Headphones are a blessing to any London commuter, blocking out the noise of the Tube and giving the capital’s bleary-eyed workers the means to isolate themselves from the city’s thrum.
But tech startup Wearhaus is looking to flip the anti-social nature of headphones into something that facilitates rather than negates social interactions.
The Wearhaus Arc Social Headphones aim to give their wearers the ability share music listening with anyone else who has the same pair of headphones by through a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone or digital music player.
Whereas music sharing would either involve giving someone else an earbud from a pair of headphones or blasting out audio through a phone’s speakers, up to 63 pairs of the Wearhaus Arc can be daisy chained and synced together to allow people to easily share music and other audio content from a single device.
Dreamed up by a Nelson Zhang and Richie Zeng, who both dropped out of UC Berkeley to develop the ‘social’ headphones, the Wearhaus Arc received solid backing on Kickstarter and are now available for a retail price of $199.99, around £153.
Alongside the sharing feature, the headphones sport 40mm dual-diaphragm drivers for claimed high-fidelity sound, while light-up rings on the ear cans can be customised with up to five million colour combinations.
Capacitive tough controls also feature on the ear cans, while a wireless mic is built-in for making phone calls.
Despite the sharing attributes of the Wearhaus Arc, they still feature noise isolating memory foam to block out background sound, which should mean they’re equally good for people who at times want to shut themselves off from the world.
Battery life on the headphones is slated at 15 hours, though it’s not clear if that’s with normal headphone use or when sharing audio via Bluetooth.
We’ll have to wait and see it the idea of social headphones really take off, particularly when there are so many great noise-cancelling headphones around to bring wearers peace and quiet.
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