Wearables

Aftershokz headphones deliver sound through cheeks rather than your ears

Aftershokz is using a patent-pending bone conduction technology in its headphones
Aftershokz is using a patent-pending bone conduction technology in its headphones
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Aftershokz send high fidelity, stereo quality sound, directly through the skull to the inner ear
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Aftershokz send high fidelity, stereo quality sound, directly through the skull to the inner ear
Aftershokz is using a patent-pending bone conduction technology in its headphones
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Aftershokz is using a patent-pending bone conduction technology in its headphones
The headphones come with their own carrying case
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The headphones come with their own carrying case
Aftershokz headphones can be used while running, allowing you to hear both what's going on around you and your tunes
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Aftershokz headphones can be used while running, allowing you to hear both what's going on around you and your tunes
Aftershokz headphones can be used while running, allowing you to hear both what's going on around you and your tunes
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Aftershokz headphones can be used while running, allowing you to hear both what's going on around you and your tunes
The headphones fit in much the same way as traditional headphones
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The headphones fit in much the same way as traditional headphones
Aftershokz will retail for $59.95
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Aftershokz will retail for $59.95

When you think of headphones, no matter what comes to mind, it's likely a set that fit inside or on top of your ears. There is another way however - headphones that transmit sound through your cheekbones using bone conduction. Initially developed for military use, we've seen a few examples of this technology before in headphones, waterproof MP3 players and even mobile phones and the latest to cross our desk - Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones - will be on show at CES next week.

Aftershokz says the headphones produce "high fidelity, stereo quality sound, directly through the skull to the inner ear," but why would you want to wear headphone on your cheeks? If you're someone who sports headphones on a daily basis, then you're potentially damaging your eardrums over time by putting them that close to a source of sound. For those who use phones while running, biking or doing other things outside - wearing headphones prevents you from being able to hear what's going on around you. While it might be nice to block out the outside world, it's also unsafe and could ultimately lead to an injury.

The company's flagship set of headphones, the Aftershokz Sport, is currently one of the semifinalists in Last Gadget Standing at CES. The headphones will be available soon on the Aftershokz website for US$59.95.

6 comments
Robert Burke
Site is down...shipping method keep you going around in circles.
Glen Poss
old news.... http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.08/streetcred_pr.html 2ner and 2nerxmitter
Facebook User
Noise induced hearing loss mainly comes from damaged hair cells in the inner ear Once damaged, these hair cells cannot grow back. Using the Aftershokz headphone without a limiter (or too long) will damage these hair cells just as quickly as ordinairy headphones. This gadget looks nice but is not really safe ! And if you don\'t want to ruin your eardrums, or anyone else\'s... don\'t join the militairy
William H Lanteigne
Not a new idea. The JS&A \"Bone Fone\" advertised bone conduction back in the late \'70s. I\'m not sure it actually worked.
mrhuckfin
I tried a \"bone Fone\" back in the day and it sound fantastic! But it was 200 bucks back in the late 70\'s and I was just a kid and who had that kind of money back then? :-)
Carlos Grados
The bone fone connected with the neck. I had a bone fone back in the day and the sound was great! I would bike around everywhere with them and they would still let one hear the sounds of the environment (like other traffic). I miss that technology...