An Atari Speakerhat is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a hat, with speakers, from Atari. Who’d of thought?
But wait, you protest, doesn’t Atari make video games? Indeed they do, and they have no plans of stopping. Atari Life is a dedicated part of the company that develops wearable tech and their first product is, you guessed it—the Atari Speakerhat. It just so happens I got my hands on one.
All Atari Speakerhats are just $99 through Cyber Monday (11/27/17). I highly recommend them, and here’s why:
Old School Meets New School
If you’re like me, you grew up on Atari, Nintendo and whatever was at the local arcade. Even if you’re a young whippersnapper, the fact that you’re on this website means you’re probably a gamer and appreciate new tech. While Bluetooth isn’t new, the Atari Speakerhat is a new way to rock it—all while looking far less douchy than that dude with an earbud bragging loudly about himself non-stop in the middle of a restaurant. We’ve all seen that guy. Don’t be that guy.
Four Styles, One Easy Button
The Atari Speakerhat comes in four styles—Fuji Blackout, Royal Blue/White, Black/White and Limited-Edition Blade Runner 2049. I received the Blade Runner 2049 edition but from what I understand, the functionality is the same across the board.
When I first heard about these things, I thought it was a fun idea, but was pleasantly surprised at just how fun they are to use. The hat connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth. It paired quickly right out of the box and one button does it all. Pair it as you would any other Bluetooth device.
There are two speakers and a discreet microphone under the visor. Once the hat was connected to my Android phone, I was able to play any sound through it. The microphone is surprisingly clear, as well—my husband called me to test it and could hear me just fine without my having to yell—although you do need to enunciate since the microphone is in the visor and not next to your mouth.
As for the sound, it’s actually decent. You’re not going to get crazy bass or low-end frequencies, but I can hear bass lines and songs don’t come through sounding cheap and tinny as with most portable speakers.
The button on the side of your hat controls everything. It will pause and play music, as well as answer and hang up phone calls. The hat switches between functions with no problems. I like how the button clicks neatly and easily. You don’t have to mash it and it’s not too sensitive, either. It feels like high-quality construction that won’t break easily.
Stylish, Yet Considerate
“But HB! If I blast my music and phone calls through my hat wherever I go, won’t I be that guy?”
Fear not, for there is also a headphone jack, although it’s 2.5 mm which seems a little harder to come by these days. I’m sure that was a decision based on weight and size so the hat doesn’t have a gigantic box sticking out the side. However, not everyone has that size of headphones just lying around. Luckily, my husband and I still had a pair from back when all cell phones used 2.5 mm. (Yes, I’m old, shut up.) You kids can buy them online.
I tested phone calls and music through the headphones and it sounds great. No static, the plug is solid and hidden on the inside of the hat along with the charging port. For being portable, it’s a really sleek and solid design. All the hardware is hidden so it just looks like you’re wearing a cool hat. The blinking blue light is the only thing that gives it away.
You’ll pardon me (thank me?) for not posting photos of me wearing the hat, as I’m not all that photogenic. Pretty people like iJustine have been rocking their Atari Speakerhats online, though, if you want to see what they look like.
Overall – 4.5/5
The only reason I don’t give these a perfect score is because I think Atari Life could offer more value just by including some cheap 2.5 mm headphones in the package. I was lucky because I’m old, haha, but after paying $100 or more for a hat, a customer might be disappointed having to make yet another purchase—even one less than $10—just to use that function.
I really like the Blade Runner 2049 edition and fell in love with it as soon as I got the press release. The other designs are really cool too, though and finding just the right Atari Speakerhat will come down to personal preference. The Kanji design on my Speakerhat is slick and cyberpunk. The hat itself is really soft and the embroidery is high-quality and brightly colored. It looks exactly like the photos and works like a dream.
The Atari Speakerhat is $99 for a limited time and normally priced at $129 ($139 for Blade Runner 2049 edition).