Review: A Hat That Doubles as Bluetooth Headphones from Atari

I usually review high-tech gadgets, so I was surprised when Atari Life wanted to send me a hat to review. I should have known better. The Speakerhat ($129.99) is indeed a high-tech gadget, disguised as a collectible baseball hat! It's available in a curved brim or Snapback style.

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They come in an assortment of designs, with the Atari logo in either full blown or subtle branding, depending on your style. I tried the Pong 45th-anniversary edition, which is about right. I was around seven when it came out and I remember staring in wonder at that simple but amazing game. We take modern games for granted but Atari put video gaming on the map and in our homes and inspired everything that followed. Atari is a brand most gamers and indeed most folks would be proud to be associated with, so it's logical that they release a line of fashion.

But I mentioned that the Speakerhat is a tech gadget. As the, thankfully, straightforward name suggests, it's a hat with built-in speakers! Two speakers are integrated into the brim, for left and right channels, hidden behind carbon-fiber-style woven fabric. The internal wiring runs along the interior, out of site, and ends at a microUSB port for charging and an optional headphone jack when you aren't using the built-in Bluetooth. There is a rubberized button, and display LED, subtly exposed behind one of the ears. Most folks will never know you have a speaker built in to your hat! Although, when you turn it on, the sound does get loud enough for your neighbors to hear. This is not a "cone of silence" so don't expect to watch a movie on your next flight without involving your seatmates.

Atari

Pros

  • Clever idea
  • Great authentic retro branding
  • Assorted styles
  • Integrated speakers in the brim, Bluetooth or headphone jack supported
  • Subtle controls

Cons

  • Priced like a collectible

Final Verdict

The Speakerhat is a clever, useful gadget on its own; but the Atari branding makes it into a true collectible, and it's priced like one. But that does mean it's exclusive!

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.