AfterShokz Premiers Off-Ear Headphones

Sections: Accessories, Audio, Communications, Gadgets / Other, Headphones, Mobile, Portable Audio

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Finally, I’ve found a pair of headphones that both my mother and I can agree on. For years as a kid, repeatedly cautioning me to “lower my volume” on my Sony Walkman, later my laptop and mp3 players, AfterShokz releases a pair of headphones designed to not influence hearing loss. Even when turned up to ’11,’ the Bluez are placed on the outside of the listener’s ears and not inside of them, creating an plentiful loud music experience while limiting any chance of hearing damage.

AfterShokz uses their patent pending ‘bone conduction’ technology, which by placing the speakers on the listener’s temples (outside of the ear,) stereophonic sound is transferred as vibrations directly into the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum. This formation of vibrations is precisely how a person hears their own voice, as opposed to outside, incoming sounds.

By sending audio in through a person’s cheekbones to get into the inner ear, it allows the user to simultaneously be aware of outside activity, be it voices, alarms or sirens, traffic or anything else that goes unheard with outside noise-canceling pairs. We all know that omitting outside noises during a workout session could make for a dangerous predicament. Especially when it comes to cross country exercising, we can’t think of a safer means of executing both: safely ‘feeling the burn’ and enjoying your favorite tunes at the same time.

The Bluez, available now for pre-order, are an updated, Bluetooth-enabled, wireless version of their standard sports pair. Super lightweight and elegant, Bluez also feature a built-in microphone with an answer/hang up button, so you can chat mid-workout without lowering your heart rate.

“AfterShokz Bluez were designed to provide the safest wireless voice communications and music playback, so anyone with a Bluetooth enabled device can experience the comfort and convenience of making/taking calls and music/podcast play from just one set of headphones — all without restricting potentially important ambient noise,” said Bruce Borenstein, president and CEO of AfterShokz. “There are no other Bluetooth headphones quite like our AfterShokz Bluez and we’re thrilled to be the first to bring customers this safe, new way to stay connected to their mobile devices — without the wires.”

Acclaimed by some of the top technology authorities, Wired and Geekbeat, AfterShokz has also earned the prestigious CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award. Expert opinion aside, just for your own safety and enjoyment — grabbing a pair is a great idea and your mother will be proud of your decision, I guarantee it.

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