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Pass-Thru Ear Buds Prevent Hearing Damage

Ken Wright wants to save zoned-out iPod listeners from themselves – and potential hearing damage. Driven by concern for his daughter’s hearing, the inventor designed a new pair of hybrid earphones, called AirDrives, that allow outside noises to pass through to the ear while they are in use, which he claims also have the added benefit of preventing the damaging decibel levels traditional ear buds achieve.

Besides the safety benefit of the InAir technology the earphones use, Wright also promotes the social value of being able to hear outside noises while listening to music. “We saw the need for a new hybrid earphone design that delivers dynamic sound while allowing users to hear what’s going on around them,” he said. “Using AirDrives adds a soundtrack to your life, enhancing any activity from workdays to workouts. From office managers who won’t allow MP3 players in the workplace fearing employees would miss important phone calls, to joggers who want to be aware of oncoming traffic or chat with friends, AirDrives’ breakthrough design makes it possible to add music when you otherwise wouldn’t.”

Wright will debut his AirDrives at Thursday’s DigitalLife press preview. They will be available in major retailers by September, running $99.99 for a standard pair or $69.99 for a smaller kid-sized pair.

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