If you consider sports activities headphones, you most likely envisage one thing that comes at the least vaguely near your ears, as is the case with the very best bone conduction headphones. Whereas not protecting or invading your ear canals, these do at the least strap round your head and sit very near your shell-likes – see the Shokz OpenRun and even Oladance’s Wearable Stereo open-ear answer for reference.
However there may be one other manner. A New York outfit referred to as SONR, which focuses on audio swimming aids, simply launched SONR Music: “a 100% waterproof music participant that makes use of bone conduction expertise to allow swimmers to hearken to their favourite songs, audiobooks, and podcasts even underwater”.
Let’s name it what it’s. At 35g, this round disc with a central push button for playback (that places me in thoughts of the timer included within the board sport Articulate! Your Life) it is a musical head puck. And I believe I prefer it.
SONR says you place it anyplace in your head (bone conduction tech will not work except you get that bit proper) both by slipping it beneath your swimming cap or utilizing the strap included, and also you’re good to go!
OK not fairly – you want content material. It sports activities 8GB of reminiscence so you may add playlists or podcasts to it on your coaching session and management playback by way of the button: one press for play/pause, two presses to skip a monitor, three to return.
There’s additionally Bluetooth compatibility for smartphone pairing and streaming “throughout dryland coaching similar to biking and operating”, so presumably the vary is not ideally suited for lengthy distances out of your smartphone. No Bluetooth model or vary is quoted in SONR’s press launch, so it appears unlikely you can go away your telephone poolside and stream whilst you swim.
Opinion: is it totally different? Wildly. However which may even be SONR’s best power
SONR has beforehand launched a Swim Coach Communicator (opens in new tab), a radio receiver with an analogous, bone-conduction design that enables your coach to bark at you whilst you full laps – however the choice to add your individual content material and use Bluetooth connectivity is new.
You get a goggle clip, USB charging cable (it prices by way of 4 pin Magnetic charging cable, additionally helpful for connecting to your laptop computer and dragging/dropping these audio information to the SONR Music’s drive) and swimming earplugs within the field, however you do not want to put on the earplugs to get the bone conduction music. Your ears can keep utterly free if that is your desire.
As somebody with smaller ears who has suffered each the lack of an earbud mid-move and flimsy bone conduction headsets sliding down the again of my head when my ponytail shifts mid-run, I welcome any musical product that’ll get me by way of a coaching session with out having to be retrieved from the ground. And one which is not a neckband however nonetheless goes nowhere close to my ears, delivering audio solely I can hear, is a brand new one on me.
Did I point out that this factor is waterproof to the purpose that it will survive being submerged in water as much as two meters deep for as much as two hours? These are credentials even a number of the greatest waterproof headphones draw back from – and regardless of my reservations on the way it would possibly really feel by way of the bass, I might love to listen to it.
The SONR Music is accessible for pre-order now, priced $89 (opens in new tab) (quite than the common MSRP $129) in black, orange, yellow, or blue, with transport anticipated to begin from July 20. These costs roughly equate to £70 or AU$135 when you benefit from the early-bird low cost, though there is no point out but of when the machine is accessible in areas aside from the US.
SONR assures me that after a couple of minutes, customers do not even discover that the machine is there – aside from the music. And that’s an fascinating proposition for certain.