Companies are still trying to make neck speakers exist. However, people must be buying them because Panasonic is launching a new one: the GNW10 SoundSlayer, a wireless neck speaker with AI voice isolation (which it confusingly calls “AI voice control”) for phone calls and in-game voice chat. The SoundSlayer costs $299 and will be available at the end of October this year.
This is essentially an updated version of the wired SoundSlayer neck speaker that Panasonic launched two years ago. The biggest change is that the new SoundSlayer employs a small transmitter that plugs into your console or PC and sends audio over a proprietary 2.4GHz wireless protocol that Panasonic says is good for less than 20ms latency. That’s less than you’d normally see with Bluetooth audio, which can be delayed by hundreds of milliseconds, so the sound should be more immediate. This can be crucial, for example, in a first-person shooter game.
The other main feature is what Panasonic calls “AI voice control” (a confusing name for its beamforming noise cancellation capabilities, since you can’t actually control the speaker with your voice). The wired SoundSlayer also has noise cancellation, but Panasonic says the new product will leverage AI to better eliminate background noise and echo during calls. Whether it actually does a better job remains to be seen until it reaches the public.
The new SoundSlayer also has a 60 percent larger enclosure than its predecessor, which the company says will improve bass.
Like its predecessor, this SoundSlayer model has four speakers and six sound modes for different scenarios, including three different game modes for role-playing games, first-person shooters, and dialogue-heavy titles.
Panasonic says it “identified points of fatigue and discomfort” commonly shared by neck-worn devices and designed the SoundSlayer not to “load” the trapezius muscles, the muscles that run from the neck to the shoulders and down to a point. in the middle of your back or dig into your collarbone bones.
Similar wireless neck speakers include the Bose SoundWear Companion, which is no longer in production, and which The edgeThe review called it fun, if often impractical, and Sony’s Bravia XR-centric neck speaker.