Bone-conduction headphones send vibrations through your bones, reaching your inner ear and letting you hear music without shutting off the outside world. This type of headphone is great for staying alert, but can suffer from less-than-stellar bass response, while also lacking the impact and immediacy of traditional in-ear headphones. Conduit Sports headphones combine the best of both worlds by combining bone-conduction headphones with a set of standard in-ear drivers, which tuck into the headset when not in use.
“Conduit Sports headphones are not your ordinary headphones — they challenge the status quo and offer an innovative design which breaks away from traditional sports headphones by providing extra utility, and improved health and safety outcomes,” Conduit Sports CEO Stefan Bisits-Bullen said in a statement. “We believe too many headphone companies produce rebranded versions of the same product with different celebrity backers. We don’t want to be like them.”
The Conduit Sports headphones also offer built-in volume controls, as well as control over playback, so there’s no need to reach into your pocket while on a run. These controls also allow you to switch between “off ear” (bone conduction) and in-ear modes, as well as activate the built-in voice functionality on both Android and Apple phones. The headphones are also P55-certified for dust, rain, and sweat resistance. No matter which mode of listening you’re using, battery life is claimed to last up to six hours.
Despite all the functionality, the headphones aren’t very expensive. The lowest tier of the Kickstarter is $76, which is apparently 60 percent off the eventual retail price and gets you a single pair of the headphones. If you’re buying for yourself and someone else, two units are available for $144, while $1,000 will get you a pair signed by an Olympian or other athlete, though no names have been mentioned so far.
The campaign is aiming for $50,000 in funding, and at the time of this writing, it has almost reached that point with 25 days left to go. As is always the case with crowdfunding, there are risks to be aware of, but if everything goes to plan, rewards are expected to begin shipping to backers in November 2017. For more information, see the Kickstarter page.