4 January 2016 — Digital Trends

Twitter backs smart headphones startup with first-ever hardware investment

Muzik-Headphones-lmainfront2

Twitter has made its fair share of high-profile digital acquisitions in the past, among them Vine and Periscope. Now at CES, it has revealed its first-ever hardware investment, which sees it backing a connected headphones startup.

Muzik is a fledgling manufacturer that is aiming to take on the big guns with the release of its high-end set of connected headphones in May, reports Re/code. The over-the-ear style headphones will cost around $299 in a bid to position them as Beats competitors. They will be followed by an in-ear product later this year, which is predicted to ship at $199.

Muzik’s defining characteristics are its smart set-up and social media integration. Aside from boasting wireless touch controls, the company’s Muzik Convertible headphones allow the listener to share audio content to social media sites. Twitter’s undisclosed deal (which forms part of the $18 million Muzik has managed to rustle up from investors thus far) will see it integrated directly into the product. However, the deal does not mean Twitter will be Muzik’s exclusive social media platform. The company’s website notes that users can also share audio to Facebook too.

For the full Muzik experience, customers can download the Muzik iOS app, allowing them to sync the headphones with their iPhone and customise the product’s controls. Remaining on the topic of apps, Muzik’s major obstacle will come in the form of the sharing abilities already offered by other streaming apps, such as Apple Music and Spotify.

As the most discussed topic on its platform, music remains a big draw for Twitter despite the competition. Additionally, Muzik CEO Jason Hardi’s strong industry ties, which include Drake (who currently operates his own popular Apple Music radio station, OVO Sound Radio) and Questlove, may have been a deal maker.

Twitter is set to include Muzik products within its display at CES later this week.


View Original Article