After JBL debuted the Tour Pro 2 at IFA 2022, it seems like TWS earbuds with displays on their case are the next tech trend. The newly announced Voyager Free 60+ from Poly bucks the trend, with a touchscreen display built into it that lets you configure and control your listening experience, including being able to mute your mic. In true iPod fashion, the screen also lets you navigate podcasts and playlists while displaying the album art and info of currently-playing content.
Designer: Poly (HP)
The inclusion of a display seems like the natural course of progression for the TWS earbud. The iPod Shuffle was never really the more popular in the iPod series, but the Nano and Touch definitely held their own. The same would hold true for the TWS earbud moving forward. A screen helps you navigate content without taking your phone out. You can access features like playback controls, ANC, and mute features with the touchscreen display, while it constantly gives you information like song name, album art, and more actionable data like battery level. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes… although nothing’s really official till Apple does it.!
Even though both the JBL Tour Pro 2 and Poly Voyager Free 60+ have displays built into their cases, they differ primarily in their target audience. While the former is made for music, the latter focuses on connectivity and work. Given that Poly is now a subsidiary of HP, the TWS earbuds are targeted at the WFH crowd, offering productivity and connectivity, while still being a pretty darned good pair of TWS earbuds for music, podcast-listening, etc.
Dubbed as TWS Earbuds for Work and Life, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ comes equipped with ANC and a three-mic array to help cut noise on both the outgoing and receiving end. Touch-sensitive surfaces on the earbuds themselves, along with the touch display on the case let you mute calls, adjust volume, connect to external sources, and switch devices without dropping a call or what you’re doing. The touchscreen on the case presents you with information and lets you intuitively control your playback experience, and the earbuds are certified to work with all the latest meeting platforms, keeping even your IT department happy.
The Voyager Free 60+ lets you connect to two devices simultaneously, and alternate between them at will. The touchscreen charge case also includes a 3.5mm audio port, letting connect an external source to your buds, like an inflight entertainment system, and enjoy the movie without wires. The case doubles up as a Bluetooth transmitter, eliminating the need for a dongle or any other external device.
Each Poly Voyager Free 60+ ships with the touchscreen case, charging and aux cables, a USB transmitter (for your desktop), and swappable eartips for ergonomic comfort. The earbuds aren’t available yet, although the expected price is $299.