At first glance, you might think the guy in the photo above is wearing his sunglasses backwards. However, he's actually getting hiz groove on with the AfterShokz Bluez, a pair of Bluetooth headphones that transmits audio using bone conduction. We've seen the technology before, but never on stereo wireless headsets. Instead of vibrating your eardrums, the Bluez use transducer pads that sit on your cheekbones to send audio directly to your ears. As such, the headphones have an "open-ear" design, presumably to let you hear your surroundings while listening to tunez. If this zoundz intriguing, you can pre-order them for $100 (despite their $129 retail price) from the company's website, or just wait until January when they will make their official debut at CES 2013.
AfterShokz to Debut World's First Open Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones at the 2013 International CES
Public demand for a wireless version of their unique open ear headphones fueled
the development of Bluez; the company is taking pre-orders on their website now.
East Syracuse, NY ─ December 20, 2012 ─ AfterShokz, the brand known for its unique open ear headphones powered by patent pending bone conduction technology, is pleased to confirm that their eagerly anticipated Bluez, the world's first open ear wireless Bluetooth headphones, will be available and shipping next month. Customers in the U.S. and Canada can pre-order Bluez on the company's website now, with fulfillment expected by the end of January 2013. Public demand for a wireless version of their globally popular open ear sport headphones fueled the development of Bluez, which will debut during the 2013 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 8-11, 2013.
AfterShokz evolved the sport headphones category with their creative use of bone conduction technology to transfer stereophonic sound without covering or plugging the ears─innovation yet to be matched. That unique open ear design offers more than just increased comfort when worn at length; it allows users to hear ambient noise, heightening awareness and fostering safety, particularly critical during outdoor activity. Additionally, blind and hearing-impaired persons have reported that pairing AfterShokz headphones with assistive devices such as screen readers, global guidance technologies, cell phones and audio players, provides them the opportunity to remain acutely in touch with surroundings.
AfterShokz Bluez: the first Bluetooth headphones designed to leave both ears unblocked so users can remain alert to important ambient noise, like traffic sounds while driving, or a colleague in the office.
In a similar trajectory, Bluez are expected to evolve the Bluetooth headphones category. "AfterShokz Bluez were designed to provide the safest wireless voice communications and music playback, so anyone with a Bluetooth enabled mobile device can experience the comfort and convenience of making/taking calls and music/podcast play from just one set of headphones─all without restricting potentially important ambient noise," said Bruce Borenstein, president and CEO of AfterShokz. "There are no other Bluetooth headphones quite like our AfterShokz Bluez and we're thrilled to be the first to bring consumers this safe, new way to stay connected to their mobile devices─without the wires."
AfterShokz Bluez have already garnered significant attention even prior to consumer availability, earning a prestigious CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award in the headphones category, as well as being named one of the 25 semifinalists in the 2013 Last Gadget Standing competition, an annual program designed to highlight revolutionary tech at the International CES.
About AfterShokz Bluez
AfterShokz Bluez open ear wireless Bluetooth headphones deliver the most comfortable and safe option for wireless voice communication and music play. Unlike conventional Bluetooth devices that use the eardrums to transmit sound and are designed for use in one ear, Bluez are stereo headphones that rest comfortably in front of the ears and utilize bone conduction technology to transmit sound through the cheekbones to the inner ears, bypassing the eardrums completely. With both ears open, users wearing Bluez can remain alert to ambient noises─from traffic sounds when in use outdoors or while driving, to a nearby colleague in the office.
The elegant and simple design of AfterShokz Bluez headphones consists of an ergonomic, extremely stable, one-piece wraparound headband. This headband wraps over the ears and features an adjustable (and removable) inner tension band to comfortably accommodate a wide range of head sizes. The open ear style and light overall weight make Bluez far more comfortable than traditional Bluetooth headsets, especially when used over extended periods of time. Those that find conventional Bluetooth accessories to be uncomfortable to wear, or are frustrated by products that fall out of the ear during even mild levels of activity, will be pleased by how stable Bluez feel. A make/take call button on the right transducer and a pause/advance button on the left transducer gives users total control over their music, podcasts and phone calls right from the unit.
AfterShokz Bluez (MSRP $119.95) are currently available, to customers in the U.S. and Canada only at this time, for pre-order on the company's website. Additional availability via select retailer partners will be announced soon.