Listening To Music Via Cheekbones

  • Bypasses eardrums
  • Protects ears from damage
  • Can be used by hearing-impaired people

A company has developed a set of headphones that don’t cover the ear canal and therefore provides pedestrians and cyclists with the ability to experience their music without being isolated.

Unlike conventional headphones and ear-buds, the new technology rests in front of the ear and transmits sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum completely. The innovation is referred to as Bone Conduction Technology, and the new headphones are called AfterShokz.

The technology is designed to improve the safety of the rising number of people using portable music players outside. Research shows that 25 percent of people listen to ear-bud headphones at a level that will cause hearing damage.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia estimate one in 10 people are using some sort of distracting device when they cross the road. Headphones are a major factor as users can't hear traffic approaching and are isolated from their surroundings. Pedestrians represent 20 per cent of road trauma in Australia, costing $27 billion annually.

A recent report conducted by the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing found that while many Australians believe personal devices pose a risk to hearing health, we don’t believe it will happen to us.

The technology also allows hearing-impaired individuals to use AfterShokz headphones without removing a hearing aid, and visually-impaired individuals to use them in conjunction with talking GPS applications.

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