Contemplating whether or not to buy shoes that let you listen to beats with your feet may not have been a conundrum on music fans' 2020 bingo card, but here we are.
Thanks to DropLabs' new EP 01 shoes, an entirely new way of experiencing music is afoot. In something plucked out of a Black Mirror episode, the EP 01s connect to your music via Bluetooth to provide a thumping sound system under your feet, redefining the term "surround sound."
The phrase "sound system" is not an exaggeration since the shoes double as a legitimately powerful conduit of sound, able to be adjusted and amplified. Complete with tech specs, the sleek sneakers are controlled via the DropLabs mobile app, which acts as a controller to manipulate the numerous EQ settings and toggle between listening modes.
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The DropLabs app allows users to test the waters of five different listening modes called "filters." The company dubs the "Lush" filter as its go-to, as it offers optimal audio for the everyday wearer who is more of a sneakerhead than an audiophile. The "Velvet" filter is used for a thicker low end, while the "Bright" filter is for users who want more of a nuanced, symphonic listening experience.
The aptly-titled "Dramatic" filter is—for lack of a better term—a beast. Ideal for film-watching, it offers extraordinary clarity for a more immersive experience. For instance, if you're indulging in a Marvel film, watching a "Hulk Smash" will elicit a booming audial response as his fists pummel the pavement, followed by dwindling sensory ripples that slither down the arches of your feet. The filter also enhances the music of action scenes, which usually contain climactic orchestral music. Watching movies at home with your shoes on may have seemed like a pie-in-the-sky idea before, but not anymore.
The EP 01s are also fantastic for gamers. The shoebox arrives complete with safe-detach magnetic charge connectors and a splitter, which can be used to connect the shoes to gaming consoles. The app features a fifth filter called "Seismic" that DropLabs designed specifically for first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty: Warzone or Overwatch.
The EP 01 shoes are available for $299.00. DropLabs also offers a $25 per month payment plan. You can purchase your pair here.