Devialet, an audio firm backed by superstar rapper Jay-Z, debuted its Gemini wireless earbuds, a rival to Apple’s mega successful AirPods Pro, on Friday.
The premium $299 earbuds (making them $50 more than the $249 AirPods Pro) aim to appeal to the same high end of the market wowed by Devialet’s speakers, which can cost up to $3,000.
The earbuds offer “market-leading” noise cancellation technology. They also have the ability to respond to the movements of the wearer (a feature that sounds similar to the dynamic sound offered by the AirPods Pro.) There’s also up to eight hours of battery life and wireless charging.
“Two years ago, we were struggling to decide which product we would want to launch next,” Devialet CEO Franck Lebouchard told CNBC. “The reason why we made that decision on true wireless was really around offering a great sound experience to many people, not only audiophiles.”
The Gemini earbuds will ship November 25 in the United States, France, Germany, the U.K. and China. That means they should be available for the all-important holiday market.
New AirPods rival not Jay-Z’s first time going against Apple
This isn’t the first time Jay-Z has backed an Apple rival. The legendary Blueprint and Reasonable Doubt rapper is also one of the investors behind Tidal, the Apple Music rival. For a long time, Jay-Z’s music was available exclusively on Tidal. That has now changed (for the most part). With the exception of Reasonable Doubt, his acclaimed 1996 debut, all of Jay’s albums are currently available on Apple Music.
CNBC notes that the Jay-Z-backed Devialet has yet to turn a profit. However, given the phenomenal sales of Apple’s AirPods, it definitely seems to be entering the right market with its move into wireless earbuds. Even if positioning your product, price-wise, above Apple is certainly a bold choice.
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