At first glance, the Star Trek: The Next Generation: 30th Anniversary Edition Bluetooth Communicator Badge looks like a fun addition to your Trek cosplay. After engaging in it, though, you learn it’s so much more than just a prop, it’s a working speaker that lets you feel like you are a member of the Enterprise crew.
The combadge gives you access to your voice assistant (like Siri) as well as hands-free access to the apps and features of your phone that allow for it, such as texting, e-mail, and phone calls. To add to the authenticity, the classic TNG “chirp” sound effect accompanies incoming calls and pressing the button.
- Magnetic backplate
- Screen accurate colors
- Play or Pause music/audiobooks with the push of the badge
- Two hours of constant usage or 48 hours in Cosplay mode
- Goes to sleep after one minute of non-use but wakes up as soon as a notification hits
For me, this isn’t going to replace my current Bluetooth headset, but I like having it as an option for when I go to conventions or cosplay. It’s fun to use and makes for an interesting conversation starter if you wear it out without being in costume.
Cosplay mode allows you to wear it without worry about your phone notifications going off. It’s a neat little feature for those who want to get into uniform and leave their 2017 technology at home.
Sit it on the charger for about 30 minutes to get a solid battery before trying to pair. After that it’s a matter of holding the button down for 3-seconds, hearing the TNG signature “chirp,” and then selecting it on your smartphone.
The speaker can hold it’s own in terms of quality for the size of the device. My son loved hearing the “chirp” sound and pushing the button so much he would sometimes accidentally get it to start playing my music (this wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t the Pokemon theme song).
One thing I like is if my phone is on vibrate, the badge will still “chirp” when it rings.
For $69.95, it’s not a bad prop that doubles as something useful when in or out of costume. If you are a TNG fan and looking for a fun way to carry on conversations when in or out of uniform, this is the prop for you.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation: 30th Anniversary Edition Bluetooth Communicator Badge is officially licensed and available from Fametek’s website for $69.95.