To be clear, the EP 01 do not radiate color like the image illustrates. | Image: DropLabs
DropLabs has a new upgraded version of its Bluetooth shoes that rumble your feet with bass, which is not only a product that exists, but they’re apparently popular enough to warrant a second-generation model.
They’re now available in a “triple black” color variant, support dynamic tuning for content, and offer an in-app LED color wheel to let you control the lighting on the rear of each shoe (you know, so people can really tell that you’re wearing smart shoes). The company is also promising some “Easter eggs” that it doesn’t even spoil in its press release.
Shoes are usually just outside our zone for coverage, but these aren’t just any shoes. The DropLaps shoes — originally released last year — can connect to your phone via Bluetooth to provide vibrations in time with music or whatever other content you’re enjoying, like a movie or game. I don’t know if these really amp up the sense of presence like you’re at a concert or theater because I haven’t tried them, but I’m already sole’d.
The $299 EP 01 were previously only sold in what the company calls a “classic” color variant, which was all black aside from a small white horizontal strip separating the fabric from the sole. It’s not the most fashionable, depending on who you ask. On the other hand, the new black color announced today could definitely help them pass as everyday shoes.
These shoes have tech specs. Each shoe has up to six hours of battery life, and the included charger magnetically attaches to the back of them to recharge. DropLabs has both iOS and Android apps that allow you to toggle the bass intensity. The shoes can also be put into an “ultra low latency” mode for gaming. Inside the box, DropLabs includes a cable splitter, so you can hook up a gaming headset that outputs to a 3.5mm male plug.
The big question with the EP 01 is whether they work as intended. After all, $299 is a lot for shoes, especially ones that you need to charge every six or so hours of use. Not just that, but if there’s any lag in the bass, they’d be a pointless purchase.