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Panasonic collaborates with Final Fantasy creators for SC-GN01 wearable gaming speaker

Panasonic unveils SC-GN01 wearable gaming speaker
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic has unveiled its first gaming speaker wearable. The SC-GN01 is designed to be worn around the neck and promises "realistic surround sound" from four built-in, full-range speakers.

Like the company's HTB01 gaming soundbar, announced in January, Panasonic's new wearable speaker was designed in collaboration with Tokyo-based Square Enix, creators of the Final Fantasy games franchise.

As a result, gamers can choose from three game-specific audio modes. 'First-Person Shooter' provides "accurate audio location", so you can better hear enemies tiptoeing towards you; 'Voice' picks out human voices to boost the clarity of the dialogue; and 'Role-Playing Game' is optimised for playing Final Fantasy XIV Online.

Not much of a gamer? The SC-GN01 also has a Cinema mode, for those who prefer Gladiator to Grand Theft Auto, in addition to Music and Stereo modes. The 244g device appears to charge via USB, but Panasonic is yet to reveal how long it lasts on a single charge.

Instead, the tech titan points out that the SC-GN01 is comfortable enough to be worn on the shoulder for a long period of time, "without the sensation of pinching or overheating your ears that you get from a gaming headset".

You also get a built-in high-performance noise- and echo-cancelling dual microphone. With any luck, you'll be able to chat clearly with your friends online, even as the 4-watt speaker envelops your head in surround sound.

Panasonic isn't breaking new ground, of course; Sony unveiled a similar neck speaker a couple of years ago. The SRS-WS1 promises to give the user both the sound and the vibrations to make them feel like they’re in the game, film or concert that they’re watching on TV.

Panasonic's SC-GN01 gaming speaker system is due out in late September 2021 and will be exclusively available through Amazon for £160. It's compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

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Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.