Bluetooth has long been the go to protocol when it comes to wirelessly transmitting tunes to a pair of headphones. After all, Bluetooth is built into smartphone, car stereos and a variety of other equipment – plus it is relatively low power compared to some other wireless protocols. But that isn’t to say we wouldn’t like to see an Airplay pair of headphones. And while that reality has yet to come, well, real, Koss is offering something comparable with their in-ear Striva TAP and over-ear Striva-Pro headphones.
These headphones utilize WiFi to deliver music, which should mean better sound quality, at least when compared to that of Bluetooth. Included in the purchase of each type of headphone is something called a CAP (content access point). It’s simply a wireless transmitter that can plug into any audio source that sports a 3.5mm headphone jack. So think iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, home stereo and others. Battery life concerns aside, you can listen to music up to 300 feet from the source, unlike Bluetooth which is limited to 30 meters with direct line of sight.
Alternatively, the Striva headphones can receive music directly from the Internet (i.e. your WiFi router), provided of course you’ve logged into Koss’ website and setup the service. Each model contains a small joystick that lets you cycle through your custom stations (think Pandora) or you can login from your computer or smartphone and choose your favorite stations from the list. Unfortunately, they don’t offer a Sonos like experience, but maybe that will come with time.
The Strive TAP headphones cost $500, while the Striva PRO cost $450.
FYI, apparently each model comes with a cord for tradition listening.