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Zungle’s Viper 2.0 is redemption for bone-conduction headphones

I’ve always been a proponent of new technology, but if you’ve read my previous pieces on bone-conduction headphones, you’ll know that I’m a skeptic. The technology has a long way to go before it can replace the airpods in your ear. The earphones I’ve tried before made great promises, but failed to deliver, with expensive price tags and an audio that clearly didn’t match up to the hype. Bone conduction earphones are messy, tinny (with a very higher-frequency-focused sound), and often don’t even align with the bones in front of our ears because they’re designed as regular headphones, when they should be designed completely differently from the bottom up.

That’s where Zungle sparked my interest. Adding bone-conducting headphones to eyewear seemed like an innovative strategy, because on paper, it made sense. Headphones come undone and slip out of place, but spectacles barely budge from their position. Spectacles are also a much more covert way to listen to your music without having everyone know, and besides, the wayfarer styling looks rather cool. People with prescription glasses can easily get their powered lenses fitted into Zungle’s bone-conducting musical spectacles.

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With its cool-boy wayfarer styling, the Viper 2.0 from Zungle is a complete looker. As far as the aesthetics go, there’s little to complain about, with its reliable build quality, mercury-mirror lens coating, and impressively lightweight design. The sunglasses come with the bone-conducting earpieces that rest rather reliably against your sideburns, delivering audio to you through your temple-bones, allowing you to hear music as well as ambient sounds around you. Given the way the earpieces are integrated into spectacles, they A. seldom slip out of place, and B. don’t need a manual to teach you how to wear them (a problem most newbies face with bone-conducting earphones, oftentimes placing the earpieces INSIDE their ears instead of in front of them). The audio quality seems to be remarkably better than other earphones I’ve tried out, which can only be a good thing, although the low-end frequencies are still weak because of the technology’s constraints as well as the fact that you’re also listening to a lot of ambient noise around you.

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While, like I said earlier, bone-conduction has a long way to go before it replaces those airpods people wear, Zungle’s Viper 2.0 is capable of functionally matching up to them. Right near the hinge you’ve got controls that let you toggle playback as well as volume, but Viper 2.0’s pièce de résistance is its Voice A.I. button that lets it trigger Siri or Google Now right in your spectacles, allowing you to use voice search from your sunglasses (#SiriInYourSunglasses), while an in-built microphone picks up your voice commands, seamlessly letting you talk to your phone’s native AI the way you would with your smart wireless earbuds. In-built Bluetooth 5.0 helps the sunglasses connect and communicate rather swiftly with your phone, so there’s absolutely no lag or any chance of your device getting disconnected.

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The Viper 2.0 comes with proprietary chargers that fit on the ends of the sunglasses (they use rather classy contact-points rather than the plebeian MicroUSB solution) and boast of a battery life of 4 hours. A probably under-appreciated detail is the charging accessory that can attach to your spectacles rather comfortably even while you’re wearing them, sitting around the back of your head, obscured from view.

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Aside from surreptitiously listening to music while traveling, or at the beach (the Viper 2.0 is sweat-resistant), the Viper with its Voice AI triggering switch quite easily replaces the need to wear your airpods (or android earbuds) and your sunglasses separately. The audio quality is well suited for mid and high-frequency audio, working rather well with human voices (simply perfect for podcasts and audiobooks), although one must solemnly swear to never walk into an exam wearing these! The Viper 2.0 also makes a great case for navigation, making it perfect for wearing while riding a two-wheeler and having audio navigation from your maps app narrated to you. The obvious pro there is that not only can you hear cars and other vehicles around you, but you also don’t have to look away from the road and down at a mobile display for guidance… and you can turn the Zungle Viper 2.0 into a makeshift boombox too, by simply placing its bone-conducting modules against materials like boxes or containers, allowing it to work like a rudimentary echo chamber. Let me know when your truly wireless earbuds (or your sunglasses) are capable of being this fashionable, functional, or multi-purpose!

Designer: Zungle

Click Here to Buy Now (YD Readers get a $10 discount using the Coupon Code: 10off)

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Click Here to Buy Now (YD Readers get a $10 discount using the Coupon Code: 10off)