New FM receiver headsets

Jon Lawson

Blackloud, working with design partners Tempo Semiconductor and Silicon Labs are launching Soundot AF1 (for iPhones and iPads using the Lightning interface) and CF1 (for devices with USB-C/USB Micro interfaces). 

With dedicated iOS and Android apps and its own FM reception chip, the headsets provide premium lossless sound quality for everyday listening, but also free access to FM radio anywhere in the world, even if the smartphone lacks an embedded FM chip or has one that isn’t activated, or if the user is without Internet (Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE) connectivity.

Listening to FM radio using an FM chip embedded in a phone or in these new headsets, instead of over the internet, saves valuable mobile data and battery life. Further, in times of crisis when cell towers fail and/or networks are overloaded, FM radio can be a lifeline to emergency information.

The headsets feature patented psychoacoustic technology, a six-band customisable graphic equaliser, 3D stereo effect, dual dynamic driver design, inline microphone, and a control box with a volume up (+), volume down (-) and multifunction (pause/play) button. This multifunction button enables many actions depending on the app that is running, including: answer / hang up a phone / video call, start / stop recording or playback using most any audio / video / camera app, enable / disable / seek up / down the FM tuner, and lastly, activate Siri or Google Assistant.

The accompanying apps let users control the digital FM tuner (seek previous / next, tune to exact station, save any station to one of six presets) and adjust DSP settings (six-band graphic equaliser, psychoacoustic bass and treble enhancements, 3D sound effects) to user preferences.