January 16, 2014 — Article
In a headphone market jam-packed today with in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear products, the British audio innovator, Damson, showcased at the CES 2014 an audio advancement they call “out-of-the-ear” technology that could take “feeling” music into another dimension with the company’s first offering in the wireless headphone category, Headbones™, a radically new design utilizing the temporal bone and inner-ear structure to deliver a headphone experience that can be both heard and felt.
The concept of the patent-pending Headbones™ is to utilise the acoustic properties of the human skull and its natural ability to work in tandem with the inner ear. Rather than blocking the ear canal with the standard in-ear buds, Damson’s Headbones™ rest on the temporal bone, sending audio vibrations through the skull to the cochlea: the auditory structure within the ear that is responsible for human hearing. There are two different designs, one version of the Headbones™ has the speaker sitting in front of the ear, while the more discreet version places the speaker just behind the ear.
Headbones™ take advantage of Damson’s exclusive Incisor Diffusion Technology™ (IDT), also found on their popular Twist and Jet wireless speakers. IDT avoids the use of a traditional “cone speaker” by replacing the magnetic coil with teeth (or incisors), allowing the sound to radiate through the surface on which the speaker is placed. In the case of Headbones™, that surface is the temporal bone, and the sound from the Headbones™ speakers is transferred to the inner ear. In essence, your skull becomes the speaker enclosure.
“As was the case with our development of IDT driven speakers with our Twist and Jet lines, our efforts with Headbones™ and out-of-the-ear technology were motivated by the enormous clutter in the category and not only a desire, but a sense of obligation, to cut through with real innovation, rather than just another stylistic ‘me too’ product,” said James Talbot, Damson Founder and CEO. “With Headbones™ we are challenging the industry and consumers to redefine their perception of headphones as a mechanism that doesn’t merely send audio to the ears, but actually works with the structure of the ear and the skull, to maximize the sensory experience of sound and music.”
Damson Headbones™ offer the advantage that wherever you are enjoying your music your ears are free to listen to surrounding sounds, for example traffic, so safer when jogging. In addition, for consumers that want to block out external noises or enjoy a more immersive audio experience in the comfort of their home, Damson Headbones™ also provide removable, traditional in-ear buds designed to work in tandem with the IDT vibrations.
Headbones™ are compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and Damson claims up to eight hours of music-listening enjoyment from a single charge. When not in use, Headbones™ can be charged via a Micro USB.
Furthermore, the technology that Damson utilises is a big advantage for the hearing-impaired, as by sending vibrations through the skull to the cochlea, Headbones™ bypass the outer ear, which allows people with some hearing impairments to be able to listen to music, by delivering the sounds directly to the inner ear.
More information on Damson’s Headbones™ headphones, including price and retail availability which we are told is planned in June for around £100 (120€), visit their website:damsonaudio.com.