Soundshield is a snowboard helmet with integrated headphones and mic

Over the years, we’ve seen a number of helmets designed to allow action sports athletes to wirelessly listen to their favorite music while skiing, snowboarding, or skating. Most of those options looked promising on paper, but in reality they often came with a few compromises, including a clunky interface for controlling your tunes, or the inability to continue listening after you’ve taken the helmet off. But a new product called Soundshield looks to change all of that, bringing modular design and simplicity to an audio-enhanced helmet at long last.

The concept behind the Soundshield comes from a company called Unit 1, which recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to get the product off the ground. At first glance, the Soundshield looks a lot like just about any other helmet you might find a skier or snowboarder wearing, but look a bit closer and you’ll find some interesting features integrated into its design.

For instance, it comes equipped with a set of built-in headphones that allow the wearer to listen to music, podcasts, or audio books while skiing or skating. But when they’re done, those headphones can be undocked from the helmet itself and worn completely independently. When you’re ready to return to the slopes, just snap them back into place, put on your helmet, and go.

Those same headphones also feature a single button on the side that allows the wearer to control the audio they are listening to. A single tap pauses or plays the current playlist, while double tapping skips a track and triple tapping jumps back to the previous song. A single tap also picks up any incoming phone calls, with a built-in mic allowing users to chat with friends and family without having to take the helmet off.

Users can also use a voice-activated dialing system to place calls of their own. The headphones are equipped with Bluetooth technology for easy pairing with a smartphone, but also include a standard 3.5mm audio jack. Unit 1 says they have a battery life of 16 hours in wireless mode and come with customizable ear pads for improved comfort, too.

Unit 1 is hoping to raise $50,000 to get the Soundshield into production, and as of this writing it is about halfway to that goal. If successful in its crowdfunding efforts, the helmet/headphone combo should go into production late in 2017 and begin shipping by December. The retail price for the device is expected to be $299, but early-bird supporters can actually order them now for as little as $169.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.

Cyberfishing Smart Rod Sensor transforms normal fishing rods into data recorders

The Cyberfishing Smart Rod Sensor, on display at CES 2019, upgrades normal fishing rods into smarter versions of themselves. The device will work with a companion app to record data, including fishing hotspots and trophy fish details.
Emerging Tech

Where are they now? A look back at last year’s Top Tech of CES winners

What happened to the 14 prize-winning products we singled out as the coolest things we saw at last year's CES 2018? Join us as we take a look at what the past 12 months has meant for them.
Emerging Tech

You may soon be able to summon an autonomous wheelchair like an Uber

At CES 2019, autonomous wheelchair company Whill unveiled its vision for a world in which people can summon its wheelchairs by app, in locations such as museums, airports, and city centers.
Emerging Tech

Furrion’s luxurious smart yacht looks like the perfect vessel for a Bond villain

Forget smart watches and the like: when it comes to the biggest smart technology at CES 2019, the literal answer can be nothing other than the 78-foot, high-tech luxury smart yacht, Adonis.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with one of the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. As more brands offer their own take on this innovative way to get around, it's hard to distinguish the…

Here are all the best rain jackets on the market right now

From high-tech, lightweight shells to modern-looking, waterproof trench coats, check out our list of the best rain jackets built to keep you dry and looking stylish in any season.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.

Snooze soundly anywhere you lay your head with the best sleeping bags

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.