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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 24, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    Tech tools: Aftershokz

    Ciara O'Brien

    Headphones that use “bone conduction” sound more like instruments of torture than something you’d willingly strap to your head. But apparently it’s technology that’s been in use by special ops for some time.

    Instead of going into your ears, the headphones sit just in front of them. The sound is delivered via your cheekbones, so you can still hear what’s going on around you while you walk/run/work.

    The demonstration:

    YouTube Preview Image
    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Reason our voices sound different to others (and to us, when we listen to ourselves on tape) than they do to us is because of those auditory nerves in the jawbone and cheekbone. Those damn nerves are the reason that people using their Podmans on the train think they’re the future winners of some X Factor crapshow or other, while REALLY getting on the nerves of all the other passengers with their feckin’
      ”tzzztzzzz…”Oooh…GIRL…BOY…LOVE…YEAH….OOOOH….BAYBEEE…..WANNA….GIRL….YEAH….LOVE……NEED….YOU….ME..tzzztzzztzzz….NEVER GONNA….FORGET YA…..GIRL (Insert ”BOY” as your gender orientation requires.” (Copyright Notice: The above Insta-Ditty compiled and composed on LouisWalshBlandWare v.666.00 there. And thanks to Autotune.)

      I’m years putting my headphones outside my ear canals so as to be still able to hear the film I’m listening to on a flight while pretending to be interested in the absolute blather coming from whatever randomer has sat beside me.

      Now if only the techs could come up with a way to split your concentration so that you can in fact listen to both music (I mean music, as in the sort I listen to, not the absolute shite produced by that fecker Walsh and his ‘inspirations’ Stock Aiken & Waterman) and to what people in the real world (outside my headphones) are trying to communicate. As opposed to just pretending to hear.

      Or maybe they could just add in a little speaker and sound wave generator that would automatically say the words ”Yes Dear” and ”Of course Dear” out loud each time I make a sudden, vaguely interested looking face and a not-to-be-completed removing-my-headphones-to-listen gesture.

    • Emma says:

      How was the sound quality?

    • wheelsofire says:

      Any idea of the price?

    • andy says:

      I used these on the Sydney Bridge Climb. 9 years ago.