Pioneer Rayz: When Opportunity Knocks

Michael Tchong Innovation

Apple’s decision to remove the audio port from the iPhone 7 resulted in a public outcry of world-ending proportions. To some Apple aficionados, it was Armageddon meets invasion of the headphone port snatchers.

But as any creative individual will tell you, problems spell opportunity. And so Pioneer this week launched its Rayz headset that adds a Lightning port to its cable, letting iPhone 7 users to charge their phone while using the headset. The Rayz Plus model ($150; PDF) sports a Lightning port and snappy metallic finish, while a $100 Rayz model (PDF) dispenses with Lightning port and features an ordinary black finish.

I’ve been using the Rayz for more than a month now and it’s an outstanding headset. Not only does it do a great job with music and phone calls but the accompanying Rayz app is elegantly designed and fun to use. When you first plug your headset in, the app will calibrate it to your ear canals. A smiling emoji tells you when the personalized scan of your ears is done. The app also lets you control such settings as adaptive noise canceling, equalizer, HearThru, which lets you listen to ambient sounds, and auto pause, which pauses music when you take the earbuds out.

Besides excellent sound quality, the Rayz features first-rate packaging making it an accessory that matches Apple in look and feel.