Best List: These ‘social’ headphones let you share your music [Review]


Wearhaus Arc Headphones
The Wearhaus Arc headphones are the first 'social' headphones that allow music sharing between headsets.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: Wearhaus’ Arc ‘social’ headphones

Wearing headphones tends to cut you off from the world, but Wearhaus’ Arc headphones are more sociable.

The wireless Arc headphones allow multiple headsets to stream audio from the same source. Think silent disco, watching a movie together, or sharing tunes with your BFF.

Powered by the latest Bluetooth 4.0, the Arc headphones claim to the first wireless headphones that allow sharing. Connected through the complementary Wearhaus app, the headphones let you introduce friends to new music, or help you discover music from people around you — assuming they’re also listening through Arc headphones.

Sharing works by through Wearhaus Arc app, free on the App Store. The broadcaster sets up a “station” in the app — it can be music, a movie, or any other source — and the listener joins by double-tapping the side of their Arc headphones. It’s simple and easy.

Can to Can

Developed at PCH International’s Highway1 hardware incubator after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Arc headphones have been on the market for a few weeks. They’ve already received a couple of firmware updates, which add new features like bass boost and cinema surround-sound mode.

The headphones are on-ear. There are touch controls on the side, and a large light ring around the cups that can be customized via the app. You can change colors, enable pulsing mode, or match colors to album artwork, and more.

The Arcs are based on 40mm dual-diaphragm neodymium drivers, which Wearhaus says are equivalent to many $400 studio-quality headphones. There’s a built-in mic for taking calls, and a 3.5mm audio jack for wired listening. The battery is rated for about 15 hours of playback.

Wireless music sharing is a neat idea, and something that should be more widely availbale. Imagine if all wireless headphones had this capability. For now, it’s limited to Arc’s cans.

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Wearhaus provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See Cult of Mac’s reviews policy and check out more stuff we recommend in our Best List reviews.