In 2020, you can’t call yourself a true tech firm unless you offer a pair of wireless headphones. As the German wizards of writing instruments Montblanc have already discovered, the transition from an ancient craft to the demands of the modern era can be achieved seamlessly. The company’s Augmented Paper writing system and Summit 2 smartwatch are both elegant solutions that bridge the analogue and digital realms.

With its new Smart Headphones, Montblanc has completed this journey. ‘We’re always looking at creating products for the luxury business traveller,’ says Dr Felix Obschonka, Montblanc’s head of new technology, ‘what’s exciting about the headphones is that they make us a fully-fledged travel experience brand.’

The new Smart Headphones combine contemporary technology with Montblanc’s century-old skill base. ‘A lot of our experience in materials and craftsmanship has gone into the design of these headphones,’ says Dr Obschonka, pointing out the soft, fine leather used on the headband and ear cushions and metal sourced from the same suppliers as the company’s peerless writing instruments. ‘We have materials’ experience,’ Dr Obschonka says modestly. ‘For example, we have decades of experience with leather and how to make it feel comfortable.’ Three finishes complete the set, including black leather with chrome, brown leather with gold-coloured metal and light grey leather with polished metal. 

Light, foldable and with straightforward Bluetooth connectivity and active noise-cancelling, Montblanc’s Smart Headphones are tailor-made for travelling. The other department the headphones excel is ease of use. ‘Sound quality is important, for sure, but lightness is also very important,’ he explains, ‘even though we’re using metal and leather they’re only 270g so you won’t feel them on your head. It’s all about the long-haul travel experience.’ With acoustics tuned by Alex Rosson of Rosson Audio Design, and Google Assistant as standard for voice-activated commands and information, Montblanc’s new Smart Headphones are a welcome addition to an enduringly timeless product portfolio. §