When Max Wu came up with the idea of Vinci, a pair of smart headphones that had a fully functional Android operating system built-in, he “envisioned a computer that sits on your head.”
And the co-founder of the Beijing-based Inspero Inc. built and released just that last year: a set of bulky headphones that almost looked like it was sitting on the user’s head. While many reviewers — including myself — praised Vinci’s ability to stream music and offer AI voice assistant all without the need to tether to a phone, almost all of us found the device too big and cumbersome.
Wu noticed the consensus: “For the follow-up, it was important for us to shrink the form factor from the original.”
The sequel, named Vinci 2.0, is here. And it weighs 84 grams, a big drop from the 260 grams of the original. That’s because, as you can see from the image above, the 2.0s are earbuds instead of headphones. But despite shredding so much physical size, the 2.0 keeps every feature of the original plus offers a few more.
This means it is still a fully self-contained all-in-one headset. It can, as mentioned earlier, stream music from Spotify, Amazon or Soundcloud; track your heart rate and runs; offer not one but two voice assistants (Amazon’s Alexa, plus Inspero’s own Vinci) to do things like map search and navigation. And new this year is the active noise cancellation and use of bone conduction microphones which directs user voice commands to the Vinci in a more clear acoustic path.