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February 15, 2017

Pioneer’s Rayz Plus Lightning earbuds let you juice up your iPhone while listening

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you often find yourself pausing your music to charge your iPhone 7, these headphones will finally let you listen in peace.

When Apple released the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack, it was the end of an era. Like it or not, it’s doubtful the company will re-introduce the headphone jack in the future. Headphones with Lightning connectors are gaining in number, but many introduce another problem in that you cannot charge and listen at the same time. With its new Rayz Plus earphones, Pioneer lets you do both.

Pioneer’s Rayz line, announced on Wednesday, consists of two models: the Rayz and Rayz Plus. The models are similar when it comes to most features, but only the Rayz Plus offer the built-in Lightning port that enables charging while listening. Even so, both models do make use of the Lightning connector on iOS devices.

More: How to use the old headphones you love with the new iPhone 7

Both the Rayz and Rayz Plus make use of Avnera’s LightX platform, which the company says allows them to use the least possible power from iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. The company doesn’t go so far as to say if this means more or less power draw than Apple’s own Lightning EarPods, but the LightX platform does enable features that Pioneer says isn’t possible with a standard 3.5mm jack.

Each mode features six embedded microphones for a feature Pioneer calls Smart Noise Cancellation, which is supposed to scan your ear and optimize the cancellation for your ears and environment. These microphones can also detect when you’re wearing the earphones and when you’re not, allowing for smart pausing of playback when you take them off and resuming playback when you put them back on. This also causes the headphones to enter a low- power mode, saving you precious battery life.

A companion app, called Rayz by Pioneer, is available in the App Store and allows you to adjust the EQ as well as program the “smart button,” a feature available on both models. This button allows you to quickly and easy open apps without having to reach into your pocket for your phone.

More: Pioneer’s latest 2-channel receiver features hi-res audio, Chromecast

The Pioneer Rayz will be available in Onyx and Ice for $100, while the Rayz Plus come in graphite and bronze metallic finishes for $150. Neither model is available now, but Pioneer says that the earphones will be sold via OneCall. For more information on the new Rayz line, see the company’s website.

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