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Circuit Breaker

Monster headphones now have a voice assistant you don’t need

You can tell it to do stuff your phone already does

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Photo: Monster

Monster, the company known for its ridiculously expensive HDMI cables, has teamed up with Speak Music to create a rather big, garish set of wireless headphones with a voice assistant called Melody (pun intended). The headphones come in black, grey, and a pinkish-bronze color, similar to the rumored new iPhone color The Verge dubbed “rug burn” last week. The headphone assistant can do a number of things — you can command it to access iHeartRadio, Spotify, TIDAL (soon), NPR news briefs, and local music stored on your iTunes account. You can also tell it to what music to play, ask for a particular song, artist, genre or playlist. The headphones are due out later this month, priced at $349.95, though three cheaper models will be available.

All this seems super superfluous though, because most people listen to music on their smartphones and can already ask a smartphone assistant like Siri to play songs; Monster’s only real perk here is that its assistant can handle requests to play albums, which Siri can only do for Apple Music. I doubt many people will want to fork out several hundred dollars for a set of headphones that do what your phone is already, for the better part, efficient at. Monster says Melody won’t rely on a Wi-Fi connection, and can use cellular data while you’re out and about thanks to its Bluetooth connection to the headphones.

I’m not sold. It obviously can’t do quite as much as other voice assistants because it doesn’t even mention what happens if I want pizza. Still, it brings us one step closer to falling in love with our headphones.