Personal music sessions in public places often happen with one earbud in and one earbud out — this way you can hear others nearby and your music at the same time. That Batband is a far more attractive alternative, though it might get you a few sideways glances — it uses bone conductivity rather than traditional speakers, making it a so-called “ear-free” pair of headphones.
The company behind the device hails them as the first high fidelity bone conductivity headphones. Batband wraps about the back of one’s head, with each end piece being placed above the ears. The audio is conducted straight to the inner ear, then, so that you hear whatever is playing, as well as everything around you. It is controlled using a swiping pad and a button.
The headphones include an integrated microphone for use as a headset when a call comes through — wearers will hear the paired phone ring, and will be able to answer using the controls on the headphones rather than pulling out the smartphone. Batband features three transducers, with two that conduct via the temporal bone, and one in the back of the head that conducts with the occipital bone.
The studio behind the headphones, StudioBananaThings, was seeking $150,000 USD on Kickstarter, where it has so far raised a little over $196,000 USD with 42 days remaining. The early bird units are gone, but a pledge of $149 USD will get one of the standard Batband units. Shipping is estimated to start next April.