Chinese Watch Brand Suunto Enters Bone Conduction Headphone Market After Struggling With Smart Watches
Suunto, the smartwatch brand that is now owned by Chinese Company Dongguan Liesheng Electronic Technology, is having a crack at trying to sell bone conduction headphones after botching sales of their watches in Australia that are being discounted out at Costco after mainstream CE retailers dropped the brand.
The Companies new Suunto Wing audio offering is an attempt to take on market leader Shokz who recently took over distribution of their own products in Australia.
Suunto started life as a Finish Company who products were being sold in JB Hi Fi before being dropped because of poor sales.
They were then acquired by a Chinese Company who failed to deliver in Country support and were more interested in cutting costs according to insiders than investing in the product.
Also gone is Damiene Commane who is still listing himself on his LinkedIn page as Country Manager for Suunto in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan despite having left the business over six months ago.
At One stage Commane stood as a MP for Pauline Hansons One Nation political party.
Bone conduction that sends vibrations directly to the wearer’s inner ear via the cheekbones, bypassing the eardrum is proving extremely popular in Australia with thousands of consumers dumping their tin ear buds for bone conduction headphones.
That’s because it’s seen as being safer and more practical to listen to music or take calls when out running or cycling or when moving around an office.
The new Suunto headphones come with IP67 certification with the Company trying to go after the same sports market who use to buy their smartwatches.
They aren’t fully waterproof, but they do stand up to extreme temperatures from -20°C up to 60°C which will appeal to extreme sports enthusiasts.
For a long time now, Shokz (formerly Aftershokz) has been a leader in bone conduction headphone technology.
Their technology is used by the US military and their Seal teams because it allows them to hear things around them while also getting comms.
Pricing or the new Suunto headphones has not been announced for the Australian market, but they are expected to be around $399.