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JBL's Around-The-Neck Speaker is Great for VR

You might think you'd look silly wearing a horse-shoe shaped device around your neck, but the JBL Soundgear Bluetooth speaker is worth looking a little weird. The wearable isn't made for city streets, but it shines in other situations, such as playing virtual reality indoors, or hanging out in the backyard. 

Hands-on Impressions

I tried out the Soundgear while playing the Samsung Gear VR game Land's End, and the speakers emitted enough ambient noise to block out the background noise of a CES 2017 exhibition floor. I could hear tiny details such as waves crashing on far-away shores, and the tones of the beams of light that guide you on your way sounded strong.

Availability and Starting Pricing

On sale this summer, the Soundgear will cost $199.95.

Key Specs

Compatible with all Bluetooth devices including the Google Daydream View and Samsung Gear VR. Up to 6 hours of audio playtime.

Why You Should Care

The Soundgear is arguably better for VR than a pair of headphones. It's light enough that I forgot it was there, and felt more immersed in the game by removing the feeling and pressure of headphone cans on or around my ears.


Interested: the SoundGear might not be the kind of thing you'd wear in public, blasting your music at everyone as you walk down the street, but it's a great way to carry your tunes or game audio with you at home.