Perhaps in a few years hence, fewer people will recall that the palm is more than just a bodily component. While the company still has at least one mobile device, it no longer has the same clout as it once did, particularly when compared to former rival BlackBerry. Palm has been teasing a new product that will be coming under its name, with not-so-subtle hints as to what it will be under TCL’s management. The Palm Buds Pro, which is too simple to nickname the black AirPods Pro, has finally emerged from the shadows.
The AirPods’ once-panned design has, predictably, become the gold standard for others to follow. Other vendors, of course, have the opportunity to provide something that Apple’s AirPods do not: a color option. On the other hand, Palm tries to deflect attention away from the relationship by mentioning designers who have worked with Samsung and Beats by Dre in the past.
Fortunately, the Palm Buds Pro is more than simply a fashion statement. It has Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC, which is a feature featured in more expensive headphones. This is partly because there are six microphones (three per bud) to deal with ambient noise, especially during calls. The buds’ 10mm dynamic drivers are said to offer studio-quality music and their ergonomic design and IPX4 rating promise that they will stay put even during a sweaty workout.
The Palm Buds Pro may link to your favorite virtual assistant in addition to providing audio. A triple-tap on an Android or iOS phone will activate Google Assistant or Siri, depending on the phone. Although the six-hour battery life may be an issue for some, the case provides three more charges for a total of 24 hours.
It’s pricing, at least for the time being, is its selling point. The Palm Buds Pro is ordinarily $129, but with the pre-order discount, it will only cost $99. If you simply want your buds to be black, silicone casings are also available for $14.99.