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Montblanc unveils luxury ANC headphones and a seriously expensive Android watch

Known more for high-end pens than tech, iconic luxury brand Montblanc has just announced a duo of new gadgets. Both of which will require you to lay down some serious cash.

First off you’ve got the brand’s first attempt at a pair of ANC over-ear headphones in the form of the MB-01. These are all about luxury, with smooth ear cups, a padded leather band and the instantly recognisable Montblanc logo adorning the side. They’re a smart-looking pair of cans, though quite large and lacking a true standout design element.

Even though the design is clearly at the forefront, there’s a good hit of tech inside. Google Assistant has its own dedicated button, charging is via USB-C and, of course, there’s active noise cancellation for blocking out pesky sounds when you’re in the office or jetting off somewhere fancy. Battery life is said to be around 20 hours, Bluetooth 5.0 is here and there’s a mode to enhance background sound.

In terms of sound quality, Montblanc said it has developed a ‘Unique Sound Signature, exclusively designed by industry expert sound designer Alex Rosson.’ We’ll have to try these out for ourselves to see how they compare to our other best headphones. Without a history of audio, it seems like these might fall short of toppling rivals like the Bose NC 700s.

Along with these headphones, Montblanc has also announced a new WearOS watch with one key Apple Watch 5 feature – an in-built eSIM. This lets the Summit 2+ act as a standalone device, with all the setup done through the WearOS watch on your Android phone. It seems like this feature will only be available for Android users, rather than those with an iPhone.

The rest of the watch is very similar to the previous Summit 2 iteration. It’s a high-end wearable, with a lovely look and materials that have more in common with a proper mechanical watch than a techy wearable. Inside you’ve got the Snapdragon 3100 chipset, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage and a 440mAh battery that’ll hopefully get you through the day even if you’ve got all the features running.

Now for those all-important prices. The MB-01 headphones will be launching in March for $595, a price that’s far higher than much of the competition. We’re still waiting for pricing and availability details for the Summit 2+, although it will cost more than 1000 euros.

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