These bone conduction headphones steer clear of your ear

batband bone conduction headphones
This new “bone conduction” headphone from London-based StudioBananaThings doesn’t rest near your ear. While other bone-conduction headphones, like the Aftershokz, rest in front of your outer ear to transmit vibrations through a bone in your head, Batband achieves the same effect by placing two transducers above the ear on each temple and one on the back of the head. It’s certainly futuristic — conceivably a device that a sci-fi show could use to give characters special powers — and, well, it definitely looks nothing like a pair of headphones.

Bone conduction headphones, a fairly new consumer device, give users the ability to listen to music while also being allowed to hear their surrounding environment. This is a particularly enviable feature for bikers and runners, who soundtrack their exercise with tunes but still need to be alert to oncoming traffic.

“Simply place BATBAND around the back of your head, pair it to a mobile device through Bluetooth, control its features using touch sensors and you are set to listen to your favorite tunes, or discreetly make and take calls,” said the company on its Kickstarter page.

The device is also useful for listening to video games, receiving mobile phone and Skype calls and listening to GPS directions. The devices, which run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, feature six hours of audio playback or eight hours of conversation. The company claims that the headphones give a better sound experience than its competitors as the transmitters actually surround your head in sound. It also advertises ‘minimum sound leakage,’ so that others don’t hear everything you’re listening to, and buttons that allow users to turn the device on and off, take and end calls, skip tracks, and adjust volume.

The headphones, expected to ship in April 2016, might not be revolutionary, but they’re certainly sleek and innovative. They are currently available at Kickstarter for $149.

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