When most people think “cordless headphones,” they probably imagine an MP3 player tucked safely away in a pocket while the music from it plays in separate, untethered headphones. Plenty of manufacturers already make this possible with Bluetooth technology. On the other hand, Monster has taken a very literal definition of “cordless” and introduced their own solution: stick the MP3 player on the side of the headphones. Voila! No cords!
That’s the logic behind the iFreePlay. Monster’s new “cordless” headphones basically resemble the cheap wrap-around headphones that came with just about every CD player 10 years ago, and add a goofy-looking dock to the side where you can slide in an iPod Shuffle.
Granted, the Shuffle is one miniscule MP3 player, but that probably doesn’t mean most consumers are ready to strap them to their heads. Besides the style concerns here, there’s also the unbalanced weight of a dock and MP3 player on one ear and single earphone on the other. Not too comfortable for running, we imagine, even though Monster is pushing the iFreePlay for exercise. There’s also the possibility that your headphones shake free or get snagged on something and fall off your head – bringing your $80 MP3 player five feet to the ground along with them.
Of course, the iFreePlay will retail for $49.99, about half of what most Bluetooth cordless headphones sell for, so if you don’t mind saddling up your cranium with an iPod Shuffle, you might save some money in the process. Also to their credit, Monster’s iFreePlay headphones are significantly less egregious than Oakley’s Thump sunglasses-and-MP3-player-in-one.