It's a familiar story: somewhere on the way to the party, you lost an earpiece. Meanwhile, elsewhere, a similar story of misfortune: your friend just left his phone in the taxi and now he can't tell you.
Trek 2000 (yes, the company best known for inventing the ThumbDrive) wants to save your night with its first foray into true wireless earbuds, Re-YTHM.
No, we don't know how you're supposed to say that name (Reethum? Re-Whythum?), but we do know that Trek's Re-YTHM headsets feature the new and improved "Drop and Alert" and "Proximity Alert" . collection systems. which, when used together, should help us all minimize the loss of our headphones and the source devices they're paired with.
What are functions for? Well, that's something not even the best true wireless earphones on the market have offered to date. Currently pending completion of patent filings, Drop Alert uses voice-activated notification through earbuds when a user drops one of their earbuds and displays bright, flashing LED lights on the missing earbud to help locate it (in a darkest street, for example, or if it just fell off the side of the sofa).
Proximity Alert, on the other hand, will issue an "out of range" voice notification through the earphones if the mobile devices connected to the earphones are separated by a short distance, ie. if your phone is still in the Uber you just got out of. With a range of up to 30 meters, the audio and visual assistance of this enhanced recovery feature (which uses the Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth LE protocol) should significantly help users avoid losing their devices and headsets.
Opinion: These recovery features are music to my easily distracted ears, and I hope Apple listens
Apple's Find My Asset tracking app, which will locate and play audio on a lost iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods, or compatible Beats headphones, is well-documented and certainly good enough, but if you don't activate Find Mi before it gets lost, forget it.
Also, if you want to see how far away your devices are from you, you need to make sure you enable precise location for the Find My app, which you may not always feel comfortable sharing.
What Trek offers here is something more urgent and more useful in the short term. I can't tell you all the difficult moments in life that I could recover if my lost earphone only turned on bright lights for me to quickly locate it. But here's one: At the 2021 Mercury Prize gala, I came out from under our prominent press table brandishing my errant headphones and yelling "Woohoo!" just as Mogwai passed by. He had missed his song. I can never change that.
You can tell when your headphones have gotten too far away from your phone because the music just stops. But how many times have you encountered Bluetooth drops that have nothing to do with the geographical distance of your device: dead batteries, pairing with the last known device, etc. If a helpful voice told me that the problem is the location of my iPhone, well, that could be a game changer.
Elsewhere anyway, the Re-YTHM earphones support dual-mode Bluetooth 5.2 (for near-instant device pairing and a rock-solid connection) and three distinct listening modes, including a dual-mode, cancel active noise and a transparency profile.
Each bud is also relatively light, at 6g (although check out Sony's LinkBuds S if you need smaller units) and the IPX5 water-resistance rating means they should be good for even the sweatiest of spin classes.
Re-YTHM also offers 8 hours of continuous music playback and 9 hours of talk time on a single charge, and the wireless charging case can be fully charged in just 1,5 hours to add another 28 hours of music playback and 31,5 .XNUMX hours talk time.
All of that, and they're only $59.90 (about $49 or AU$86). Interesting, especially when even Apple's cheapest AirPods (2019) are more than double the price and therefore doubly painful to lose...