TCL’s new line of audio products includes heart-rate monitoring earphones

It monitors the ear’s blood flow to get an accurate reading

TCL is best known for making high-quality TVs more affordable, but the company has been moving fast to expand into the rest of consumer tech, developing their first 5G mobile phone and audio peripherals while, of course, still maintaining that ever-affordable price tag. At CES 2020, TCL revealed a number of new audio devices, including the Alto 9+ soundbar prototype, two new true wireless earbuds, and the ACTV200BT heart-rate monitoring headphones.

The new ACTV200BT heart-rate monitoring headphones move fitness tracking from the wrist to the ear. A non-contact, double sensor system called ActivHearts is integrated into the acoustic tube of the right earpiece, picking up heart rate and other fitness stats that can be passed along to other fitness apps. The ActivHearts technology works with infrared sensors that monitor blood flow in the ear, which helps provide an accurate heart rate reading.

Other features include passive noise isolation and an IPX4 rating, making it sweat- and splash-proof. The flexible earhooks help to keep the headphones secure during workouts, and you’ll get regular readouts during workouts.

Recently, the audio market’s been obsessed with true wireless headphones, so it only makes sense that TCL would also get in on the action. The SOCL500TWS and ACT500TWS feature custom oval acoustic tubes that have been tested and found to accommodate most ears. The design doesn’t only focus on comfort but will also allow a rich, high-quality sound by taking advantage of the ear’s shape.

The ACTV500TWS earbuds also come with Comply TrueGrip Pro cushioning, for more comfort and a more secure fit. As the more sporty option of the two, they also have an IPX7 rating, making them nearly waterproof, and come with a quick charging case that has an attached metal carabiner. The SOCL500TWS are your everyday option, but do have gold-plated contact points for protection against perspiration and an IPX4 rating, making them weather-resistant.

The ACTV500TWS earbuds have an impressive 33-hour battery life, and can churn out one hour of playtime with just 15 minutes of charge. The battery life of the SOCL500TWS is just a tad shorter, with up to 26 hours playtime.

TCL also showed off the Alto 9+ Soundbar, which features triple-channel speakers and wireless, mountable subwoofers. And, as with any good soundbar these days, it comes with Dolby Atmos audio processing technology for sharper, directional sound. The Alto 9+ is also certified as Roku TV Ready, meaning you should be able to simply plug it in to an HDMI ARC port and have the whole rig automatically configure itself with the touch of a button.

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