Sony’s Concept N Headphones Let You Enjoy Music While Hearing Ambient Sounds

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Want to listen to music on the go? Put on a pair of headphones. Don’t want to block out the ambient sounds around you? Play it on your Nintendo Bluetooth speaker. Don’t want to annoy everybody else with your loud music? Well… sorry, dude, you’re out of luck. At least, until Sony’s Concept N headphones actually make their way to production.

Unlike traditional headphones, the tips on this pioneering design don’t actually go in or over your ears. In fact, there are no buds or ear pads involved. Instead, the tips, which sit on either side of your neck, contain speakers that shoot its sound upwards straight to the ear, essentially serving as a precision-targeted speaker, allowing you to listen to music while staying aware of the rumblings going on around you. That makes it ideal for listening while on the move, whether you’re walking, bicycling, or riding a hoverboard that might or might not explode any time soon.

We’re not entirely sure how they did it, but Sony claims that the Concept N’s sound won’t travel outside your immediate vicinity, ensuring you won’t be disrupting everyone else around you the way playing music on Bluetooth speakers would. For those who prefer a more traditional headphone experience, it comes with a pair of buds that you can wear on your ears. Unlike traditional ear buds, though, they come with holes punched at the center to allow ambient noises to come through. Features include an integrated camera and voice command support.

The Sony Concept N is currently only a prototype developed by the outfit’s Future Lab division.

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3 Responses

  1. David

    I think the photos are of a completely different headphone set… The description says, they “don’t actually go in or over your ears. In fact, there are no buds or ear pads involved.” yet in the photo, there are clearly earbuds in somebody’s ears..

    Also it says, “the tips, which sit on either side of your neck, contain speakers that shoot its sound upwards straight to the ear.” There is nothing like this shown in th photos..

    The “check it out” link goes to something that looks completely different as well..

    Reply
    • Henry

      This headest (neckset?) comes with the cone-shaped ear pieces that you can use in your ears similar to regular earbuds, but it’s not required to use them. I like the idea of a neck mounted headset, but not a fan of this one. I would simply like a good in the ear bud but when I use over-the-ear foam headphones I’d love if the could be mounted off of my neck instead of my head.

      There are so many earphone developments coming out that it is hard to keep track of them all. Even my preferred brand of Skull Candy is continuously making so many new products it is hard to find identical replacements when I need them.

      Reply
  2. Bradley Crimel

    Hmmm, this makes sense. It is a simple concept and for those that do not like to be completely reliant on headphones, it would be nice for around the house. In public, I can see it being a problem.

    Reply

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