For some of us, headphones or earphones (along with smartphones, of course) are some of the most important devices of our lives. That is doubly true if you are an introvert or just someone who hates making idle chatter. Meet Prélude, the first standalone, intelligent headphones for audiophiles developed by a European startup, Debussy.
So how do they work?
Prélude essentially are headphones with a micro-computer and 4G/WiFi capability at heart. This allows users to download and stream high-quality music from popular sources like Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, and Spotify. You can also save your favorite songs and music tracks to the internal storage if Spotify is not your thing. To control it all, there is a display on one of the ear cups to make for a fluid interface.
The Best Quality Sound at all Costs
The headphones include an onboard micro-processor and a digital signal processor (DSP) that promise the best audio quality regardless of where you are. The entire audio chain is integrated into the headphones which accurately restores the original recording for exceptional, high fidelity sound quality. Having the control over the entire sound chain means that the headphones are picking only the best dedicated components that are optimized between each other.
Furthermore, calculation resources inside the headphones allow users to operate pure digital sound treatment, including a correction of the micro-imperfections that come with every electronic and acoustic design.
A Smart Interface
One of the things that set the Prélude apart is the touch screen integrated onto one of the ear cups. You can change the tracks and the volume with just a swipe. The customization options also allow you to change the display to the album cover or a personal message.
Like many PAs such as Google and Alexa, voice controls are also available that make it possible to control the device (including turning it on, switching tracks and volume control) using simple voice commands. Companion apps for smartphones will also be available.
- 20 hour-battery in connected mode
- 32 or 64GB flash memory card internal storage
- 4G capabilities
- Available in brown, black, or white
- Available in “mini” or standard size
- July 2017: Company founded
- October 2017: First funding of one million euros
- December 2017: First prototype with audio developed
- September 4, 2018: Kickstarter launch for Prélude
- Q4 2019: Projected delivery date
All in all, the Prélude looks like one hell of a device especially if you are an audiophile. Smartphones often heat up or sometimes the battery just gives up on you when you need it. Simple MP3s or MP4s often lack the capability to stream audio from online services, and even those that have it need separate headphones. The Prélude is the perfect replacement. We’re definitely looking forward to these, so expect a hands-on review soon enough.