But previous LG neckbud models — yes, the company has a history with the concept — have emphasized fitness, including retractable wires that help keep track of your earbuds if they slip out during a particularly intense workout. With the wireless Tone Free, you're back to scrabbling around on the floor to find your lost buds when they pop out during a run.
The LG Tone Studio, however, is a symptom of a sci-fi future we never asked for. LG says the neckpiece, with its four speakers and vibrate function, offers "theater-like sound for a cinematic experience wherever you may be." That's fine if you're at home — although having to shackle yourself like a medieval thief whenever you want to watch a movie is a bit much — but what happens if people start wearing these things outside? Let's make a rule now: anyone caught using them on the subway should be forcibly removed by train staff post-haste.
LG has yet to provide pricing or release details for these latest entries in its Tone series, but plans to show them off at CES next week. One thing is clear, though: the company isn't giving up on your neck.