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Hushme's voice-masking headset could save your sanity

A potentially perfect gift for chatty coworkers.
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This device is not for punishment, nor was it designed to deny you pleasure. It is, however, meant to preserve the quality of life of the people around you... especially if you work in open offices like some of us at Engadget do. The Hushme works as a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, but the real draw is the voice mask attached to them -- they snap together in front of your mouth thanks to some surprisingly strong magnets, allowing you to take your phone calls in relative peace and quiet.

Even better, there are ways two ways that your conversations are shielded from the world at large. A pair of thick cushy pads does a decent job muffling your voice, but the Hushme team added a series of sounds that play through some external speakers to obscure things even further. I know what you're thinking: Wouldn't that also disrupt the peace and quiet around you? You bet! Normally that would be a dealbreaker for a device tailor-made to keep the decibels down, but the list of available and forthcoming sounds might make the whole thing worth it.

For instance, a Hushme staffer at the company's CES booth strapped on the headset and let the sounds of some R2-D2-style beeping drown out his explanation of the company's plans. Heavy, Darth Vader-ish breathing is a potential option too, as are more soothing choices like the sound of rain or a gentle wind.

What's more, Hushme reps floated the idea of straight-up voice changing as a possibility, which is thematically a little silly when you consider the device's goals. Really, we'll just have to wait and see -- Hushme plans to get a crowdfunding campaign going this year, and the headset is expected to cost around $200.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.
In this article: audio, av, ces2017, gear, hands-on, hushme, startup
Chris is Engadget's Senior Mobile Editor, and moonlights as a professional moment ruiner. He spent his formative years taking apart Sega consoles and writing awful fan fiction. To his utter shock, that passion for electronics and words would eventually lead him to covering startups of all stripes at TechCrunch. The first phone he ever swooned over was the Nokia 7610, and he also really hates writing about himself in the third person.
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