Noted gadget-liker Will.i.am has yet another new product for us: Bluetooth headphones with a preposterous name.
Called Buttons, these wireless headphones jam into your ears and have huge discs on the outside. It’s supposed to be fashionable, but like most Will.i.am designs, they just look ridiculous.
When Buttons aren’t jammed into your ears (and the press photos on the website look uncomfortable), they are designed to clasp together magnetically around your neck like a necklace. That would be cool if the resulting fusion actually looked like jewellery, but thanks to the volume and playback controls on the side, it just looks like headphones stuck together.
Buttons will be available in the Apple Store today and will sell for $349.95. They promise over six hours of battery life.
Buttons look nearly identical to the EPs i.am+ sold at the Apple Store earlier this year. Same rubbish “vinyl record inspired” design, same US price point, but now they come in rose gold and are backed by Naomi Campbell and Kendall Jenner. As a huge fan of both rose gold and Naomi Campbell (and a Kendall Jenner Instagram follower), not even those three things can save this from certain disaster.
But let’s reflect on Will.i.am’s disastrous history with gadgets for second. Back in 2012, he wanted to release the ugliest phone case known to mankind that supposedly also acted as an external camera. Then in 2015, he gifted us with the Puls smartwatch, which is genuinely one of the worst gadgets I’ve ever used. Seriously, it fit better around my ankle than it did my wrist.
And that smartwatch disaster wasn’t enough, Will.i.am came back with another one this year. And who could forget the time he decided to modify his Tesla? (Will.i.am also gave us Fergie. I’m conflicted about how I feel about this.)
This is all to say that, despite getting carried in the Apple Store, I can’t see Buttons gaining much traction.